With the ever Increasing ‘demand’ and shortage of’ Supply’, the key is not just in being efficient, but ‘Smart’. And this couldn’t be more apt for the utility companies which are traditionally found to be struggling with a variety of issues: Be it in transforming the grid, Improving generation and performance, Complying with government regulations, optimizing resource consumption or producing clean energy. However, there is one critical device that has the capability to make a positive impact across the value chain of the utility company – it’s Smart Meter.
And an efficient Smart Meter solution can turn around a utility company’s traditional ways of collecting and using data. It has the capability to collect data in an interval of as low as 5 minutes for smarter data management resulting in:
- Better communication between the meter and the enterprise systems:
- Load forecasting
- Outage management
- Optimize energy purchases
- Resolve service issues
- Improve power reliability
- Help customers reduce consumption and cut costs
Millions of smart meters and billions of readings; what are the challenges?
- Reduction in load time
The time series data generated by millions of smart meters have to be loaded just as quickly it is produced. Hence it is imperative for the utility companies to have a data management solution that will reduce the load time considerably.
- Storing the data
The billions of readings collected have to be stored and queried efficiently. The stored data could be used for analysis or to comply with government regulations which requires utility companies to provide access to historical data, analyze data for improving efficiency or reducing energy use.
- Inefficient IT hardware planning
With the exponential rise in data, companies may tend to add additional IT hardware infrastructure to meet the requirements. This will have a direct impact on the overall IT budget in a big way, and will amplify the risks associated by creating inefficiency without having sufficient data protection strategies.
- Having an inappropriate data management solution
Today’s solutions use data management techniques to handle time series data, and this will not be a viable option for tomorrow. The velocity of data produced by the millions smart meters will only rise exorbitantly and it will be sensible to have a solution that has the native capability to handle Time series, not just for today but for years to come.
Why should Utility companies look at IBM Informix?
IBM Informix TimeSeries software is a robust and scalable relational data base management solution which has the proven native capability to handle the challenges of specialized time series data. It basically consists of a high speed loader designed especially for the enormous demands of time series data, rapidly loading data as it is produced. Coupled with this feature, Informix also has the innovative storage approach, whereby the storage requirements are significantly reduced.
Let me take a moment here to guide you to some useful links which will complete my take on this topic :
- A recent IBM paper, Build Smart Metering Solutions with IBM Informix TimeSeries, explores how smart meters change how utility companies capture data, which creates new possibilities for the use of that data http://bit.ly/ISMDMW
- Here is the latest IBM Informix Benchmark study, which demonstrates Informix’s Unprecedented Performance & Scalability for Meter Data Management. Read the results showing Ten Million Meters Scalable to One Hundred Million Meters for Five Billion Daily Meter Readings http://ibm.co/oEGWA6
- Here’s is the link to the latest video on IBM Informix titled: Smart Meters need Smart data management http://youtu.be/q0sqYyG7Jqk
I hope that you will find these links useful.
Until next time,