Creating Value From Data Through Real Time Insights

By inspiring new models through big data, Energyworx helps utilities adapt in a competitive industry.
Published: Wed 09 Sep 2015

Energyworx, a cloud-based software as a service provider and data aggregator, aims to enable the energy evolution by ensuring that the energy world can keep up with the immense and ever-growing data from the smart grid and its meters.

Through more efficient processes, the company aims to help utilities get the most value from the data they have accumulated.

“The market and industry is undergoing major changes and Energyworx wants to inspire new models through big data in order to help the industry adapt quicker,” explains Matthew Ross,Energy Strategist, Energyworx, who will be presenting the upcoming webinar, Enabling the energy evolution, changing the way the energy sector understands data through real time insights.

He says that the company is delivering a data aggregation and analytics cloud service that is disrupting the global energy and utilities market. “We see this disruption as a positive term because we are providing the energy industry with new tools to help them stay ahead in a highly competitive market. Our features are competitive and adapt quickly to market changes.”

He adds that the goal is to use the data and inspire actionable information, thereby creating new business concepts and models. “Because we are leveraging the best cloud platform services, we are able to do this without being limited by scale and speed and obsolete pricing models.”

Getting value out of the data tsunami

A large utility in 2015 can expect to see a 3000+ fold increase in five years in the amount of data that must be captured, ordered, stored and analysed in near real time.

The current IT landscape within the utility space is forced to handle this massive growth in data reads. It is questionable and probably unrealistic to assume that current systems will be able to handle this from a cost and performance perspective.

“It is therefore important that utilities hire a vendor like Energyworx to handle this wave of data and rather focus on their core business which is delivering energy and services to their customers,” explains Mr Ross.

Smart meter-the enabler

The increasing quantity of data from the smart meter, if used properly, has numerous benefits for both customers and utilities. For utilities, it can bring improvements in operational efficiency and reliability, as well as consumer engagement. For the consumer, it can lead to behavioural insights into consumption..

While the smart meter provides  many benefits, it should be seen as an enabler which allows the industry to drive new business concepts through the data it provides. It’s all about using the data effectively in order to gain greater value.

There is much to gain from the diversity of data and conventional utility systems cannot handle this endless flow of diverse data.

Mr Ross explains that Energyworx is able to translate this data from various data sources and create one universal language on their platform. The company takes the complexity of data aggregation and correlation and simplifies it for the industry.

The smart meter is driving the data challenge but is also providing opportunities, along with other sensors on the grid.

Google Cloud Platform provides resilience

Two years ago Energyworx became a Google Cloud Platform partner and started leveraging Google’s cloud to scale the platform to higher levels in order to deliver real-time insights to individual businesses and consumers.[Energyworx Disrupts The Energy World Using Google’s Cloud Platform].

By becoming a strategic partner with Google, Energyworx can optimise its operations further and grow globally at a faster rate. Energyworx opted for the Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud computing model. 

What makes the Google Cloud Platform so attractive is that it has been built by Google itself. Google has developed its own hardware, infrastructure applications and services and are in control of it all. Every time Energyworx uses a service in the stack, it helps the firm improve its software. It cuts down on the time needed for development and fixing various components that they make available.

While Energyworx provides cloud agnostic software which can run on any cloud platform, Energyworx prefers to use Google since they offer superior technology and a better pricing level.

Google’s cloud platform also supports autoscaling, which means that if companies need more capacity (processing power as well as storage), the solution will automatically scale up without the burden of monitoring system services, maintaining hardware and infrastructure. This only limit is a set budget per day.

This solution gives companies unlimited scalability and greater flexibility, especially relevant for utilities whose needs differ daily and increase exponentially. Besides automatically scaling up, the function also scales down when it is no longer needed.

Energyworx’s platform-3 basic concepts

Energyworx provides a data collection and crunching platform which can handle large volumes of meter read data at top speeds. The platform is based on three concepts:

Gathering –The platform is utility agnostic and anyone within the energy and utility industry can use the engine and retrieve actionable insights. The engine uses open source technology, open standards and proven architectural design patterns. Energyworx can configure any type of gathering adapter to allow feed-in of data from any source. The engine supports many country-specific utility standards and best of all, the service is free of charge.

Crunching - By crossing various temporal data sources and correlating behavioural information, Energyworx aggregates and consolidates revolutionary new insights and displays them in real time. The system can calculate hundreds of billions of context-enriched data points in minutes. Energyworx tags and groups the data, annotates events and generates steering signals for efficient grid operations, helping utilities gain detailed actionable insights into consumption behaviour and enabling them to pinpoint exceptions, discover trends and cycles. The system will pick up incorrect data from meters which, for instance, help deliver accurate utility bills, saving utilities a great deal of money. Faulty and missing data is corrected by the platform using various sophisticated estimation methods.The incredibly fast processing speeds allow calculated and derived data to be available instantly. The more data you crunch, the less you pay per data source. Here, utilities pay per storage point.

Use- Third parties can connect to the engine through Energyworx’s open standards application programming interface (API) which can be used to integrate with different types of systems and applications. The gathered data and crunched information can be used for different purposes like grid optimization and reliability, energy management and device control (home automation), energy theft detection, meter data management, energy efficiency, consumer engagement and social sharing of behaviour. The platform is offered on top of several popular cloud platforms, in a shared multi-tenant environment or private cloud. Here, utilities pay per processing hour.

This cost effective model enables utilities to scale over time.

Giving utilities the tools to succeed

During the webinar, Mr Ross will point to three use cases:

  • Energy balancing-the challenge here is to maintain and improve performance level of the grid. Energyworx’s solution will help to forecast total electricity usage, reduce energy waste, provide accurate predictions and balance renewable energy.

  • Business to consumer billing—energy bills can be sensitive to mistakes and this solution will help process data accurately.  Huge investments in new business functions are not necessary

  • Social energy-here, the data helps utilities to connect better with customers. For instance, competition through gamification.

Mr Ross adds, “We are giving the utility the tool to carry out everything from grid optimisation to consumer engagement. The platform is user friendly, it offers smooth integration, is extremely fast and complies with strict privacy regulations."

With people and communities taking more control of their energy, it makes sense for people to have an accurate and holistic insight into their own energy production and consumption.

 

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