Utilities

New Zealand Utility Finds a Prefab, Modular Data Center is Just the Fix for its Data Center Expansion

Prefabricated, modular data centers are landing Down Under. The New Zealand-based utility company Northpower launched a portable, prefabricated modular data center – specifically a Schneider Electric SmartShelter modular data center…. Read more »

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Improve Your Electrical Distribution Maintenance Strategy

Electrical distribution equipment maintenance is crucial to safe, cost-effective operations. There are five major benefits to properly maintaining equipment: Protect personnel, assets, and your business Maximize uptime through preventive maintenance… Read more »

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Remote maintenance: Early diagnosis of problems without breaking your travel budget

Wouldn’t it be nice to fix an equipment problem without having to dispatch field personnel to faraway remote locations? Thanks to recent advances in technology, the concept of remote maintenance… Read more »

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Empower Mobile Workforce to be Active Participants in Real-Time Operations

Technology, enabled by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is empowering organizations to shift to a holistic and operations-centric view where proactive and predictive maintenance (PdM) enables front line personnel… Read more »

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Safety Certification is Key to Nuclear Power Expansion

Despite high-profile accidents, that remain fresh in the minds of people all over the world, the advantages of nuclear power are hard to ignore. It’s efficient. It’s reliable. Plants require… Read more »

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Dream Big: The future of reliability for utilities

Reliability is at the forefront of utilities’ concerns, and rightly so. People expect power to flow 24/7 and any interruption is disruptive for customers and costly for utilities in terms… Read more »

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3 Key Elements That Will Help Governments Achieve Clean Energy Targets

It is projected that total grid transmission and distribution investment in the US will need to reach $900 billion by 2030 to meet forecast electricity demand. In Europe, some €400… Read more »

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Do You Know Where Your Assets Are Buried?

When I first got into the sales game years ago, I would sometimes hear this about a veteran salesperson: “He knows where the bodies are buried” (accompanied by a nod… Read more »

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9 Reasons You Should GOOSE Your IED Network Protection Schemes

Traditionally, electrical network protection schemes rely on hardwired connections between Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs). The problem with that approach is it makes it difficult to correct, modify, or update the… Read more »

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New Tools Expand the Reach of IEC 61850

Electrical power systems’ evolution toward a smart grid is spurring the growth of network automation on all voltage levels. The IEC 61850 standard is quickly emerging as the choice for designing… Read more »

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Distributed Energy Resources require a new Paradigm in Utilities Management

There’s no denying the trend: many utilities are seeing a decreased margin between system load and generation capacity – and they are looking to fill that energy gap. This, combined… Read more »

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Smart Energy Generation Equals Flexible Generation

The rapid influx of renewable energy projects coming online implies pricing and dispatch patterns for the utility companies who are integrating them will be increasingly influenced by the variable nature… Read more »

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Winterizing Your Energy Management Strategy

Mark Twain is often credited with the familiar quote, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” He might be right, but it doesn’t mean that’s the… Read more »

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Demand Response by Any Name

Would you buy a car named “Drinks Gas, Turns Wheels, Spews Fumes”? Well, maybe, if you’re an engineer; otherwise “Cobra” does a much better job firing the imagination and generating… Read more »

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Soaking Up the Sun: Advanced DMS and Weather Forecasting Make Renewables More Viable

Electric utilities are at a crossroads. New regulatory requirements and energy demands are placing an increased pressure on utilities to aggressively incorporate renewable sources into generation portfolios. In light of… Read more »

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Alcatel-Lucent and Schneider Electric: The Power of One

Frequent visitors to this blog site undoubtedly have read any number of posts talking about infrastructure issues, including advances in the distribution of electricity that are making the smart grid… Read more »

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Demand Response IS Supply Chain Management

Let’s acknowledge Demand Response for what it really is: the premier tool for supply chain management of electrons. Really? I know. DR came into its own by its use in… Read more »

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How to Provide Power Protection in an Industrial Internet of Things Environment

When we look at the Internet of Things as it relates to industrial environments we are, in most cases, making use of the same types of devices and controllers –… Read more »

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Implementing an integrated automated dispatch system to balance and optimize system resources and reliability

The challenge: Many utilities are faced with the increasing challenge of managing diverse load, demand response, distributed energy resources, generation, and variable renewables such as solar and wind power in… Read more »

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The Seven Pillars of Cyber Defense

Think of all the ways to access your computer systems. The number has increased dramatically now that employees commonly use mobile devices or USB keys to connect. With so many… Read more »

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How Utilities Can Glean More Value from their Data

To become more effective at marketing, utilities would do well to follow the lead of Internet giants like Amazon. Amazon does a great job at suggesting products you may want… Read more »

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Sustainability Embedded in Electrical Equipment

Our planet’s population growth is accelerating.  Its inhabitants are hungry for resources—and electricity is high on the list. Sustainability will be one of the major challenges of our future, and… Read more »

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New, smaller voltage transformers to become fixtures on the Smart Grid

As efforts to make the low-carbon economy a reality gather pace, the smart grid has ushered in great new opportunities for energy efficiency. Crucial to energy efficiency on the demand-driven,… Read more »

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Renewable energy is risk averse – Just like you (and the NFL, Texas, and others you wouldn’t expect)

Maybe you chose a garden gnome in your yard to guard the spare house key. Or maybe you have it in a petunia planter, or under that nondescript rock. Keeping… Read more »

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Demand management: Strategies for building engagement with customers

To many utility customers, suggesting a demand management or energy efficiency program will generate a scenario along these lines: “I come home after a hard day. It’s 97º outside and… Read more »

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Reduce Maintenance Costs with the IIoT and Predictive Asset Analytics

Industrial organizations across multiple sectors are under pressure from shareholders, regulators and customers to increase performance and reliability while keeping costs low. These conditions mean it’s more important than ever… Read more »

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Wiser Air – Delivering personalized communication to customers

Many of us have programmable thermostats at home and we probably think we’re doing a wonderful job at saving energy by keeping temperatures comfortable when people are home but choosing… Read more »

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How can utilities protect themselves against cyber attacks?

The energy industry is attracting the attention of hackers looking to cause widespread disruption. This should worry all of us, as the energy that utilities provide serves as the lifeblood… Read more »

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Arc-flash protection options and GOOSE communication

An arc flash is an electrical explosion that can greatly endanger human life as well as damage or destroy expensive equipment. In fact, arc-flash temperatures can reach 35,000° F, according… Read more »

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Joint Commission: 10 most cited Healthcare facility standards

At my last HAAHE (Houston Area Association of Healthcare Engineers) meeting I watched a dynamic presentation by Susan B. Laughlin, FASHE, CHFM, CHSP who spoke about the most frequently cited… Read more »

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