Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World The Role of Workforce, Asset and Network Management Systems in Supporting an Intelligent Electric Network

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1 White Paper Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World The Role of Workforce, Asset and Network Management Systems in Supporting an Intelligent Electric Network

2 Contents Contents... 2 Executive Summary... 3 Components of a Smart Grid World... 4 Asset-Centric... 5 Customer-Centric... 8 Supporting Systems Requirements... 9 Conclusion Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World

3 Executive Summary The utility industry world is abuzz today with the promise of Smart Grids (also known as Intelligent Networks). Pilot projects are underway, vendor product offerings are proliferating, industry publications are presenting visionary plans, and trade meetings are posing solutions to implementation issues. And, regulators are increasingly interested as they seek to ensure grants awarded to Smart Grid projects are being used properly and are promoting the proper standards. There is significant enthusiasm and excitement for achieving improved customer service, strengthened grid reliability, environmentally green energy and even economic renewal. However, the promise of Smart Grids on the horizon cannot yet match the reality on the ground. Much work, research and development remains, but it is certainly true from utility, customer, vendor and regulatory perspectives that all concerned are working hard and hopefully to achieve the high-profile ambitions of Smart Grids. There are certain aspects of a working Smart Grid, however, that are often not at the forefront in considering preparatory work. One of these overlooked aspects relates to the underlying systems infrastructure that will be needed to keep an intelligent network running effectively post-implementation. Specifically, there are operating assets (indeed, a whole new class of such assets), along with the data produced from those devices, that will need to be monitored, managed, reported, repaired and, at times, replaced. And, all of this work will need to be done at the same time the existing grid infrastructure requires and receives ongoing maintenance, repair and operation. This paper describes how utilities might approach these systems challenges, utilizing existing technology solutions firmly linked in to the intelligent distribution network. Asset/work management, network management and Mobile workforce management systems all can and should play a big role in a utility s planning, implementation and operation of this new Smart Grid world. Indeed, our thesis is that Smart Grids will, in fact, require significant supporting operational solutions to achieve their full promise. Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World 3

4 Components of a Smart Grid World There will be many parts in a fully evolved and operating Smart Grid. Spanning the energy flow from generation and transmission to distribution, these include smart meters, smart substations, distributed generation, renewable energy and many other related parts. These components include functions needed for Smart Grid operation such as real-time simulation and contingency analysis, distributed generation and alternate energy sources, self-healing wide-area protection and islanding, demand response and dynamic pricing and energy markets participation, among others. The underlying principle in all of these, however, is one of structuring an integrated system that contains shared information continuously optimized to produce intelligent responses to changing conditions in the Smart Grid. This focus constitutes the external-facing (customers and regulators) aspects of the solution. Our focus in this paper, however, is on another part of the overall solution that has an inward-looking perspective (to the utility itself and its supporting contractors and vendors). That focus is on a group of components related to smart asset/network/workforce management, including the voluminous data those systems need that the Smart Grid will produce when in full operation. To understand this aspect, we should review the design objectives and means of a traditional grid asset and network management approach, supported by a Mobile workforce management framework. Utilities must address a wide spectrum of work management, asset management and workforce management requirements in supporting the grid, be it traditional or smart. Taking an asset-centric view for the moment (as opposed to customer-centric, equally important), utilities must be able to develop assets, operate assets and maintain assets. Each of these has very different challenges, as seen in Figure 1 below. Figure 1 Complex Work: Cost management is key business driver Long-cycle duration Extensive planning Scheduling for in-house and contractor crews WORK & MOBILE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SPECTRUM DEVELOP ASSETS OPERATE ASSETS MAINTAIN ASSETS Service, Repair Outage and Trouble: Customer satisfaction and cost reduction are key business drivers Short-cycle duration Optimized schedule & logistics for mobile fleets High volume Maintenance and Inspection: Asset utilization is key business driver Varied duration Scheduled activities for planned work Specialized technician or crew BUSINESS PROCESS 4 Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World

