The ELVIS (Electricity Verkko Information System) solution

Together, cognitive computing and Internet of Things are poised to transform whole industries — and nowhere is this more critical than the power industry where outages and system failures can have deep and lasting impacts. Fingrid, Finland’s main electricity transmission grid operator, has pioneered a new solution to help drive transformation in the electricity industry and ensure uninterrupted service for its customers. With the assistance of IBM, Fingrid is providing system operators with a consolidated view of the entire electricity transmission grid — from long-term plans to the day-to-day management and maintenance of assets and infrastructure.

Behind the scenes: IBM’s Watson Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which uses networks of sensors and IBM’s advanced analytics to keep the power flowing through Fingrid’s 14,000 km electricity grid — a daunting task that requires a holistic understanding of grid operations, maintenance and safety issues.

In developing the solution, Fingrid wanted to push the boundaries and find new ways of boosting reliability, controlling costs, and supporting better investment decisions.

“Today’s power systems are getting more and more complex. At the same time, there is a growing requirement that power must be available all the time. We must, therefore, be able to do fast large-scale fault investigation, thereby reducing the impact on people and businesses all over Finland,” said Marcus Stenstrand, grid manager at Fingrid Oyj. “We realized that we needed to combine near-real-time big data analytics with external factors, such as weather, to increase the reliability of the grid and ensure the highest levels of service for our customers.”

In the past, Fingrid had to collect data from disparate systems and databases manually — which could take from days to weeks to get all the information required for root cause analysis. The ELVIS (Electricity Verkko Information System) solution increases the automation of the system, helping Fingrid to quickly identify issues and optimize maintenance scheduling and management. In addition, by connecting asset information with geographic location and financial data, the company can use sophisticated graphical visualizations to better understand maintenance and operating costs.

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