The energy transition is in progress and there is a lot at stake

Things do not change overnight, but everything could go so much faster. The knowledge and technology for change are here, but so are different political contexts, conflicts of interest and business priorities. Digpro plays an important role in society, affecting many people. But we are not alone. And the greatest effect is the one we generate together with others. Here we want to lead the way – from words to action.

Empowering the energy transition with increasing speed is our commitment. It is also our promise to customers, ourselves, and the world we share.

The energy transition spans from producing energy to how it is consumed. Our expertise lies in energy distribution – this is what we do. 

Digpro’s role

Digpro has always been an enabler. It is part of our DNA, from the digitalization of utility programs in the early 90s to making data visible, accessible, and actionable for utilities and telecom today. We have worked with and for electricity distribution companies for over 30 years. Our systems are developed not only for you, but also with you.

Electric distribution challenges

Today, electric distribution companies are facing a host of challenges. We consume more and more energy, and the amount will keep increasing. The electric distribution networks we have are not built for this exceeded consumption. Additionally, we use different energy sources, many of which are volatile, such as weather-dependent ones. Consumer behavior is also changing, causing the predictability of what energy is produced versus consumed even more difficult.

It is needless to say that a lot has to be done regarding the energy transition, and how to get on with it in a sustainable manner. Nevertheless – a lot of solutions are already available. And at Digpro, we have spent over 30 years developing a system with numerous functions that support electric distribution companies.

The main principle of dpPower, Digpro’s Network Information System (NIS), is that it allows electric distribution companies to take complete control of their network – from planning and designing to building, operating, and maintaining. Within these phases, what we call the Network Lifecycle Management, information regarding the physical electrical network is digitalized. This information creates a Digital Twin.

Analyzing the network to forecast production and consumption

With a Digital Twin, electric distribution companies can analyze the network and get an understanding of where and when there are peaks and lows regarding both production and consumption. The collated data provides forecasts and predictabilities which are invaluable. With analyzing and forecasting, existing networks can be efficiently used. It also supports when balancing volatile sources against changing consumption patterns. 

Digital Twin created in dpPower, with analyzing capabilities

Digital Twin

Short- and midterm forecasting

Short-term forecasting refers to what is happening in the electric distribution network now, within hours and up to two days. As a foundation for the forecasting, statistical consumption and production pattern is generated from electrical meters and weather prognosis. To improve the forecast, real-time data is then used to understand volatile conditions, such as sudden weather changes that might affect energy production, or unpredicitve consumer patterns that are not captured by statistical meter data. 

Mid-term forecasting refers to what happens in the electric distribution network from one day to one month. By predicting this, planned operations can be balanced accordingly.

Short- and midterm forecasting provides excellent support for electric distribution companies in a host of scenarios. To mention a few:

  • Ensuring that industry production that peaks during workdays has sufficient electricity for production.
  • Providing electricity to a specific housing area where consumption is likely to peak after office and school hours.
  • Balancing the grid in the case of an overcast, calm wind day where little energy from weather-dependent sources is produced.
  • Re-directing electricity during planned outages to avoid power cuts.

It supports planning which allows for an even distribution from grid to consumers.

Long-term forecasting

Long-term forecasting refers to what will happen in the electric distribution network in the time spanning up to 10 years. It relies on seasonal and statistical weather reports, as well as historical and statistical data related to production and consumption.  

Amongst others, long-term forecasting allows electric distribution companies to:

  • Optimizing old infrastructure and using it in the best possible manner.
  • Planning for new grids, should new infrastructure be needed.
  • Allowing for new energy sources to be included in the grid, for example, Distributed Energy Resources (DER).
  • Identifying potential locations for energy storage. 

With long-term forecasting, electric distribution companies use the full life cycle of the network when planning for large projects. When new grids for new housing and industry developments are required, substantial investments are at stake. Accurate data, available from dpPower, supports better decisions.

Process support and automations

The energy transition inevitably calls for a lot of changes. New processes need to be established, and existing ones often need to be modified. dpPower has substantial support for process management, of which many can be automated. Providing that the data is correct, a host of time consuming processes that require manual tasks can be accurately performed by the system instead of skilled staff, whose expertise can be put into practice in more rewarding tasks. One example is how our customer E.ON automized the process for solar panel application. Electric distribution companies can both scale up and speed up – a lot can already be done. And a lot is in the imminent plans for future releases.