The energy transition is driving more efficient and sustainable operations in the utilities industry. Infrastructure and network management is complex, with digitisation and smart grids transforming the sector around the world – making remote asset management and monitoring vital.
It has been estimated that over 80 per cent of network faults can be attributed to short-term ‘transients’ in supply from disrupted powerlines.
Service disruption not only impacts operations, but increased downtime can result in financial penalties, customer dissatisfaction and high expenditure to establish and resolve the problem.
To combat this, utility companies are segmenting their distribution networks and using innovative technology to isolate faults and remotely monitor and manage the service.
Connecting queensland through instant access to distribution network data
Ergon Energy maintains and manages the regional electric distribution network across Queensland, providing energy for more than 720,000 homes and businesses.
Ergon operates in the most remote and isolated parts of the state, areas in which traditional connectivity methods, such as cellular and terrestrial, are limited or not available.
Along the 160,000km network, Ergon Energy has hundreds of reclosers capturing data 24 hours a day. For optimum functionality, the AST Group provides the reclosers with continuous, real-time connectivity to ensure instant control in case of an outage or disruption to the powerlines.
These can be triggered remotely and provide data back to the operations centre, meaning Ergon Energy can prioritise restorative activities, reduce customer outage time, reduce the risk of revenue impact from outages and minimise the potential for cascading infrastructure damage.
Removing the distance between on and offshore facilities
A leading energy provider delivers power to almost 250,000 residents in Australia’s Northern Territory – resources are extracted via an unmanned offshore wellhead platform.
It is essential that the onshore staff have the ability to connect to the offshore facility to access data and status. Through a resilient VSAT solution, AST provides the company with remote monitoring and control, empowering onshore employees with real-time access to critical data from the offshore platform including weather conditions and the latest system status.
Immediate access via this connection enables proactive decision-making and supports improved resolution times to maintain service delivery and optimise system uptime.
This is supported by the Cobham Explorer 700 which provides an ‘always on’ BGAN back-up connection, ensuring robust delivery of telemetry from systems aboard the unmanned platform back to the onshore gas facility, in line with the mission-critical nature of the customer’s communication link should the VSAT fail.
AST is a global connectivity provider that enables you to take control of your network, empowering you with 24/7 connectivity to your critical infrastructure, assets and people from anywhere in the world.
We take a consultative approach to ensure assets remain operational and at maximum efficiency, whilst providing upgrade paths for communications infrastructure as technology advancements become available.