Insights from DistribuTECH 2017

Drones, augmented reality, wearables and edge-to-cloud solutions were the highlights of the largest annual electric power transmission and distribution conference in the U.S. This year’s DistribuTECH did not fail to deliver; bringing together the world’s smart utility community and technology leaders on all things energy in sunny San Diego, California. At the Intel booth, we showcased some of our coolest technology on the market, alongside demos from our partners at SaS Software, Candi Controls, Alarm.com, Schneider Electric, Advantech, and more. If you didn’t get a chance to stop by our booth this year, here’s an overview of the demos.

Increasing worker mobility and collaboration

Ensuring field workers have the right information at the right time is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must have. Connected wearable technologies are minimizing the non-value-added movement of people by providing relevant and actionable data to workers at the right time to avoid safety hazards and improve efficiency.

Bringing faster, stronger analytics to utilities

As electric utility companies begin collecting more and more data from the grid, they need to understand which data is relevant, what to store, and what to ignore. Using its extensive experience in getting more value from data, SAS integrates streaming data with predictive analytics and visualization to help generate useful insights and improve decision making.

Connecting grid assets

Intel has worked with a number of vendors to develop robust and hardened IoT gateways shown in this demo. The gateways help OEMs and SIs accelerate the delivery of solutions in the energy industry, particularly with respect to distribution grid management systems. On display were devices from ADLINK, Advantech, Dell, and NEXCOM.

Pursuing new lines of business

With the help of IoT technologies, utilities can more easily participate in new market segments. One example is the offering from Alarm.com that integrates all mission critical systems in the home into a single service. Another opportunity is to create smart building management solutions for small and mid-size buildings using the Intel® Building Management Platform integrated with CANDI PowerTools.

At the end of the week, more than 12,000 professionals from over 78 countries joined us to network and discuss everything from grid optimization to analytics, IoT, cyber security and more. Attendees took the opportunity to ask us questions, schedule informal meetings to discuss partnerships, and demo many of our latest technology offerings that are helping build a smarter, more reliable energy grid.

One topic that seemed to come up repeatedly this year is how to deal with the growing number of distributed energy resources (DERs) and their ever-growing microgrids. Some fear the energy grid is expanding faster than today’s control methods and tools can handle. We’re addressing those concerns with IoT-based smart edge devices that can monitor voltage and produce power quality data by collecting, digitizing, and reporting metrology data using high performance utility networks for increased stability and reliability.

What are some of your key findings from this year’s conference? Questions? Tell us below.

We’re looking forward to seeing you next year in San Antonio for DTECH 2018!

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