5 Asset-Centric Developing assets is typically a complex, multi-task undertaking involving carefully planned work, extended periods of time, multiple crew types and skills and, potentially, contractors. Operating assets, however, is typically a high-volume, short-duration activity, with mostly unplanned orders for individual field workers. Maintaining assets is an amalgam of the first two, with work that is planned and scheduled involving individual technicians or crews working varying durations. Supporting Smart Grids involves these very same breakdowns of work, yet the tools, scheduling, skills and durations can significantly vary from what many utilities are accustomed to. Even with that, these are all still network assets to be developed, operated and maintained. What is particularly new, however, is the amount and types of data these new assets produce, and the time immediacy they will require. This new voluminous data presents four new challenges: 1. Data Flows With such a volume and frequency of new data points in the smart assets, how does a utility determine what data is important as opposed to what is just noise? In its implementation of a Smart Grid in Boulder, Colorado, Xcel Energy has an additional 30,000+ distribution data points to sort through. Is all that data equally significant? 2. Asset Criticality All assets are critical, of course, but in the past the upstream SCADA-measured assets (at the substation level, for example) were considered most critical. In a Smart Grid, criticality can extend further downstream (to a local transformer, for example) since these intelligent assets are expected to be just that intelligent, albeit on a smaller scale. Such assets can now help better avoid outages (large or small) and can also provide continual real-time analysis of grid health, including diagnostics to help cure it. Are all such assets equally significant? 3. More Assets With extensive asset deployments in a Smart Grid, there are many more demand response-related assets to manage (that is, develop, operate and maintain) than ever before. A modest-sized Smart Grid implementation could easily exceed 600,000 new assets in the ground or air. How does a utility get its arms around such a massive growth of distributed asset infrastructure? 4. Organizational Changes The distribution operational structure may well have to change to meet these new challenges, in that a Smart Grid can significantly alter how a utility manages outages, distribution assets, faults, switching orders, work crew scheduling and asset/network management in general. Skill types and levels from top to bottom may have to change as well, implying not only training but change management. How does a utility quickly change its operating structure? There is great value to be gained in addressing these challenges to fully and properly support a Smart Grid. Better managing expensive Smart Grid assets can lead to extended life of that equipment, and thus a utility s distribution assets acquisition demands can be lowered by 10 percent or more, and on-hand inventory levels reduced percent. With smart asset diagnostics and repair capabilities combined with more efficient crew routing and scheduling, regulatory fines can be reduced and workforce productivity improved as much as 20 percent. What kinds of systems are needed to achieve these gains? Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World 5

6 Asset-Centric Figure 2 shows a possible approach. This topography illustrates the flow of data and interaction among three very important families of systems: Mobile workforce management (MWFM), Mobile asset management (EAM), and network management (NM) that consists of SCADA, distribution management systems and outage management systems. Work to be done can originate in either EAM or NM systems and immediately (without intervention) flow to the MWFM system as field actionable. The results would flow back to the originating system and to the other host system as well. It is vitally important to ensure both upstream systems are cognizant of actions taken on field assets. Using a grammatical analogy, EAM or NM are nouns or subjects of a sentence. MWFM thus becomes the verb. After it acts, data is returned to the upstream systems now positioned as objects in the sentence describing that grid asset. Figure 2 SCADA/DMS/OMS Meter data (near real-time data) Real-time monitoring and control Real-time load calibration Network analysis Tracing and dynamic coloring Fault location, isolation and restoration Outage analysis and report Trouble call management Switch order management Restoration order / Fault and equipment data Crew locations / Restoration status GIS / Engineering mgmt. Design & location Connectivity model & asset updates EAM Maintenance optimization Maintenance decisions EWFM: SERVICE SUITE Workload forecasting Project portfolio mgmt. Document mgmt. Work plan Work status Engineering documents Predictive failure Asset design and registry Work planning Materials and permitting Smart asset tracking / Tagging Real-time asset restoration Complex work design As built / As maintained Schedule and dispatch Proactive maintenance and inspection Reactive service and outage repair Complex work execution 6 Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World

