Digital twin: Empowering power systems with real-time training and predictive simulation

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The operation of electrical systems across large data centers and manufacturing facilities is often complex and challenging, particularly when high power availability is required.

Uncontrolled operation and neglected maintenance of electrical systems increase safety and financial risks in such facilities, often resulting in unplanned outages that can cause equipment damage and injuries to on-site personnel.

Consider the average cost of power outages in the following critical industries:

  • Oil and Gas- $800K to $3M per outage event (per Schneider Electric’s internal Voice of Customer study).
  • Semiconductor- $3.8M for a single electrical event
  • Data Center -30% of all reported outages cost more than $250,000, with many exceeding $1M

Leveraging digital twin technology, fully digitized electrical single-line diagrams can help address these concerns by boosting operational efficiency and reducing safety exposures. This is an example of the same digital twin technology used during the design phase of an electrical system being applied in the operation and maintenance phases of the lifecycle.

Electrical system digital twin reduces the risk for both operators and power system engineers

Most power systems engineers working in plants and data centers are limited to working with static paper or pdf-based electrical single-line diagrams. This introduces increased risk into the operations and makes it difficult to properly maintain and update the electrical systems documentation.

Innovations, such as Electrical Design with ETAP, provide intelligent single-line diagrams (iSLD) that utilize digital twin technology in active blueprints of single-phase and three-phase power systems. Such tools allow for effortless collaboration and the application of real-time insights, helping to streamline diagnostics and troubleshooting.

ETAP’s iSLD software is foundational to the electrical systems model used by two new digital-twin-driven tools: ETAP Operator Training Simulator (ETAP eOTS) and ETAP Power System Monitoring and Simulation (ETAP PSMS™).

Training simulator allows for pre-planned contingency actions and quick operator response to incidents

ETAP OTS uses its model-driven Power System Training Simulator to develop and improve operator competency through real-world simulated learning.

Operators learn about the electrical system’s sequence of operation and behaviors by viewing various pre-defined scenarios and exercising contingency plans.

From simulation to operation, eOTS utilizes the ETAP Digital Twin foundation to provide operators and engineers with an effective learning environment to improve and augment their knowledge of the existing system.

ETAP eOTS uses real-time system data to run simulated scenarios. Operators can experience a high-risk or emergency situation without subjecting themselves to genuine danger. This type of true-to-life training contributes to:

  • Reduced safety risks by strengthening operator skills
  • Enhanced operational efficiency as operator proficiency is increased
  • Quicker response when contingency actions come into play
  • Documented trainee actions to identify potential areas for improvement

A predictive platform allows power system engineers to anticipate potential failures and plan future systems expansions

These new-generation predictive tools use real-time and archived data to act as a simulation platform, enabling power systems engineers to run “what if” scenarios. This online predictive simulation is a powerful analytical tool that allows for the anticipation of system behavior in response to operator actions and events.

The advantages of such an approach include:

  • Fewer safety exposures as emergencies and precarious situations can be experienced without the threat of any actual danger.
  • Precise “what if” scenarios illustrate how to improve operational efficiency and sharpen decision-making.
  • Faster incident response times due to practical post-mortem analysis and event playback capabilities.

For more information

Digital twin technologies like ETAP eOTS and ETAP PSMS allow operators and power system engineers in data centers, manufacturing facilities, or large-scale electro-intensive facilities to be more efficient and accurate when it comes to mitigating the risks of everyday electrical system operations. Click to learn more about this digital twin integration with our EcoStruxure Power Operation.

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