Using analytics to improve the efficiency of heat networks
A large power utility wanted to develop a data and analytics capability for the future management of its assets. The objective was to make better decisions in two time frames: short term to make better operating decisions and longer term to make better investments.
The project required detailed understanding of the engineering elements of steam and heat networks; plus impending changes in electricity regulation as utilities move from being DNOs to DSOs, with all the potential for distributed energy networks that can be optimised through data and analytics.
We developed a strategy that combined the company’s existing strengths in owning and maintaining physical assets, with new capabilities to use smart sensors, decision-making software based on real-time information and engineering-credible “digital twins” to allow improvement ideas to be simulated.
Our approach included:
- partnering with technology and new-entrant utility start-ups;
- consideration of the most promising ‘use cases’ and the steps required to develop Minimum Viable Products; and
- advice on recruitment and how to create an innovative “agile” culture within the business.
The client is now implementing an approach that links its legacy OSIsoft Pi data tags with a modern Product Lifecycle Management approach. It is working with AWS and control systems providers to deliver data and processing efficiency between cloud-based and edge-based solutions.
Alistair Borthwick, the utility’s Finance Director and project sponsor commented:
“SSE engaged Priestland Consulting on a very specific piece of work, involving tight timescales and some complex internal and external challenges. The dedication shown in leading the project through to completion was refreshing. I have no hesitation in recommending PCL to others and would welcome the opportunity to work with them again.”
MORE CASE STUDIES
CASE STUDY Supply chain strategy for highways productsThe Challenge National Highways were carrying out a review of the way in which noise barriers were procured and whether there were better ways to reduce cost and carbon and stimulate innovation and competition. The...
CASE STUDY Independent advice on a ‘digital twin’ for a water strategic systemThe Challenge Anglian Water’s Strategic Pipeline Alliance is delivering an ambitious plan to create a series of up to 500km of interconnecting pipelines and associated infrastructure to move...
CASE STUDY Implementing digital construction for a leading UK housebuilder The Challenge Our client needed to introduce a digital construction strategy to support business growth. They also needed to understand the breadth of the concept and its benefits....