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Jacklin Altman25 Feb, 2020

The mystery behind AI and grid performance

With the proliferation of advanced metering infrastructure and hardware equipped with smart sensors, system operators are collecting data like never before. Advancements in cloud computing and data analytics are allowing users to glean more information from their data, but this also leads to new challenges. All of this new data means additional power grid complexities that may require Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address them, as the sheer volume of data alone is beginning to exceed human capabilities. But how exactly can AI help address power grid issues?

Artificial Intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines that mimics and contrasts human's natural intelligence and problem-solving abilities. In the world of data management, especially when it comes to mass quantities of data, AI can be invaluable. In the utilities space, there is tremendous value to putting power system data to work. It saves operators time, saves customers money, can provide predictive infrastructure maintenance, and can help avoid blackouts. However, are we using it to its full potential? Do we even know its full potential?

“Utilities have billions of dollars invested in hard assets and they use data to manage those assets. But data management falls into 'crawl, walk, and run' categories, and most utilities are crawling in their use of data right now,” says Kevin Walsh, OSIsoft Industry Principal for Transmission and Distribution. He went on to add that “for 75% of what utilities are doing, outside of maybe forecasting or managing capacity, AI is at the infancy stage and there is no real use case.”

The possibilities for how AI can affect the grid are endless. The idea of an autonomous grid would have sounded ludicrous just a few years ago, but now it's something that companies are thinking about and aspiring to pilot. Researchers are working to develop and deploy AI and ML to automate analytics, manage power flow, and catch outages.

However, we're just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to AI, ML, and their ability to change the power grid. Read the full story here.

Over 1,000 of the world's leading Power & Utilities companies use the PI system. Learn more about how OSIsoft is helping to transform the Power & Utilities space here

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Jacklin AltmanDigital Media ManagerJacklin is the Digital Media Manager and local food critic at OSIsoft. With over 7 years of experience in marketing, software, and social media, she writes about all things tech, marketing, and the PI System.
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