“Managing Distribution for a Smarter Grid”
Electric, water, and gas grids around the world are growing smarter. The public conversation about these new “smart grids” has revolved around smart meters-devices that report commodity usage data back to the utility directly, without the need for a physical meter read.
However, a smart grid is more than a smart meter. A meter is an endpoint of and data source for a complicated network that allows utilities to diagnose and fix problems as they happen, and maintain the network to prevent problems from arising. Aberdeen’s August 2010 benchmark report, Operational Intelligence: Boosting Performance with “Right-Time” Business Insight, demonstrated the value of real-time visibility across all industries. Utilities that achieve real-time visibility into the state of their distribution grid can reduce power loss, improve uptime, and cut peak consumption, saving millions of dollars - but only if they support technological change with organizational development.
While this report focuses on the electric distribution network, which bridges the gap between high-voltage transmission lines and customers, the principles discussed here apply to all utilities that want to make their grid smarter.
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