Big Data – Resolving the Power Transformer Dilemma


North America relies on an aging electrical grid, some of which originated in the 1880s. This old and complex patchwork system of power generating plants, power lines, and substations operate cohesively to power homes and businesses.

Age is an important indicator of remaining life and structural strength. As equipment gets older, it breaks down causing an increasing number of power outages. A recent project investigated 2,300 “problem” transformers out of the total US installation base of 115,000 large power transformers. Of these 2,300, a total of 750 failed – for a failure rate of 32%! The industry cost of power interruptions caused by transformer failure can be considerable.

Transformers are the most important (and costly) equipment in an electrical power network. These aging pieces of the system put a difficult choice in front of the world’s electric utility companies: replace the critical transformers with new units or try to extend the working life of the existing fleet of older units.

Continue reading

Big Data = Big Challenges for Big Substations and Big Assets

Transmission and distribution substations and assets are under heavy stress and are increasing in age without quick relief in sight. Utilities need to extend the life of their assets, and do so intelligently with automation to also compensate for the workforce that is aging and retiring. In order to accomplish this, more and more utilities are installing sensor technology on critical assets.

The value of continuous online sensor monitoring on transmission and distribution systems has been well documented. Benefits of this monitoring include such things as asset optimization, enabling condition based maintenance, detecting component failure before it actually occurs and enabling safe dynamic loading.

On February 27, 2014, an IEEE Power & Energy Society webinar will be held with Jeff Golarz, Director, T&D Solutions and Gas Products. In this webinar, Jeff will cover how the increased use of Sensors and Data collected influences the development of Smart Sensor technology with increased intelligence at the “edge” of monitored systems.

Click the button below to register for this FREE Webinar.


Utilities Need SLEx Education

Earlier this month, I kicked off the “On the Grid” tour, traveling to Calgary to deliver presentations at two back-to-back conferences: Cigre Canada and TechCon Canada. I also gave two webinars last week and will take the message to San Francisco at the DataWeek conference on October 2nd and to Europe on November 11 at the O’Reilly Strata Conference in London.

Asking the non-rhetorical and very important question: How can the grid be smart if the infrastructure is stupid?, the topic of my talks was Big Data for Big Substations and the big challenges this brings for utility companies worldwide. Continue reading

Houdini’s Magic Secrets Revealed

LS6 Process Efficiency Methodology

We’ve been talking in this blog about the need for companies to awaken their Industrial “6th Sense” and escape the estimated $1 Trillion annual drag caused by global waste and inefficiency.

In our last post, I mentioned the great contortionist and escape artist, Harry Houdini. If you’ve ever seen films of Houdini in action, you can imagine the methodical preparation this incredible illusionist applied to pulling off his magic and surviving the seemingly insurmountable predicaments he put himself in.

How can industrial operators and plant managers apply Houdini’s rigor and take actionable steps to evaluate and escape their own productivity and waste traps?

At LumaSense, we’ve developed the LS6  Process Efficiency Methodology  – Six steps to achieving sustainable process efficiency and waste reduction.

Continue reading

Measuring the Elusive 6th Sense

pic_6formulaAs we’ve explained in previous posts, LumaSense is on a mission to help companies awaken their industrial  “6th Sense” — a state of process-specific hyper-awareness  – by harnessing sensing solutions and Big Data analytics. With an estimated
$1 Trillion lost every year to global waste and inefficiency, the opportunity for economic gains is astounding.

But how to capture those potential gains, which can seem as elusive as Houdini?  That brings us to this week’s post…

The LS6 PE Index – A 6 factor formula for process efficiency

Continue reading

Awakening Your Industrial 6th Sense

Awakening Your 6th Sense

As I wrote in our inaugural Sensory Overload blog, we are setting out to explore how companies can awaken their industrial 6th Sense to achieve better insight into their core processes and regain some of the more than $1 Trillion outflow in annual productivity losses.

What is the 6th Sense?  Simply, it’s the power of perception beyond the five senses. Some refer to it as intuition; others say it’s the ability to understand the subtle cause-and-effect relationship behind events.

In my view, 6th Sense is a combination of purpose-driven sensors and intelligent software that generate and harness Big Data, allowing our customers to clearly see into and ultimately optimize their most resource-intensive processes.

It boils down to one simple equation:

Continue reading