Siemens made a big announcement at this year’s IEEE PES T&D Conference, introducing a new platform that can integrate with other complementary tools. By providing this extensive new functionality as add-on modules via the new PSS® platform, grid planners and operators can address increasingly complex planning rules stemming from new power market regulation.
T&D visited with Martin Shalhoub, vice president and general manager of Siemens PTI/PACE Global within the Digital Grid Division, about what need the product fulfills in the quickly changing power industry.
Q: What need does this new platform address?
The PSS®E platform follows an evolution of integrated planning through increased data analysis in our industry—more specifically the platform allows for greater power flow analysis and modeling capabilities. As industry regulation, energy pricing, aging infrastructure, reliability, and a changing generation mix impacts our customers, it certainly has a significant impact on the way they will model and analyze power systems. This new platform enables these planners to address these challenges by having access to a suite of applications that best fit their needs.
Q: How long was it in development, and do you know what sparked its development?
This new platform concept gained momentum over the past year. It stemmed mainly from existing customers who shared their challenges and their most important analysis needs.
Additionally, we also have the benefit of leveraging our dynamic Power System Consulting team who continually perform studies and model builds on a daily basis and who share what customer need trends they are seeing.
Q: What is its functionality and what other products does it draw from in your suite?
Some examples of our latest applications as part of the platform modules are:
- data conversion tools
- measurement interfaces
- data visualization
- advanced contingency analysis
Siemens PTI in both the United States and Germany has a suite of other products from which we leverage several of their key attributes and add them to the platform. We of course are creating new modules and interfaces internally and have really opened up our partnering opportunities in the industry. A recent example of this is with our “PSS®E-PSCAD Co-Simulation” module.
Q: Is there anything similar on the market now and how is this different/the same?
There are other tools available in the market, but our platform approach is unique—by providing a dynamic platform with several applications, the industry can go beyond just a planning application and bring in operations and other disciplines together as one.
Q: What is the most important thing this platform does? Why is it crucial to the industry?
The most important thing the platform does is to provide expanded analysis capabilities, workflow speedup, advanced visualization, and data management and integration. With the industry experiencing so much change, these planners require dynamic power analysis tools and this new platform provides that needed functionality.
Q: Who should seriously be looking at the platforms’ advantages/benefits?
Anyone that requires reliable, comprehensive analysis of power systems regardless if they work for a utility, system operator, developer/IPP, industrial, in research & development, consulting or engineering firm.
Q: Any future plans for this platform (updates, enhancements)?
Yes, we have plans in place and are positioning our collective team to launch several new modules with increased and expanded usability and functionality.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
This platform is one of our most exciting debuts for Siemens PTI in recent years, and is a great example of how our business continues to evolve. We have expanded our software portfolio to a platform that goes beyond planning; our consulting team has evolved into an integrated planning provider bringing transmission and distribution, and our Power Academy now offers training needs assessments in addition to customized training programs .
We also recently brought in Pace Global under the PTI umbrella, a strategic, business advisory firm that leads utilities and industrials though business transformation, resource planning, power and energy market advisory, risk management, and solution engineering.