The growing demand for power, the spread of connected equipment, and the transition to renewable and distributed energy are reshaping the traditional Operations and Maintenance (O&M) methods of power companies. In keeping with China’s national ‘Internet + Energy’ action plan, Guangdong Power Grid is building world-class smart grids to provide high-quality services for customers and to accelerate the development of ‘Digital Guangdong.’
The fully connected digital campus for Guangdong Power Grid is a collaboration between Huawei and Guangdong Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. Under Huawei’s ‘One Center + One Platform’ strategy, a single operations center supports the integration and management of up to 3,000 administrative offices. The center provides many services, including collaborative Office Automation (OA) applications, business operations, and production monitoring. Individuals at different layers can immediately handle incidents that occur anywhere, anytime. The digital platform uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT), such as cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to provide smart services like smart warehousing, smart canteen, smart OA, and smart property management. This project is an industry-leading smart campus with cutting-edge technologies, advanced security and efficiency requirements, rapid response capabilities, and high employee satisfaction. These innovations transform Guangdong Power Grid into a smart grid operator, value chain integrator in the energy industry, and an ICT ecosystem service provider.
Integration of Field and Logistics Operations
Guangdong Power Grid manages 19 municipal power supply bureaus, numerous production sites, and more than 2,000 substations. With an operation so large, field employees are often dispatched to remote mountainous locations for O&M and repair work.
Scheduling time for employees to eat is difficult because of heavy workloads, long working hours, and long distances between operation sites and the canteens at the employees’ offices. For employees to get hot meals without leaving their operating positions, Huawei and Guangdong Electric Power Development built a unified digital platform for the entire province. The platform integrates the canteen, finance, and work order subsystems for each region, enabling convenient dining within the province. Power supply center canteens can now know the number of personnel who are repairing devices in nearby areas, and the intelligent operation center allocates catering resources accordingly. Employees working in remote areas are able to eat near their work site instead of returning to their home base for meals.
When dining at a remote campus, employees pay for their meals. Their expense records transfer across regions and departments, but sometimes complex data synchronization creates management ‘blind spots.’ Fortunately, the digital platform connects campuses and departments to build a foundation for unified data. When employees make payments using facial recognition software, the information is sent to the company’s finance system. This benefits employees and finance personnel, plus it enables real-time reconciliation, eliminating the time lag of the previous system. The systems also analyze the number of repair personnel and predict dining trends using big data technology so that canteens can prepare meals on demand. This avoids food waste and ensures all employees will be fed, regardless of the fluctuating number of people eating in the canteen. Ultimately, the company increases the efficiency and strength of its maintenance and logistics operations to better serve its employees.
Unified Command and Dispatch for Any Emergency
A continuous power supply is integral to social stability and people’s well-being. To ensure consistent power to every household, emergency repairs are frequently required. Guangdong Power Grid is responsible for providing reliable power even during natural disasters and adverse weather. Storms and landslides may damage power supply facilities, such as devices, lines, and networks at outdoor power stations, resulting in a limited power supply or even power outages.
Quickly assigning and mobilizing personnel to repair facilities is imperative 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 time. In addition, the company has a comprehensive set of contingency plans specific to each layer and region on the power grid structure and management scope. This ensures 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, which was often inefficient, disorderly, and time-consuming. It slowed down the entire repair process. To solve this, the digital platform supports smart warehousing with powerful IoT technologies. It automatically extracts and identifies inbound, outbound, inventory, and transfer information; issues warnings; and intelligently manages available resources. Further, to ensure that escape paths are always open, emergency lanes and exit routes are monitored to automatically trigger an alarm when blocked.
When an incident occurs, the Location-Based Service (LBS) accurately locates assets and immediately displays the quantity and location of emergency vehicles and devices. Management personnel can detect the status of vehicles and devices so that repair teams can quickly perform their tasks and their operations can be tracked and optimized. The system also supports emergency resources and personnel after the incident.
Boundless Collaborative OA
Technology is reshaping the way people live and work as enterprises adopt collaborative OA. Leveraging facial recognition and big data technologies, Guangdong Power Grid is developing a brand-new OA mode to create a more mobile workforce and cross-region operations. The first phase of the smart OA project is under way; smart attendance checks, visitor reception, and site access via facial recognition are the current focus. The project connects buildings, Human Resource (HR), administration, and other independent subsystems to support high-level collaboration between upstream and downstream enterprises in OA scenarios. In the future, collaborative OA will extend to more diverse scenarios, including visitor management, smart conferencing, smart office devices, and smart office resource management.
In offices, personnel and objects are connected with mobile terminals to enable ubiquitous services. This eliminates time and space constraints. Collaborative OA automates tedious tasks, such as manual registration, venue and meeting room reservation, and projector setup. This solution facilitates the smooth flow of data and business, allows employees to focus on high-value work, and encourages employee creativity. As a result, OA helps enterprises accumulate value.
A Digital Platform Makes a First-Class Enterprise
The goal of Guangdong Power Grid is to deploy a single unified network for the entire campus. This network will fully integrate personnel, object, and event data. The inclusive digital platform will connect everything and support big data analysis. Administrative transformation is the company’s first step towards digitalization, with the goal of eventually providing people-centric logistics support. In the future, the digital platform will also integrate data flows in power scenarios to help accelerate technological innovation and support value-added services.