7 Asset-Centric System of Record is a term oft-used in the utility industry. For such reference purposes, EAM (supported by a geographic information system (GIS), of course) is the system of record for the asset, NM is the system of record for actions taken on the grid, and MWFM is the system of record for the work performed and workforce that did it. Any of these systems alone is a powerful tool; properly integrated with relevant data flowing amongst them, the combination is a major supporting and systematic asset infrastructure for a Smart Grid world. Figure 3 shows the flow of data in such an integrated solution. Figure 3 Field Operations Control Center Field Supervision Operations Dashboard Mobile Order Details & Completion Dispatch Mapping Workforce Optimization Document Management Mobile Mapping & GIS Workforce k orce Availability t Forecasting & Planning Dispatch best crew for the job Communicate accurate and timely information Forecast workforce accurately Manage switch orders effectively Fault Location Outage Analysis Real -Time Network Model Switch Order Management Restoration Switching Analysis Switching & Tagging Distribution SCADA Volt / Var Optimization Distribution Power Flow Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World 7

8 Customer-Centric Shifting our focus from the assets to the customers, it is also clear that the demands of a Smart Grid customer will differ in some ways from a traditional customer. With intelligent devices in or near their homes and businesses, these customers will expect quicker response and restoration times. Furthermore, they will need better and more detailed explanations of what is occurring in an outage, for example, and what the utility is doing about it. They will also expect tighter appointment windows and more explanatory billing. In short, the Smart Grid customer will want greater control. To achieve these demands, the utility will have to provide far greater and integrated workflow communication between the control center and the field operations workforce. The control center today already has plenty to do. Responsible for switch order management, fault analysis, real-time network modeling and many other activities, the center is at the heart of efficient grid operation, smart or not. For its part, field operations is equally busy as it fulfills its duties for outage responses, customer and meter services work and grid infrastructure inspections and maintenance work. All of these and many other duties combine to execute control center directions in the field and on the ground or in the air. Figure 4 shows the workflow components that are vital in a Smart Grid world where these two groups must closely work together, emphasizing four areas in particular: Figure 4 Substation data Substation data Outage mgmt (NM) Outage mgmt (NM) 1. Dispatching the best crew (skills, location, equipment and materials) for the job 2. Communicating accurate and timely information about the order, especially data arising from smart assets that field techs must know 3. Forecasting better the expected workload by geography and skills, to ensure field resources are available where and when they are needed 4. In the case of outages, managing the process of planning, executing and documenting switching orders Substation data & failures Substation data & failures Outage identification Outage identification Topology updates & Topology sensing data updates & sensing data Distribution mgmt (NM) Distribution mgmt (NM) Near real-time meter data Meter data Near real-time meter data Meter data Asset Asset restoration restoration EAM EAM Predictive failure Predictive failure Maintenance optimization Maintenance optimization Near real-time asset decisions Near real-time asset decisions Smart asset tracking / tagging Smart asset tracking / tagging WEB SERVICES WEB SERVICES EWFM EWFM Maintenance decisions Workforce management Maintenance decisions Real-time asset restoration Workforce management Proactive maintenance Real-time asset restoration Replacement decisions Proactive maintenance Root cause analysis Replacement decisions Root cause analysis Smart asset management Asset registration Smart asset management Asset registration Performance measurement Performance measurement Asset Asset registration registration Install schedule schedule maintain/ maintain maintain maintain/ maintain/ maintain/ restore maintain maintain maintain/ restore/ maintain/ restore/ restore restore/ replace restore/ replace Distributed Generation Meters Devices Substations replace Distribution replace Distributed Generation Meters Devices Substations Distribution Install Maintenance/ Maintenance/ outage & fault outage identification & fault identification 8 Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World

