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The rapid growth of power demand, the surge in connected equipment, and the increase in the proportion of renewable and distributed energy have reshaped the traditional operation, maintenance, and operating methods of power companies.
In line with China’s national Internet Plus Energy action plan, Guangdong Power Grid is committed to building world-class smart grids to provide high-quality services for customers and boost the development of Digital Guangdong.
Huawei has worked with Guangdong Electric Power Communication Co., Ltd. to build a fully connected digital campus for Guangdong Power Grid, featuring “one center + one platform”. One operations center supports the integrated management and control of nearly 3,000 administrative offices, including collaborative Office Automation (OA) applications, business operations, and production monitoring. Person at different layers can immediately handle incidents occurring anywhere, and at any time. One digital platform uses ICT capabilities such as cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It provides smart services such as integrated security management, smart warehousing, smart canteen, smart OA, and smart property management. The project has seen the construction of an industry-leading smart campus, with advanced technologies, high security and efficiency, rapid responses, and high employee satisfaction. This campus helps the company to transform into a smart grid operator, value chain integrator in the energy industry, and an ecosystem service provider.
Integrating the operations of field and logistics personnel, adding a human touch to digital methods
Guangdong Power Grid manages 19 municipal power supply bureaus, multitude of production sites, and more than 2,000 substations. Field employees often need to go to remote mountainous locations for O&M and repair work. Dining is a difficult issue due to employees’ heavy workload, long working hours, and the long distance between operation sites and employees’ original canteens.
Guangdong Power Grid wants field employees to have hot meals without moving from their operation sites to their company canteens, saving time and efforts. To achieve this goal, Huawei and Guangdong Electric Power Communication set up a joint project team and designed scenario-specific campus solutions. A unified digital platform was built for the entire province to integrate canteen, finance, and work order subsystems in each region, enabling remote dining within the province. The canteens of power supply centers in cities and counties can now know the number of personnel who are repairing devices in nearby areas, and receive meal orders in advance. Employees working in remote areas can eat nearby after the intelligent operations center allocates catering resources.
Employees need to pay for meals when dining on a remote campus. Expense recording and management require operations across regions and departments. However, difficult data synchronization creates “blind spots” in management. The digital platform connects campuses and departments to build a unified data foundation. When employees are making payments via a facial recognition system, their consumption information is simultaneously sent to the finance system and company’s system. This benefits employees and finance personnel, and enables real-time reconciliation. In addition, the platform also resolves the time lag that occurred with the previous system. It analyzes data about the number of repair personnel and predicts future trends using big data technology so that canteens can prepare meals on demand. This avoids food waste and ensures that all employees can have meals regardless of surges or decline in the number of people eating in the canteen. As a result, the company is able to increase the efficiency of its repair work and also takes care of employees by strengthening logistical support.
Achieving high emergency repair efficiency and unified command and dispatch with the help of technology
Stable and continuous power supply is integral to national livelihood and social stability. To ensure a stable power supply to every household, emergency repairs are frequently required. Guangdong Power Grid faces natural disasters and adverse weather. Storms and landslides may damage power supply facilities such as devices, lines, and networks of outdoor power stations, resulting in insufficient power supply or even power outages. The company needs to assign a large number of personnel to diverse sites for emergency repair work.
Power emergency repair work is a race against time. Quickly assigning and mobilizing personnel, and repairing facilities are major concerns when managing an emergency. The digital platform implements unified command and dispatch to visualize, control, and manage all personnel, vehicles, and objects. The flattened operations process significantly shortens decision-making and response duration. In addition, the company has formulated a complete set of contingency plans by layer and region based on the power grid structure and management scope, ensuring adequate preparations, quick handling, and backtracking, when necessary.
The repair process involves a large number of vehicles and devices. In the past, personnel, vehicles, and outbound devices were manually counted and recorded, resulting in a heavy workload, disorder, and low efficiency. This severely slowed down the repair process. To solve the problem of outdated material scheduling means, the digital platform supports smart warehousing with powerful IoT technologies. It automatically extracts and identifies inbound, outbound, stocktaking, and transfer information, issues alarms, and performs smart management. Materials in a warehouse can be counted within a few minutes. The location-Based Service (LBS) can accurately detect material locations. When an incident occurs, the system immediately displays material quantity and location. The system also supports the backtracking of emergency resource quantity, time, and personnel after the incident. Furthermore, blocked lanes or illegal parking in parking spaces intended for emergency use will automatically trigger alarms. This ensures that these lanes are smooth and vehicles and devices are available for emergency handling. Visualized scheduling and tracking of personnel, vehicles, and objects help management personnel to review quickly vehicle and device usage after repair work. The management personnel are now aware of the exact number of vehicles and devices and detect their status so that repair teams can quickly perform their tasks and their operations can be backtracked and optimized.
Boundless collaborative OA for value accumulation
Technology is reshaping people’s work and life patterns, and enterprises are transforming into collaborative OA. Leveraging facial recognition and big data technologies, Guangdong Power Grid is developing a brand-new OA mode after considering the needs of personnel mobility and cross-region operations. Currently phase 1 of the smart OA project has been launched, with smart attendance checks, visitor reception, and site access via facial recognition. The project connects building, HR, administration, and other independent subsystems to support a high level of collaboration between upstream and downstream enterprises in OA scenarios. In the future, collaborative OA will extend to diverse OA scenarios, including visitor management, smart conferencing, smart office devices, and smart office resource management.
In offices, personnel, objects, and things events are interconnected with each other and then connected to mobile terminals to enable ubiquitous services. This removes time and space constraints. Collaborative OA frees employees at different places from tedious tasks such as manual registration, making venue and meeting room reservations, and adjusting projectors. This solution enables the smooth flow of data and business, allows employees to focus on high-value work, and gives more attention to employees’ creativity. As a result, the value boundary of OA rapidly expands, achieving value accumulation.
Build a digital platform for all and a first-class enterprise
Through digital transformation and upgrade, Guangdong Power Grid hopes to deploy a single unified network for the entire campus so that it can fully integrate data about personnel, objects, and events and build an inclusive digital platform featuring the connection of everything and big data analysis. Administrative transformation is the company’s first step towards digitalization, aiming to provide people-centric logistics support. In the future, the digital platform will integrate data flows in power scenarios, accelerating technological innovation and supporting value-added services. Guangdong Power Grid will share digital platform capabilities, build a smart campus ecosystem, and construct an advanced manufacturing and modern service base for the smart grid. In doing so, the company will transform into a smart grid operator, a value chain integrator for the energy industry, and an ecosystem service provider, as well as a world-class energy service company.