October 09, 2020

Utilizing Drone Technology, the Self-Healing Grid and More at Oncor

Submitted by fp-admin on Thu, 10/08/2020 - 14:55
Shaping the Future

Across the Sempra family of companies, we invest in state-of-the-art technologies, processes and infrastructure to drive our companies forward. In this Sempra Spotlight series, you’ll learn more about how we live our value, shape the future.

With more than 10 million customers across Texas, Oncor strives to be the energy behind innovation. Each year, Oncor invests billions in state-of-the-art infrastructure and advanced technologies to create a safer, smarter, more reliable power grid.

Whether it’s leveraging the power of predictive analytics to monitor dangerous storms, proactively identifying problem areas before they negatively affect customers, or restoring service quickly, Oncor partners with the people of Texas — working with communities, businesses, government representatives and non-profit organizations to support the quality of life and economic well-being that makes Texas a desirable place to live.

At Oncor, innovation doesn’t have an off switch. Smart solutions are inspired by a deep-rooted desire to empower members of the community and are brought to life by a team that works tirelessly to make Oncor a trusted resource across Texas.

Eyes in the Sky

One of the many ways in which Oncor is innovating across its vast service area is by utilizing drone technology to make power line and system checks safer and more efficient.

Maintaining more than 139,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines crisscrossing the Lone Star State is a challenge made more manageable by a fleet of drones. Sophisticated eyes in the sky allow Oncor ground teams to more safely monitor the vital energy grid and inspect its components in good weather and bad. Regular oversight means Oncor personnel are better able to discover issues before they result in outages — so that energy is delivered when and where it is needed.

The Smart, Self Healing Power Grid

Advanced meters, also known as smart meters, help Oncor’s customers make more informed decisions, use energy more efficiently and save money. Advanced meters also allow Oncor to better understand the operating conditions of the network and identify potential issues. Oncor is investing millions in smart-grid technology designed to outsmart potential overloads and outages before they happen.

New grid technology keeps a pulse on local operating conditions and automatically adjusts to improve grid performance. By leveraging distribution automation, faulty areas can be identified so power can be rerouted to quickly restore service—without even dispatching a technician—taking efficiency and reliability to the next level.

The Power of Prediction

At Oncor, information is power. Every day, Oncor is innovating and harnessing the power of predictive analytics to inform its operations and service while prioritizing safety. Analyzing data from meters and other sources can enable the team to identify potential equipment overloads, transformer or voltage issues, and other challenges before they affect customers.

Thanks to predictive weather modeling, Oncor can strategically rally personnel, equipment and resources to more quickly restore service in the aftermath of powerful storms and weather systems. With the Weather Current monitoring system, customers can stay informed about potentially dangerous weather, and can get tips to conserve energy and stay safe in the face of storms and potential electric hazards.

The Oncor team also uses artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to identify, streamline and guide vegetation management decisions to better serve customers.

Power at Your Fingertips

The MyOncor app enables customers to easily report an outage and check the status of power interruptions in the surrounding area.

It also allows users to track a new service request, from building a large development to adding to a home or business. In a state known for extreme and abrupt weather changes, the app pushes real-time news and updates about energy efficiency and safety tips.

Customers can also use the My Oncor Alerts SMS platform to report outages. Oncor uses natural language processing to help identify unsafe conditions reported using the platform and to help classify and prioritize service orders.

Thanks to the forward-thinking teams across our family of companies, Sempra is advancing its mission to be North America’s premier infrastructure company by shaping the future of the energy industry.