IBM Watson Internet of Things Technology Helps Fingrid Keep Power On

May 25, 2016
Fingrid turns to IBM's Internet of Things analytics to help manage Finland's 14,000 km electricity grid network

Fingrid, Finland's main electricity transmission grid operator, has selected IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) technology to help drive transformation in the electricity industry and ensure uninterrupted service for customers. Using networks of sensors and IBM's advanced analytics, Fingrid has pioneered a new solution called ELVIS which provides system operators with a consolidated view of the entire electricity transmission grid, from long-term plans to the day-to-day management and maintenance of assets and infrastructure.

Keeping the power flowing through Fingrid's 14,000 km electricity grid is a daunting task that requires a holistic understanding of grid operations, maintenance and safety issues. As a global leader in electricity transmission management, Fingrid wanted to push the boundaries and find new ways of boosting reliability, controlling costs and supporting better investment decisions.

"Today's power systems are getting more and more complex. At the same time as there is a growing requirement that power must be available all the time. We must therefore be able to do fast large-scale fault investigation thereby reducing the impact on people and businesses all over Finland," says Marcus Stenstrand, grid manager at Fingrid Oyj. "We realized that we needed to combine near-real-time big data analytics with external factors such as weather to increase the reliability of the grid and ensure the highest levels of service for our customers."

In the past, Fingrid had to collect data from disparate systems and databases manually -- which could take days, if not weeks, to get all the information required for root cause analysis. IBM's IoT based solution increases the automation of the system helping Fingrid to quickly identify issues and optimize maintenance scheduling and management. In addition, by connecting asset information with geographic location and financial data, the company can use sophisticated graphical visualizations to better understand maintenance and operating costs.

"Together, cognitive computing and Internet of Things are poised to transform whole industries," said Chris O'Connor, General Manager, Offerings, IBM Watson Internet of Things. "Nowhere is this more critical than the power industry where outages and system failures can have deep impact across business and society. Fingrid is leading the way using networks of sensors and advanced analytics to infuse the grid with intelligence, making it more resilient, reliable and secure."

Fingrid tapped IBM for an Internet of Things (IoT) solution in which system modules are connected to one another in a flexible manner ensuring the integrity of data moving between them. The ELVIS (an acronym of Electricity Verkko Information System) solution combines IBM Maximo software with other mission-critical systems, including ArcGIS mapping software from ESRI, Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management from Oracle, and, for the mobile-user interface, SAP Work Manager. Other system modules include geospatial asset modelling from Schneider Electric ArcFM, protection calculations from Electrocon CAPE, network calculations and network model management by Siemens PSS®E and PSS®ODMS, and the management of protection settings and testing IPS-EPIS™ Enterprise from Intelligent Process Solutions.

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