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Energy utilities

The power of the new

Energy utilities

In order to push forward innovation and growth, energy utility companies all over the world are responding to the accelerating need for smarter ways to control the flow of energy. As they work hard to stay ahead of the competition, the advantages of digitalization and connectivity are unquestionable. To thrive, utility companies must harness the power and possibility of connectivity to build more reliable, secure, and flexible digital infrastructures.

Creating change

In a fast-changing environment, energy utility companies are facing many challenges in terms of efficiency, cyber security, corporate social responsibility, legacy equipment, data analytics and the aging work force. It’s clear that becoming more connected is vitally important in allowing them to improve how they monitor, control, and optimize every aspect of their organization. By exploring and utilizing the potential of cellular technology, Ericsson is taking on these challenges and forging ahead to create the power plants and smart grids of tomorrow.

energy utilities

Ericsson’s Energy-Smart Site for Utilities

Upgrade your utility communication network with intelligent, sustainable, and efficient energy management solution for utility cell sites.

Read the paper

IoT Device Certification Program for Utilities

Together, Ericsson and CTIA have developed an IoT device certification program for utility devices, ensuring security and reliability.

Read the paper

Our cellular technology is empowering energy utility companies to:

Create agility

by enabling technology and machinery within energy plants to use plant space more efficiently

Advance operations

by consolidating or replacing legacy technology and enabling digitalization

Unlock intelligence

by providing real-time asset data and life cycle management insights

In the spotlight

Smart grid domain

To meet changing patterns in power grid management, utilities companies are now employing 3GPP 4G and 5G network solutions to strengthen the security and resilience of power grids and boost operational efficiency.

Explore smart grid domain

Create agility

The height of efficiency

How drones are raising inspection standards

Energy companies are increasingly choosing to operate equipment remotely, in order to raise safety and efficiency,

Camera-equipped and connected drones are able to inspect areas that can be hazardous to workers, such as reactors, transmission towers, power lines, wind turbines, and solar panels.

This approach is transforming how energy-producing facilities are inspected for the better. High-definition delivers the sharpest video, ensuring that remote inspections provide the same experience as a traditional inspection but without the safety risk. High bandwidth, required for live 4k video streams, and ultra low latency, for accurate control of the in-flight drone, are both available through cellular private networks.

Use case

Remote site inspections

With a private LTE or 5G cellular network delivering the sky-high connectivity that drones need, drone inspections can yield real results. According to estimates, this includes reducing downtime during inspections by 80%, cutting inspection times by 83%, and reducing operator exposure to radiation by 80%. Arthur D. Little have suggested that if all nuclear plants were to switch to drone inspections, together they would save USD $1.7bn.

Advance operations

Pushing for change

Phasing out the legacy equipment

Even though they’re costly to maintain and prone to outages, most of the energy industry still uses legacy network systems. So in the coming years, modernizing this legacy equipment will be necessary to ensure a secure and therefore reliable energy supply, and to enable future digitalization.

While phasing out will be expensive, it will be cost-efficient in the long run, and the new solutions will offer opportunities to boost safety and reliability levels by up to 40%, according to McKinsey. Arthur D Little state that for energy companies, the reduced annual systems costs will account for up to 80% of total savings and benefits.

The opportunities in replacing legacy equipment come from innovative new network solutions, such as push-to-talk and push-to-video.

Use case

Push-to-video

Private networks can deliver high-speed, high-volume data services like push-to-video. This can capture detailed images of equipment in need of service and get direct expert assistance on-site from a supervisor. Enabling push-to-video can reduce transportation needs and cut service costs from by 20%.

Unlock intelligence

Expecting the unexpected

Keeping plants running with predictive maintenance

As operations become more digitalized and data-driven, energy utility companies are using this data to decrease downtime and operating expenditure.

By applying predictive maintenance, intelligent tracking of machines reduces downtime by predicting when faults may happen. Reduced downtime costs represents 50% of the total savings from predictive maintenance, with the other 50% from reduced service and labor costs, according to Arthur D. Little.

Capturing, collecting, and evaluating data lakes is only possible with a 5G network like Ericsson’s, providing the required ultra-high network security, low latency, and high connection density.

Use case

Predictably efficient

Both maintenance costs and production downtime can be improved through predictive maintenance. By analyzing the huge amount of data collected through sensors, energy utility companies can detect faults, prevent leakage, and fix grid failures more quickly. According to Arthur D. Little, this can reduce downtime by 32%, reduce maintenance sessions needed per plant by 25%, and reduce loss of income through downtime by 25%.

Featured content

News | Ericsson chosen to deliver RAN and Core network solutions for PGE's LTE450 mission critical network

PGE’s network, powered by Ericsson Cloud Core and RAN solutions, will cover nearly 40 percent of the landmass of Poland and will help ensure more stable energy supplies, faster service, and improved reliability in the power industry. The independent LTE450 network will provide the communication services required by the energy sector, as well as enable greater automation and optimization of energy services.

Paper | Addressing the opportunity for Cat-M1 in utility networks

In this joint paper with Anterix, read about the growing demand for Cat-M1, a low power wide-area (LPWA) technology that can deliver the data rates and low latency required for utility applications such as smart meters and distributed automation.

Paper | Solving wind energy’s connectivity challenge

Read how LTE/5G cellular makes remote inspections and predictive maintenance available to wind energy operators.

Case | Newport Utilities expands services to include high-speed broadband

Read how Newport Utilities proves fixed wireless access is a viable alternative to fiber and the role Ericsson played to connect the unconnected.

Case | Driving rapid adoption of cellular IoT in smart meters

Telia removes barriers for smart grids by enabling massive cellular IoT for millions of smart meters.

Paper | Are utilities prepared to prevent cyberattacks?

An in-depth look into network modernization and the relative network security infrastructure in utilities.

On-demand event | Creating the smart and secure grid of tomorrow

Utilities are in search of smarter ways to control the flow of energy. Industry experts and utilities already on the journey share their insights and experiences.

Paper | Always on, always plugged in

Sustaining a constant flow of power is complex and challenging. As sources of power generation evolve, utilities must shift out of traditional thinking and scale with digital transformation to invest in new technologies to modernize the grid and improve security, reliability and resiliency. Wireless connectivity is essential to this evolution.  Read this report on the state of the digital power grid and how private networks are enabling utilities to achieve their goals.

Paper | Utility Networks: The inherent risks of doing nothing

The report reveals the importance of digital transformation in the utilities industry, covering everything from regulatory compliance to natural disasters. It also outlines why private LTE networks give utilities a competitive edge with more flexibility, scalability, and control.

Paper | Power grid communications: network modernization considerations

Our paper highlights key trends and business drivers for power grid network modernization needs and analyzes the usage demand, network capacity and coverage requirements, and economic aspects of building a private cellular network, including an investment and deployment roadmap and based on a portfolio of use cases.

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Let’s talk about more connected energy.

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