Skoltech thinks of digital transformation of power lines utilities

From February 6 to 10 energy experts gathered in Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), discussed new approaches to the design, construction and operational maintenance of overhead power lines in the dialogue with the developers of intelligent technologies for the power industry. The problem exists for a long time. Professionals are not satisfied with any growing accident rate in networks or the high costs of maintenance and repairs, nor the level of awareness about the state of power supply facilities.

Organizers of the engineering expert session (namely so this event is called) with the support of Skoltech Center for Energy Systems, convince that without dialogue between the practitioners who is going to use these technologies, and the developers of these technologies is impossible not only the effective development of new technologies, but also an understanding of how these practices may change especially under conditions of appearance of new technologies.img_3614

Representatives of software companies: FutureLab LLC, LLC «MIG», LLC «MobIn», LLC «Accenture» and CJSC «Leser Solutions» presented their developments, demonstrated their capabilities and shared vision of their implementation problems.

In the final phase of the session, Skoltech Rector, Academician Aleksandr Kuleshov actively took part in the debate. His questions and comments were addressed to each of the speakers. Participants of the session discussed the idea of integration of different developments in order to show potential consumers of this technologies in energy sector a systemic solution allowing to implement fundamental change in existing practices (instead of separated and isolated improvements).

According to views of participants of  the session – developers and energy experts – energy, following the most dynamic sectors of the global economy, should go in direction of digital transformation, which allows to get essential, in fact “explosive effects” of such a fundamental transition.

Developers of robotic power lines system CableWalker argue that the transition to 3D-design will ensure full control over the construction of power facilities. Digitalization of the energy infrastructure will allow to more efficiently manage the assets. More accurate diagnosis of the condition of each item will solve the problem of transition from costly planned repairs to preventive restoration of the normative state of objects through the well-timed detection of defects and deviations.

The rector expressed his confidence that joint efforts will make the development more attractive and assured that the resources and capabilities of Skoltech can provide developers with substantial assistance.

Organizers of the engineering expert session from FutureLab LLC point out that the form of an intensive combination of engineering thinking and activity on the development of advanced technology to the work of the expert community, aspiring to contemplate the future of the industry, has justified itself, and this practice will be continued. A significant event for the participants of the session become a Business session of EAEC[1] Business Council on the theme «Digital transformation EAEC economy» held in these days in the walls of Skoltech design. Organizers note the importance of substantial coincidence of orientation of debate in a more broader, intersectoral and international frame.

At a time when the world is experiencing next industrial revolution, which has already been called a revolution of digitalization and which promises to capture and alter virtually all spheres of human activity, there are technologies that can bring major changes in the energy sector. Energy companies closely observing new opportunities of diagnose of the state of the electrical network elements. One of these technology platforms is being developed by the specialists of the Ural with the support of the Skolkovo foundation.

Robotic power lines system CableWalker can take off from the ground station, sit on the wire or ground wire power lines and in the automatic mode, moving from the substation to the substation, to collect and process information about the state of the object to form lists of deficiencies, make recommendations to the expert system, and generate volumes of the repair work.

The project CableWalker – is not the only technology that gives an opportunity to significantly change the activity of power engineers. Currently, the Federal Grid Company is discussing the possibility of creating an integrated software and hardware complex, able to combine maximum opportunities for rapid and accurate assessment of the state of transmission lines, combine them with geographic information systems in order to linesmen experts can literally “see” any object and everything including invisible defects.

The discussion of the challenges and opportunities for the development of an energy grid system is open for all professionals and experts working in the field of energy, as well as in the field of robotics, information technology, as well as lawyers, economists, designers who work in the energy sector.

[1] EAEC – Eurasian economic community