Innovation and Open Power
On July 7, 2017, an electric single-seat Formula E racing car was in the heart of Rome, the Eternal City, just behind the statue of Marcus Aurelius. This special exhibition was related to the conference titled ‘Projects for Sustainable Mobility. Formula E, a successful experience,’ which was supported by Enel and was to present initiatives for the promotion of sustainable mobility in Rome.
Enel is a global power partner of Formula E, the global championship for single-seat electric racing cars that also serves as a cutting-edge laboratory for electric transport of the future. For Formula E, Enel provides digital intelligent technology such as smart meter, energy storage, solar panels, and charging stations, that enables the monitoring of energy consumption within the racetrack area, while using renewable energy to power the racing cars, the technical areas, and other spaces at the race venues.
This is a symbol of innovation by Enel. For more than 50 years, Enel has powered innovation and progress around the world, changing the way people consume energy.
Enel now ranks 84th in the Fortune Global 500 list. As a multinational company, Enel has grown its business to more than 30 countries, and owns the largest global distribution grid network. As the world is facing greater challenges than ever before, Enel has the power and responsibility to change the world in a new, sustainable way. Innovation and sustainability are at the heart of Enel’s business strategy, in line with Enel’s ‘Open Power’ vision. Open Power means opening energy access to more people; opening the world of energy to new technologies; opening new ways for people to manage energy; opening new uses of energy; and opening more partnerships.
There is another company that has been placing innovation and openness at the heart of business strategies through its New ICT solutions. The company is Huawei, a leader on the road to digital transformation with its partners and customers.
Innovation and openness brought Enel and Huawei together. The two companies decided to do something innovative, starting at Enel’s headquarters building.
Growing Challenges in the Headquarters Building
To accelerate its global presence and improve office efficiency, Enel had introduced bandwidth-consuming services such as desktop cloud, mobile office, and video conferencing; however, its original network failed to support these new services due to complex network structure, high latency, and low network speeds. This affected employees’ office efficiency.
Additionally, traditional networks had some issues in cabling, costs, energy consumption, space occupation, and upgrade/capacity expansion. For example, expensive, separate cabling for audio, video, and data services costs took up about 80 percent of the total campus network investments. A large number of access switches were used, consuming much electricity and requiring an air-conditioning system for cooling. This not only resulted in large energy consumption but occupied much valuable physical space.
Enel decided to find new ways to deliver smarter, faster, and more economical OA services, with simpler deployment, and less space and energy. Enel teamed up with Huawei for network analysis and renovation of the old network system. To tackle the problem, Huawei proposed a Passive Optical LAN (POL) solution based on GPON technology.
AgilePOL Helps Enel Push Forward Sustainability and Digitization
A POL solution can deliver gigabit speeds over 20 miles and provide video, data, and voice all in one fiber cable with security and durability, enabling a smarter network.
Huawei’s AgilePOL solution has a flat network architecture and is composed of converged OLT, passive Optical Distribution Network (ODN), and Optical Network Units (ONUs). The solution uses a dual-home mechanism to ensure high network reliability in case of network failure. The switchover time is not more than 50 milliseconds, ensuring a good user experience. Additionally, the ODN network is future-proof to support smooth evolution of 10G PON/40G PON.
Now, Huawei’s AgilePOL network is running stably to support Enel headquarters services and provides positive experiences.
Network performance improved greatly: With the new network, Enel increased network speed from 100 Mbit/s to 700 Mbit/s. The resulting benefits include better user experience with cloud and mobile services and higher OA efficiency
Power savings: Estimates show that this network renovation can save energy by over 60 percent
Space savings of 80 percent: Enel’s headquarters is an eight-story building and accommodates over 1,000 employees. According to the original network solution, each story occupied one equipment room, meaning that a total of eight equipment rooms were needed. After network renovation, however, the entire building only needs one equipment room. The remaining equipment rooms can be reused as meeting rooms
50 percent higher deployment efficiency with over 50 percent lower OPEX
Enel said, “Digitization is, in fact, an enabler of sustainable growth, and it is a key factor to achieve an open power approach in the energy business. We are trying to digitize both the processes through which we offer services to our end customers and our internal processes, focusing on the use of cybersecurity, the optimization of applications, data center transformation, a massive use of cloud technology, and smart and mobile working. Huawei POL provides what we need in digitization within the company and makes our network more reliable, efficient, and energy-saving. Huawei is a reliable partner, and I’m looking forward to more cooperation with Huawei in digitization and sustainability.”
Embracing New Technologies for the Energy Industry
Digital transformation is a train not to be missed, offering an invaluable opportunity to innovate and to increase the competitiveness of production systems worldwide.
Based on Enel’s 2017-2019 enhanced strategic plan, it will focus on digitization and customers. Enel thinks that digitization would help people become more environmentally conscious in everyday activities: live streaming of meetings and conventions, mobile work, GPS tracking tools for operational teams, and drones to monitor networks and systems — a series of innovations that allows users to cut down on CO2 emissions. For example, 421 telepresence meetings were held in Enel during the first nine months of 2015, avoiding the emission of 4,815 tons of CO2.
Digital transformation also supports Enel’s business in the development of network technologies, from smart grids to digital meters, to the collection and analysis of data in order to optimize electricity generation from renewable sources.
All these innovations and transformations are inseparable from ICT, and this is why ICT can make business more sustainable. As a global leading ICT solutions provider, Huawei has developed fully connected power grid solutions that cover every aspect of the electric power industry. These solutions utilize a wide array of access and communications technologies that enable comprehensive sensing of electricity terminals, either wired or wireless. Huawei cloud data centers consolidate and share grid-wide data to support intelligent analytics and management, offering the outstanding support that a smarter grid needs.
Since the day Enel was founded in 1962, it has worked hard to enable businesses, nations, and individuals to thrive by connecting them to electricity, gas, and the right services for their needs. To this end, Enel is interacting with key players of the digital world and has constantly embraced new technologies, including cloud computing, Big Data, and the IoT, to make energy reliable, affordable, and sustainable, from the introduction of the first smart meter to becoming the world’s largest producer of renewable energy.
With their respective advantages in innovation and openness, Enel and Huawei are looking forward to more cooperation in the energy industry, aiming to make this world more sustainable. Imagine a world where your mobility is electric and your home lighting is intelligent. Everybody is a beneficiary of smart energy.