Data Analytics and Targeted Investment
The industry now has so much information that can be analysed in order to yield real business value. Capturing the value from this data deluge, and ‘making smart grids smarter’ underpins the foundation of Quantitative Business Analytics. Transforming this deluge into value added information is the philosophy of QBA - providing practical, costeffective assistance to realize maximum benefits.
QBA leverages its industry expertise and its understanding of data analytics to gain insights about utilities; empowering them to make smarter decisions about their energy operations. As a consulting company, QBA’s analytics solutions provide crucial insight for managing operations reliably, mitigating operational risk caused by distributed energy resources, and ensuring stable customer operations. “Ultimately, we assist our clients to make more informed business decisions,” says Gerry Metzler, the President and Founder of QBA. “Our company’s innovative analytic tools, coupled with world-class expertise, permit us gather and glean value from many types of data sources – AMI, edge computing, and IoT,” says Metzler.
QBA works with utilities of all scope and scale – those that have deployed smart meters or other digital devices across the North America, which are looking to better organize and analyse its data. The QBA team first identifies clients’ needs based on the goals they are trying to achieve. Typically, the client has a map-based representation of its grid in an “outage management, distribution management, or Geographic Information System. QBA teams will then interpret operational statistics and outside data (e.g., Weather data) to cross reference with actual operational performance. “We establish a heat map for a client operational based on the map designs a relevant map of their electrical network.” Asset health, operational risk, bottlenecks, ability to shed load and control demand are operational facilities that the QBA team can enable.
Based on these insights, the company brings high value and quality information to clients to help them mitigate risks and enhance operations. “We provide strategy and business case development services with a conceptual framework for our client’s smart grids, dwelling on deeper aspects of analytics, digital innovation, and systems integration,” mentions Gerard Metzler, President of QBA.
Behind the Meter Visibility
Under the direction of Kevin Monagle, QBA’s Chief Technology Officer, the team developed its Big Energy Solution for the New England Independent System Operator (ISONE) several years ago. Big Energy collects photovoltaic (PV) inverter data directly from the manufacturer solar devices in a “near real time” fashion, and provisions that data to the utility. The utility (ISONE) utilizes the information QBA provides as key input to its load forecasts. Big Energy is an operational solution and has been providing PV data for nearly 5 years. “We intend to roll out Big Energy to the industry on a national basis as demand grows and residential PV becomes a disruptive force to utilities nationwide.
We provide strategy and business case development services with a conceptual framework for our client’s smart grids, dwelling on deeper aspects of analytics, digital innovation, and systems integration.
Since solar energy generation, depends on the weather, any change can significantly affect production. In weather events, QBA’s understanding of these various data sets, and its ability to interpret data from energy storage devices is also important. QBA also considers the interoperability of the energy storage devices deployed on the grid to ensure smooth operations and flow of energy without disruption.
“Residential solar capacity has spread significantly across the U.S., yet the ability of grid managers to identify and forecast the load added to the grid has not increased,” says William Grayhack, Partner, QBA. As an exclusive solution for utilities, QBA’s BigEnergy solution is designed to offer monitoring, forecasting, and analytical services for solar power and net meter load on a single cloud-based platform. Big Energy captures, predicts and reports solar availability and impact at the transformer level. QBA collects and manages the behind the meter data to enable authorities have visibility to data and do a better job forecasting the impact of solar output.
Achieving New Heights Across Industries
Adding a new feather to its hat, QBA will soon partner with irth Solutions, a cloud-based asset protection solutions provider, to become their primary services arm for the utilities industry. “We help irth Solutions with some of their large customers as well as provide guidance on how they can tweak and tune their product lines to make it more responsive to their customer needs,” says Metzler. QBA also supports Landis+Gyr meter data management system and their ‘Advanced Grid Analytics’ (AGA) product. These are sophisticated analytics products– combining both temporal (time-series) and spatial data analytics. “We are providing skilled resources to conduct power flow and other asset analysis by interpreting GIS data and combining it with the data from ‘Advanced Metering Infrastructure’ (AMI) systems. This contributes to the grids’ asset health, predictive and reliability cantered maintenance, and positively impacts the longevity of the assets, which comprise the smart grid managed by the utility across its geography,” says Grayhack.
Finally, the company also goes beyond the utilities industry to serve the healthcare industry with its SteriSmart Enterprise Management Solution offering sterile processing environments. The solution sends real-time alerts and KPIs to the client’s central management device to maintain sustained compliance with the cleanroom while proactively managing that area.
QBA is growing in a measured and responsible way to provide maximum value to utilities clients. The company is looking to expand its solution portfolio and aiming to empower the end customer with retail-based analytical solutions. “We believe that the path to success is to provide real decision making about energy consumption in the hands of the customer,” says Metzler