Project to prioritize maintenance schedules by predicting power line degradation before it happens.
TOKYO, July 7—TEPCO, Japan’s largest electric utility, and Via Science, a Boston-based company in which TEPCO owns an interest, announced a project in which the companies will use artificial intelligence and “big data” to improve maintenance of power lines by predicting problems in the lines before they happen.
“Solving this challenge would have major implications for TEPCO and utilities globally. All utilities would benefit from having explanations for their maintenance departments and regulators of why their assets are failing so that they can plan and invest accordingly. We are proud to work with TEPCO to build a solution with such wide reaching potential.,” said Dr. Bruno Rousseau, Team Leader, Data Science at Via Science. Followed by “Improving reliability, efficiency, and service for our customers has always been a top priority. But in our previous experiences using neural network solutions to support these efforts, we found we wanted more insight into the ‘why’ behind the predictions and recommendations. Via Science provides that transparency, which is absolutely essential to decisions that affect our customers and our assets,” said an engineer at transmission department in TEPCO Power Grid.
The result will be better inspection and repair plans. The data will also enable TEPCO to evaluate the feasibility of reducing the cost for inspection and repair of related transmission equipment.
In carrying out the project, Via Science will leverage AI and asset data to analyze the state of degradation of aluminum-conductor steel-reinforced wires, along with the compression joint sleeves that connect the wires. The project will leverage data from installation locations, inspection history, and more.
Via Science has been applying this technology to electric utilities primarily in the United States, and in November 2016 TEPCO invested in Via Science with the goal of bringing that expertise to its own operations.
If the current project proves the validity of the concept, TEPCO expects there will be many more uses for the insight, along with opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the two companies.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving millions of homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 34 subsidiaries and 32 affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 42,060 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totaled 5.3 trillion Japanese yen.
The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information visit https://www4.tepco.co.jp/en/
About Via Science
Via Science creates software applications that identify and prioritize risks to critical infrastructure using a combination of high-performance computing, machine learning, and causal analytics. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Via Science has developed its risk assessment algorithms in conjunction with some of the world’s leading companies and government agencies in energy and security. The company has been featured in Wired Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes for its expertise in causal analytics software applications. For more information, please visit www.viascience.com.
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