Instant Visibility of Distribution Network: An Essential to Run Electric Utility Efficiently

Published: Thu 10 Dec 2015
A blog entry by Sarwar Faridi

Contributed by:

Sarwar Faridi
Consultant & Business Lead K-Electric Smart Grid Project

Sarwar Faridi's Blog

Smart Grid Conceptualized: Monitoring & Control of the Operational Network from the feeding source up to the Consumer service Points in RT/NRT with respect to Power Flow, Energy Import/Export, Asset Condition Monitoring, Sent out & Consumed Energy, Consumer Billing & Invoicing, Outage Management, CIS, Distribution Network Management, Analytics & Reporting all under One Unified & Synchronized integrated OT & IT Landscape. Convergence of OT & IT builds Single Source of Data & the Ultimate Source for Business Intelligence.

OT encompasses AMI and SCADA Landscapes. Smart Meters have capability of Remote Disconnect/Reconnect, measuring & registering Import/Export of Energy & Power, Power Quality values, Events, Alarms and errors in Real Time and send them over communication network to meter Head End. Meters are installed across Distribution Network, at Feeder heads, Distribution Transformers in addition to the Consumer service points. In order to utilize meter data, Alerts, status, Events for Billing and Analytics and further integration with IT, AMI need to be integrated with Meter Data Management System. SCADA system Monitors and Controls the same Distribution Network through SCADA Sensors & Devices. Still the two OT systems function in Silo, although Smart Meters installed across the network can send utility power outage & restoration Alerts which can facilitate Engineer at Control Center to localize fault. Again to bridge the gap between Grid Operations and Business Processes, SCADA need to be integrated with Network Management System capable of DMS & OMS functionalities built on GIS mapped operational network, which is integrated with AMI for Utility Power Outage & Restoration status from Meter, Ping to Verify status, Remote Disconnect/Reconnect and CIS/IVR to better serve customers during Outage and Meter Data Management System to estimate, monitor, and forecast feeder loads. 

Enterprise Level IT landscape is the core system for utility business processes, which can generate limited Business Value without OT. The Objective of the Utility Business is Operational and Business Efficiency, which means Monitoring & Control of the Distribution Network to ensure minimum downtime, Corrective Maintenance based on Asset condition monitoring, Automatic meter reads, Billing & Invoicing synchronized with Meter Read available at the end of billing cycle, CIS/IVR integrated with AMI, Meter Data Management and Distribution Network Management System, controlled Technical & Commercial losses, optimum capacity utilization of the Real-Time Operational Network, Demand Management. All these can be achieved through Convergence of IT & OT and Expert Process Owners. OT generates tremendous valuable data which cannot produce Value to the Business until and unless the Users at each Functional Unit are well versed with OT&IT Processes, data it generates and input required by OT&IT processes; a few applications specific to Electric Power System, other that built in DMS operational & analytical functionalities:

·        Efficient Utilization of Installed Capacity

·        Maintain Balanced Distribution Network

·        Network Augmentation, Rehabilitation & Restructuring for the most Economical Power Distribution, based on Network Simulation.

·        Corrective maintenance based on Asset condition monitoring


  • Integrated IT & OT Landscape determines Ultimate Benefits of Smart Grid.
  • As Utility adopts Smart Grid Technology, it exposes Power System Parameters of Operational Network, which requires expertise to effectively utilize & enhance Revenue.