We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Video: A rare look at power grid management with big data visualization


An inside look at displaying energy data in California.

On its own, California would be in the top 10 economies in the world. So keeping power supplied to the vast U.S. state comes with a lot of pressure.

“If we fail, we get calls from the Governor, calls from DC if it’s bad—every hour, saying, when will the lights be back on,” said James McIntosh, Cal ISO director of Grid Operations.

Cal-ISO facilitates the management of power lines throughout the state. It’s not the only company to do it, though managers say this facility is the most up-to-date.

Its control room likes like something out of a movie, where specific desks are charged with big tasks—like wholesale brokering of energy into California and management of emergency power line failures. Real-time power outputs for green technologies are all displayed on this screen. Green bars show which wind farms and solar fields in the state are producing power, most of which aren’t producing any energy at the moment.

The goal here is to buy as much renewable energy as possible, so all other power is bought or quickly traded after that. By 2020, the state mandated goal for renewable energy is 33 percent.

But until a year ago, Cal ISO was trying to manage all of the complicated and multi-layered information and data it uses in a much different way.

“It looked like a 65-foot long wall with tiles, and we’d be post-its on it, like oh there’s a fire over here.”

This wall full of pertinent information, from weather to power line grids, was designed for Cal-ISO by Space-Time Insight, a company that specializes in data visualization. The display is unique not in how much information it collects, but how it can break down about 30 separate data streams, some of them from power meters, regional grids or weather information from a central hub, then quickly convert it into easy-to-digest graphics.

As information increases, employees are coming into the most stressful season, which is actually wintertime. That’s because so many areas of grids are routinely shut down for repairs then, as are power plants.

In Folsom, California, Kerry Davis, IDG News Service.

Video Source: IDGNS San Francisco
Article Author:
Video Category: News

Share this video



Comments

Most Popular Videos
5 reasons why PCs are better than Macs: Mac vs Windows PC - which is best? play video

5 reasons why PCs are better than Macs: Mac vs Windows PC - which is best?

What is best: Mac or PC? Here we examine five key areas, and help you to decide if you should buy a Mac or a Windows PC or laptop. (Answer: get a Windows machine.)
watch video »


Tesco Hudl 2 video review: few tablets can compete on value play video

Tesco Hudl 2 video review: few tablets can compete on value

Following up on the success on its first own-brand tablet, Tesco is back with the Hudl 2 which is only £10 more than the original at £129. Find out why it's well worth the extra in our Hudl 2 review
watch video »


Sony Xperia Z3 video review: Flagship smartphone can't best the best play video

Sony Xperia Z3 video review: Flagship smartphone can't best the best

Sony brings along a new flagship smartphone every 6 months so here's the Xperia Z3. See what we make of it in our Sony Xperia Z3 video review.
watch video »




IDG UK Sites

iPad mini 3 vs iPad mini 2 comparison: New iPad mini 3 isn't worth £80 more

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X 10.10 Yosemite? What you need to know before updating to...