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Siemens Introduces Diagnostic Tool to Manage the Inevitably Complex Power Grids of the Future

November 21, 2019 by Luke James

Powered by MindSphere, Siemens’ Grid Diagnostic Suite enables grid data to be processed transparently in the cloud, enabling faster reactions to grid conditions and better maintenance planning.

At the European Utility Week and POWERGEN Europe in Paris which took place on November 12, Siemens announced its new Grid Diagnostic Suite (GDS)

In the announcement, Siemens’ head of Smart Infrastructure, Cedrik Neike, said that by unlocking the data in distribution grids, Grid Diagnostic Suite was “opening up a treasure trove that already exists and has never been tapped before”.

GDS consists of four different cloud-based applications that can use both current and newly installed smart devices within a network and analyze them in the cloud. 

There is no additional engineering effort or set up required to use GDS, either. 


Siemens' grid diagnostic suite.

Graphic depicting Siemens' grid diagnostic suite. Image Credit: Siemens.


Powering Grid Development and Maintenance

Using GDS, distribution system and power grid operators can quickly access meaningful, actionable information about the state of their networks. This enables the quick detection and identification of network faults so that they can be rectified sooner rather than later before they manifest into serious problems.

It is not only existing faults that Siemens’ GDS can detect, either. Based on gathered data, weaknesses that could lead to faults and future problems can also be identified, allowing for rectifying measures to be taken. 

With systems like GDS and its IoT applications, power grid development, operation, and maintenance benefit heavily from digitization. They become more transparent, less complex, and more cost-effective which, in turn, means newer and more powerful smart electricity grids become available for deployment sooner. 

Speaking about GDS’ chief executive at Siemens, Robert Klaffus, said, “With our new IoT-based offering for energy automation, we are helping to manage the increasing complexity of power grids and prepare for future challenges,” this is because via the central MindSphere Cloud, “data can now be accessed quickly and easily” which allows users to “consolidate, visualize, and evaluate data and… react quickly”. 


A screenshot of Siemens' SICAM Navigator demo.

SICAM Navigator demo. Image Credit: Siemens.


Powerful Cloud-Based IoT Apps

Using Siprotec and SICAM apps with IoT interfaces connected via the OPC UA PubSub protocol with the cloud-based IoT OS MindSphere from Siemens. The data transmissions that take place to satisfy stringent cybersecurity requirements by allowing authentication and encryption based on certificates. 

With the Siprotec Dashboard, data from Siprotec’s 5 series of protection relays is displayed quickly and clearly in either a map or diagram view. For the first time ever, data from an entire power grid is available on the cloud without any additional engineering effort or configuration required. This eliminates the need for additional costs and training. 

SICAM Navigator facilitates thorough monitoring of medium- and low-voltage grid in addition to secondary distribution substations. Detailed information about alarms, messages, and grid parameters is provided via the Sicam Navigator app. This makes it possible for information regarding power grid performance to be viewed transparently, giving operators a top-down overview of an entire power grid. 

With power grids facing more and more new challenges, the cloud-based apps of the GDS will help power grid operators monitor and run their grids in a more cost-effective manner with the aid of previously untapped data, leading to even smarter power grids in the future. 

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