A transmission systems operator (TSO) wanted to optimize maintenance practices and strengthen their grid control and monitoring capabilities. This would enable them to offer more efficient, reliable, and sustainable energy services. Before they could do that, they needed to enhance the way they managed critical assets and optimize asset performance and availability.
The TSO’s asset management involved navigating various challenges inherent to the complex and dynamic nature of power distribution systems.
One of the significant challenges was keeping an accurate and up-to-date inventory of assets. Tracking aging infrastructure required more time and effort as maintenance occurred more often and necessitated frequent changes to the inventory. To complicate things further, the TSO’s assets were a mixed set of equipment spanning various ages and conditions, which made keeping the inventory up-to-date even more challenging.
Having inaccurate and incomplete asset information led to increased downtime, greater maintenance requirements, a higher likelihood of failures, and costly upgrades and replacements. It also created many difficulties when planning upgrades or replacements and made it nearly impossible to have robust predictive maintenance strategies. All this resulted in increased operational costs and unplanned outages, impacting the overall grid reliability.
Another significant challenge was the vast amounts of data generated by modern electrical grids. These came from diverse sources, including sensors, IoT devices, and monitoring systems. The situation was further worsened by data siloing and lack of transparency. As a result, the TSO struggled to manage its data efficiently and had no visibility of its assets. It couldn’t derive meaningful insights for decision-making or collaborate easily across different departments.
The TSO’s journey started by identifying the relevant systems they wanted to modernize and by making decisions on how to access information (generating RDF triples from data sources vs virtualization). Ontotext worked closely together with their data architects to model and select the appropriate ontologies. These included ontologies for standards (CIM, IFC, ISO 15926-14) as well as ontologies for skills and competencies (ESCO and O*NET).
The resulting Electric Grid Assets knowledge graph enabled the TSO to overcome the inherent challenges of its asset management and optimize its practices. The graph served as a unifying layer, seamlessly integrating data from disparate sources. By establishing shared vocabularies and ontologies, it ensured a uniform interpretation and utilization of the data.
Ontotext’s solution also enriched the existing data with the relationships within the grid and uncovered previously hidden interdependencies. The complex semantic representation and context enabled a better understanding of crucial updates from IoT devices and monitoring systems. It also provided a dynamic and accurate snapshot of the grid’s status. All this enabled the TSO to be more proactive in its decision-making and enhanced the overall reliability of the grid.
The solution relies on open W3C standards such as RDF, OWL, and SPARQL ensuring interoperability and avoiding vendor locking. This also enables a fluid exchange of information across platforms, breaking down proprietary barriers and fostering a collaborative ecosystem.
The scalable architecture and capabilities of Ontotext’s knowledge graph base solution accommodated the volume and complexity of the TSO’s data. This provided the basis for effective asset management practices and modernization of network grid capabilities. With its real-time connectivity and adaptability to the ever-evolving electricity grid landscape, the solution enabled the TSO to have a more resilient, efficient, and future-ready electrical grid infrastructure.
Ontotext has delivered products and services to some of the leading TSOs in Europe and has helped them evolve their capabilities. We have participated in numerous commercial and research projects in this space. As a result, we understand the major pain points and have acquired invaluable experience in the practices that will be prevalent in the near future.