AI & the ‘Power Sector’

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The inclusion of Artificial Intelligence practically in every field is the new world order of acceptance (or) let’s say The Mandalorian philosophy of “This is the Way”!! The future is going to be a fusion of Artificial Intelligence and its tryst with Human potential. This change holds good for the power sector as well – the energy sector, worldwide, is facing growing challenges relating to rising demand patterns and the lack of analytical tools to pre-empt them beforehand. This scenario is pushing energy companies to embrace AI to formulate the usage of power that is being fed to the Grid.

Emerging Markets

The emerging markets are facing a different problem altogether where access to energy is directly related to progress. As per the November 2019 report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), over 860 million people around the globe don’t have access to electricity, most of them being in the emerging economies. These pose a strong reason for access to energy being critical for human health and safety. Renewable and sustainable energy are going to be key in penetrating these markets in a much faster way.

The availability of affordable and sustainable energy is the primary goal of countries that form part of the emerging markets. These markets provide an interesting battleground for AI companies who can minimize energy waste, lower input costs, and achieve a faster go-to-market. Additionally, AI can act as a catalyst to deliver hybrid energy – a combination of conventional and renewable energy – creating low carbon energy systems.

Countries such as India have realized the potential of hybrid energy and are ramping up the production of renewable energy. Over the years they have installed capacities of over 75GW from various renewable sources such as wind, solar, water, etc. These innovations would require an AI-powered tool to manage smart grids that can receive energy and intuitively decide on the usage format. The AI algorithms that are developed by many companies can help regulate and stabilize a grid in seconds without having to wait for decisions to be made. This saves a lot of time and effort and more importantly energy becomes accessible to a majority of people.

The robustness of an AI-powered model can bring value to multiple target segments. For example, low-income countries can opt for a pay-as-you-go smart energy solution instead of using firewood or kerosene. An AI-powered home energy solution can read the usage needs and adjust power output to the most optimal requirement. This way the customer eliminates excess payment and the grid uses only the energy that is required. Excess renewable energy that is being stored during low demand times can be used when there is an increase in demand and this process can be automated with the advent of AI. Not just that the more data the AI system accumulates it becomes easier for it to predict the spike in the demand pattern and convert the smart-grid into an agile transmission tool with lesser human intervention.

AI for the Larger Good

The other issue looming in the power sector is ‘Fault Prediction’. Sectors such as Automobile have started embracing Artificial Intelligence for better inventory management and more importantly to identify the breakdown of machinery beforehand saving them millions of dollars. The emphasis on renewable energy and a faster time to market has got the power plants thinking. Most of them are adapting to newer technologies, which has become the new norm, to monitor equipment failure, and to improve the maintenance schedules.

The usage of IoT and AI in power plants has improved efficiency and reliability significantly. Most of the power plants have significant historic data that is a treasure trove of usage patterns and equipment maintenance details. Predictive analytics plays a significant role in understanding these data and providing a better picture (solution) to the plant manager. So is it safe to say only AI as a technology is enough to detect fault within a power plant, the answer to that will be a ‘no’ – UK’s national grid use drones to monitor wires and pylons that transmit electricity. Equipped with high-resolution infrared cameras these drones capture images of grid lines across England and Wales and transmit the data to a central system. AI is then used to identify the condition of the power asset and determine whether they need to be replaced. In short, AI is more of a supplement (an essential one!) to the existing systems. AI is going to be the catalyst for the future and technology that is going to propel renewable energy to newer heights.

“The Energy industry is fast catching up with the rest of the world in embracing AI. This is evident especially in the transmission and distribution business, and progressively in the generation side. Barriers for AI in Energy as a mainstream technology are diminishing by the day, immaterial of the age of the asset. “ says Navin Kumar, Managing Director, Navsar Engineering International Pte. Ltd.

Navsar has partnered with Keemurai, an ‘AI Based Smart Tool for Better Operability’ to help power plants to monitor production, consumption, and disruption patterns. Their proprietary tool ‘FAKT-A.I.’ provides ‘Energy Efficiency as a Service’ to clients and helps them analyze data & improve their efficiencies through predictive analytics, thus saving valuable time, money & effort.

For information regarding our A.I. services, visit www.keemurai.net

About NAVSAR

NAVSAR is one of the Leading Energy and Infrastructure Development Company based out of Singapore offering a bouquet of services and solutions for the Energy & Infrastructure Industries. Visit www.navsar.in to know more about our services and email info@navsar.in to know how we have been helping our clients.

Article References: www.ifc.org

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