Utility Networks are complex architectures built over many decades. They deliver key public
services to different customers – from individuals, to businesses, to hospitals – that have
various types of requirements.
Each network has its own nuances and consequent risks that it must manage so that customers, shareholders, stakeholders and regulators requirements are met. We've worked with large water and telecommunications utilities to:
Review EXPLORE-AI's Risk Analysis capabilities in more detail below:
There are a myriad of problems that can occur across a network, some of which can result in serious problems, others of which may be less problematic. From experience we know many of the factors that can signal a risk building up. This may be of a mains burst or some other supply interruption.
EXPLORE-AI's visualisation capability enables us to depict your network graphically and to highlight areas where potential risk may be building up. These elements (be they mains pipes, secondary pipes, water treatment works or other assets) can be programmed to change colour if the factors impacting them change to the extent that they indicate a potential problem.
Control Room operators can understandably get overwhelmed with the amount of information coming at them. Multiple systems, often requiring specific logon and enquiry to yield areas of potential trouble.
EXPLORE-AI's risk alert applications trawl through multiple systems and sources of disparate data, in order to calculate probabilities of circumstances combining to present a potentially higher risk. It is almost always a "perfect storm" of factors that result in a pipe bursting or asset failing, but not always easy to identify when this is happening. These risk algorithms are capable of combing through the data, making the connections that may not be obvious, and providing a warning alert to the operators.
There are times when, despite your best efforts, things go wrong. The mains burst happens and repair teams have to be despatched to the scene rapidly. If it is significant burst, there may be a degree of panic and anxiety as operators seek to minimise the impact on customers, and avoid follow-on bursts or interruptions.
EXPLORE-AI's risk solutions allow the team to monitor the systems when a burst or interruption has happened. Alerts will show if another burst is likely or another area of system risk is building up because of the disruption caused by the first one. The control room is also able to provide support to the teams on the ground, enabling them to confirm flow directions, other pipework or placement of assets.
Inevitably a mains pipe will burst, somewhere across the network. Often, though, it can be difficult to detect that a burst has happened without customers phoning in to the call centre. Similarly, locating exactly which pipe is the culprit when there can be three mains pipes above each other in a single street, can cause delays on getting the repair teams to the correct place.
EXPLORE-AI's risk solutions enable the Control Room team to detect bursts, for example via changes in pressure or flows, and visualise clearly what has taken place. The repair teams can then be dispatched to exactly the right pipe so that the delay due to the interruption, and thus the impact on customers, can be minimised.