9 Supporting Systems Requirements Although they work together in a Smart Grid world, each of the three solution components outlined above has features, benefits and requirements that are unique to it in the context of a Smart Grid. Although many, what are the most important of these? Starting with asset management, AM should be able to: 1. Predict potential failure of a smart asset based on measurements received from SCADA or NM. From an AM program standpoint, this enables the utility to obtain the last gasp of work from assets, affording just-in-time retirement and replacement. 2. Optimize maintenance timing and processes, with received distribution data used to determine maintenance priorities; additionally, AM would create an actual work order to be executed by MWFM. 3. Support near real-time asset decision-making, with predictive asset-modeling capabilities built on real-time data. 4. Enable tagging and tracking of all smart assets involved in the Smart Grid, using AM to help manage the rollout of these assets as well as integrating with other asset reporting mechanisms to gain better predictive and analysis capabilities on smart asset performance. 5. Enable smart assets to provide greater reliability and performance, with fewer and less lengthy outages, shorter restoration times and lower overall costs; customers and regulators will expect nothing less. 6. Provide more detailed and precise asset location data, from purchase through retirement, including accurate latitude/longitude GPS positioning. Now turning to network management, NM should be able to: 1. Pinpoint and diagnose Smart Grid issues and automatically direct corrective action to be taken in the control center or field through AM or MWFM, or both. 2. Determine the state of the network in real time. 3. Portray in real-time the asset connection status and topology for use by downstream systems and personnel. 4. Conduct failure notification for appropriate assets to downstream systems and personnel. 5. Provide remote access monitoring and reporting of smart assets. Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World 9

10 Supporting Systems Requirements In looking at workforce management, MWFM should be able to: 1. Increase productivity in the field by eliminating or greatly reducing the need for crews to search for an outage cause location. 2. Enable proactive maintenance in conjunction with AM, where crews can perform work on other assets (smart or not) while at a location. 3. Perform reliable field root cause analysis, where network issues can be pinpointed and diagnosed, with results sent back to NM. 4. Provide smarter customer-related services, including more precise appointments, self-service Web portals and immediate back office connection to and registration of new network assets. 5. Conduct more accurate and analytical crew performance measurement. 6. Better utilize a greatly increased volume of data in the field, to perform work and reduce restoration time. 10 Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World

11 Conclusion The electric utility industry, and indeed the entire commercial and consumer customer base, still has much to learn about what the Smart Grid world may look like five, 10 or 20 years from now. As always, much of what is now assumed will change, technology will evolve, and people will adapt. But, even at this early stage it is clear that this new Smart Grid will not be able to meet or exceed expectations for it without the involvement of key supporting systems existing today such as asset management, network management and workforce management. These systems together can go a long way towards gathering the right and necessary Smart Grid data and making it available and actionable to obtain the benefits everyone is demanding. The future for all of these systems, integrated together to support a fully functional Smart Grid, is brighter than ever. About ABB ABB provides industry leading software and deep domain expertise to help the world s most asset intensive industries such as energy, utilities and mining solve their biggest challenges, from plant level, to regional network scale, to global fleet-wide operations. Our enterprise software portfolio offers an unparalleled range of solutions for asset performance management, operations and workforce management, network control and energy portfolio management to help customers reach new levels of efficiency, reliability, safety and sustainability. We are constantly researching and incorporating the latest technology innovations in areas such as mobility, analytics and cloud computing. We provide unmatched capabilities to integrate information technologies (IT) and operational technologies (OT) to provide complete solutions to our customers business problems. Supporting Systems for a Smart Grid World 11

12 Contact us ABB Inc. International: North America Toll Free: Europe, Middle East, Africa, India: +44 (0) The information contained in this document is for general information purposes only. While ABB strives to keep the information up to date and correct, it makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in the document for any purpose. Any reliance placed on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. ABB reserves the right to discontinue any product or service at any time. Copyright 2015 ABB. All rights reserved.

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