Our patented software platform, the Signal Intelligence Engine (SIe), enables real-time, actionable insight from the electric distribution grid. Using Digital Signal Processing, the SIe provides operators and executives with powerful new intelligence based on real-time data. We use this insight to deliver efficiency optimization, detect cyber-physical threats and device failures, and better integrate distributed energy resources

Featuring a browser-based, graphical user interface that is used to monitor and control our suite of solutions, the flexible SIe platform and its control algorithms are highly scalable, can integrate with enterprise level applications, and have the ability to extend to thousands of distribution circuits across multiple substations.

“From day one, we’ve been focused on real-time signals rather than predictive models based on assumed loads. Our real-time insight is what truly distinguishes our technology from other solutions on the market.”  –  David Bell, Chief Scientist

With the SIe platform, our customers gain unparalleled access to, and understanding of, the operational behavior and real-time dynamics of equipment and power flows on their unique distribution circuits. To enable this, the SIe platform aggregates data from substation and feeder devices, as well as advanced metering infrastructure, every few seconds. The software then applies intelligent filtering, signal enhancement, and data extrapolation techniques. We leverage this real-time analytics capability in combination with our deep understanding of the electric grid to solve our customer’s most pressing challenges - from energy efficiency to grid security.

As utilities across the country look to invest in smart grid technology, improve energy efficiency and meet new state standards and regulations, Utilidata offers a cost-effective solution for demand reduction and grid stability.

We are the market leader and most advanced provider of Volt/VAR Optimization (VVO) automated voltage solutions in the world, and have successfully deployed more operational feeders with automated voltage control than any other company.

VVO makes the electric distribution system more efficient by using mechanical devices (such as voltage regulators and capacitor banks) to control voltage and reactive power, making Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) more effective. Using VVO and CVR, utilities and industrial clients can save energy and deliver electricity at optimum voltage levels, improving the efficiency of grid assets and the resiliency of the entire distribution system.

The Utilidata Advantage

With Grid Efficiency we deliver 25–50% greater voltage reduction than any other solution on the market, we decrease equipment operations by 20-40% from baseline operations; and, we are the only real-time VVO solution that has been proven to mitigate the volatile effects of distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar. Utilidata has consistently produced energy savings and demand reduction in the 3-5% range.

Our superior Measurement & Verification system is recognized across North America as the reference standard for the estimation and analysis of voltage optimization on electric distribution systems.

The animation below shows how the Signal Intelligence Engine powers Grid Efficiency by collecting and processing real-time data from the grid, enabling adaptive, coordinated control of smart grid devices for optimal decision-making and increased energy savings.

A National Solution to Energy Efficiency

If Utilidata’s Volt/VAR Optimization solution, Grid Efficiency, were deployed on all eligible circuits in the United States, our nation would experience an annual energy savings of 97,560,000,000 kWh. That would equate to a reduction in utility customers’ bills across all sectors - residential, commercial and industrial, of $9.84 billion every year.

To put that in perspective, an annual energy savings of 97,560,000,000 kWh is equivalent to:

  • Avoiding the emission of 67 million metric tons of CO2 that would have polluted the atmosphere
  • Removing the greenhouse gas emissions from 14.2 million passenger vehicles
  • Installing 18,600 wind turbines; or building 8,880 solar farms, which would be the size of approximately 171,000 football fields

The energy grid is vulnerable to cyber threats today as never before. Interconnectivity of devices and equipment is increasingly making the physical grid infrastructure accessible to remote attackers. This emerging vulnerability was powerfully demonstrated when Ukraine’s electric grid was attacked in the winter of 2015 and then again in the winter of 2016. The latter attack featured sophisticated malware, tailored specifically to the grid’s architecture, which sent targeted commands to devices and disrupted power for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians. These attacks serve to illustrate the need for a new set of cyber tools oriented towards operational technology, and particularly those which give grid operators the ability to see and understand anomalous behavior when it first begins.

Utilidata’s signal intelligence approach is uniquely positioned to provide the depth of behavioral anomaly detection required to secure the grid. The Signal Intelligence Engine (SIe) platform analyzes signals that describe the physical process of energy delivery on the electric grid. Utilidata’s Grid Security application then leverages this real-time visibility to identify behavioral anomalies using a combination of advanced proprietary algorithms. Continuous surveillance deep into the distribution grid provides a novel capability to detect attacks in progress, reconnaissance, asset deterioration, and device misconfiguration – enabling an immediate, informed response.

By combining the power of the Signal Intelligence Engine platform with advanced cyber-physical analytics and deep experience with industrial control systems, Utilidata is uniquely positioned to help its customers detect and respond to persistent attacks and reconnaissance deep within a utility's physical infrastructure.

Today’s smart grid must do more than provide energy in one direction –it must integrate the two-way flow of power from distributed energy resources (DERs) and accommodate new, connected technologies. While these technologies provide consumers with greater control over their energy use, they also create new complexities in grid management.

The reverse power flows that are generated from rooftop solar panels create significant volatility on the grid. A study conducted over a year in Michigan found that 5 kW solar installations produced reverse power flow 29% of the time (over half of daylight hours)1.
The US currently has 1.4 million solar installations connected to the grid. By 2022, this will be over 4 million2. The power generated from these installations changes continuously as clouds move overhead, creating significant volatility in voltage and power quality.
The US electric vehicle market has grown 32% annually from 2012 –2016, changing the way Americans use electricity. Each electric vehicle uses a tremendous amount of energy –as much as three entire households. Therefore, seemingly trivial uncertainties around where and when people will choose to charge their EVs may have enormous repercussions on grid stability.

Managing the complexity of these distributed resources requires a much deeper and broader behavioral visibility than is available to most utilities today. Utilidata’s Signal Intelligence Engine provides the critical real-time insight necessary to enable this new system of complex energy resources distributed at the grid’s edge.

Our technology will help utilities:

  • Plan for DER-siting based on grid conditions;
  • Identify previously undetected DER installations; and
  • Direct grid devices to compensate for the volatility of variable generation, maintaining grid stability.

 

1 “Photovoltaics in Distribution Systems - Integration Issues and Simulation Challenges”. Jens Schoene, Doug Houseman and Sean Morash, EnerNex
2 Solar Energy Industries Association. 26 June 2017