PA Consulting launches AI system to prevent utility power outages

29 April 2020 2 min. read

Innovation and transformation consultancy PA Consulting has launched iPredict, an AI-powered system that predicts when underground assets will fail, giving utilities extra time to make repairs before an outage occurs.

The iPredict system was co-developed with San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) and Toumetis, a machine learning and industrial internet of things (IoT) firm.

The system shows which assets are likely to fail within the next two weeks, allowing utilities to repair them beforehand – reducing customer outages, lowering maintenance costs, and improving public and employee safety. iPredict has an 80% success rate for predicting equipment failures two weeks out, and a 90% success rate three days out.

The system allows utilities to better avoid the higher costs and longer downtime caused by emergency repairs. If power companies can predict and plan repairs, customers can be given advanced warning of planned improvements and outages to ensure energy reliability.PA Consulting launches AI system to prevent utility power outagesiPredict collects and analyzes power quality data to identify warning signs of an imminent failure of underground distribution system components, leveraging machine learning and algorithms. SDG&E also plans to use the system to predict overhead equipment failures.

Gregg Edeson, reliability lead at PA Consulting and ReliabilityOne program director, said, “As a forty-year veteran of the power industry, I know first-hand the benefits a system like iPredict can bring. iPredict provides utilities with an opportunity to safely fix assets, lower risk for their employees, and minimize disruption for customers. This system is focused on improving reliability, employee safety, and giving utilities a necessary snapshot of the health or degradation of their assets, before the lights go out.”

PA’s energy and utilities practice helps firms make their power grids more resilient, reliable, and safe. The consulting firm’s ReliabilityOne awards have for nearly twenty years recognized the electric utilities with the highest levels of reliability in the industry.

The London-based firm helps clients across a range of industries innovate through cutting-edge technology. PA recently partnered with the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) to develop the Clinician Matching Network – a national level clearinghouse to match medical staff with the hospitals that need them most during the pandemic.