Blockchain has made big news in the industrial automation sector in recent years for its potential to solve critical issues ranging from industrial supply chain and food and pharmaceutical security to OEM contract management- maker. Now, distributed register technology is used to optimize the electrical network.
Artemis Energy Services and OSIsoft recently announced a partnership to track, trace and exchange energy safely while optimizing the electrical network. According to the two companies, this partnership is based on the use of Artemis Energy Services blockchain technology to interact with real-time data provided by OSIsoft’s PI System software (which collects, analyzes, visualizes and shares data from high fidelity time series from multiple industrial sources). The combination of technologies is expected to result in “a proven 20% increase in the overall efficiency and usage of the network,” according to a statement from the two companies. “This efficiency gain will reduce the need for new sources of fossil energy and upgrades to the public power grid.” [This combination of technologies] “Will create an entirely new market that has the capacity to serve both one person and the complex regulatory and operational authorities that govern and manage” the energy markets.
Regarding the transformational potential of Artemis blockchain technology in the energy sector, Richard Beeson, technical director of OSIsoft, said: “The energy-driven platform that Artemis operates has been put into service in July 2019. [and it] is an application specially designed for this specific segment of the industry. The electrical network has been described as the most complex machine ever built by man. As such, the requirements of this application are important and the work we are currently doing with the data, operations, transactions and services segments will help define a new future for a network that has historically operated in a unidirectional flow to one that can be bidirectional and also recognize the single-phase operation of the assets. These are dramatic changes for this industry, and these new technologies presented by our consortium of companies are the first to be able to effectively enable this future. “
Amanda Martinez, CEO of Artemis, explained that Artemis Transaction Engine is able to deal directly with the real-time information that the OSIsoft PI system manages and create real-time transaction tags to include in the chain. “This allows dynamic operation, real-time settlement and 100% transparency with network operators and regulators,” she said.
Asked how the Artemis transaction engine differs from standard blockchain technologies, given the complexity of the energy network, Martinez said Artemis was “founded by energy experts who have dedicated their entire careers to shaping this industry.” This (the Artemis transaction engine) is an application designed by and for the energy sector, not by a software company seeking to take advantage of a market facing extreme pressure to innovate and modernize. Other blockchain applications [were first developed as] a solution based on a particular industry segment, market or structure, [leading the developers to] go in search of data and customers to activate the solution they have built. Artemis built our application around data and the fundamental physics of [grid] surgery. Therefore, regardless of the continent, country or market structure, this specially designed application can be immediately implemented. “
Regarding the “20% increase in overall efficiency and use of the network” cited in the press release of the two companies about their partnership, Besson explained that electrical networks are designed and operated on the basis of a cascading set of the most unfavorable hypotheses. For example, operating on the hottest day possible in a 20-year planning horizon with the heaviest load and with the loss of their greatest resource. By considering distributed energy resources (DER) as part of the solution rather than the problem, a utility can use these resources at the edge of the grid and increase the average amount of electricity flowing in the existing grid throughout the year. So, instead of using the system at 43% on average as it is today in the world, we can help this number to move above 60% – or even more – for areas with high DER penetration. Our application recognizes all the values of DER, not just a few, which allows network services, usage, efficiency and a plethora of other benefits to be realized. “
Other technologies playing a role in this consortium include software from PXiSE Energy Solutions and DERNetSoft. “As you can imagine, the data required for each facet of this solution must be in place to allow one of the additional segments to be effective,” said Beeson. “The goal of our consortium is to provide each of the necessary elements with what we believe to be the best providers in their class, so that a network provider has a fully capable end-to-end solution for evidence deployment concept. “
Beeson added that improvements to the transaction engine are currently being made by Artemis, based on work with network providers and industry experts, with the deployment of combined technologies expected to take place in the second half of 2020.