Go Big or Go Home

The IEEE PES T&D 2016 conference and exhibition will soon be upon us and the theme of the conference is “GO BIG” in the electric power industry. Hosted in Dallas, Texas between 2-5 May, and with an opening super-session from Emmitt Smith (former Hall of Fame NFL and winner of season 3 Dancing with the Stars), with over 700 exhibitors and 240,000 sq. ft of hall space, and with a 72-foot tall video screen, this year’s conference is bound to be the biggest yet. You also get the chance to tour the Dallas Cheerleaders locker room - it’s all set up to be a very interesting event.

With such a huge program, picking out some notable sessions is not easy. In the conference program, I do however note some interesting sessions especially focused on substation design and the use of substations in operation and the enablement of the electric grid for smarter operations. The session named “Grid of the Future: Design and Operation” includes a host of speakers who will be discussing how to optimize the usage of flexible load and distributed energy resources, as well as the leveraging of physical assets and communications network infrastructure to develop better utilities of the future. Gregg Lemler, VP of PG&E should be an interesting speaker.

The conference seems to be focusing on a broad range of topics, from animal deterrents to some of the major industry trends, from Big Data and Analytics, to Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT). All these trends are set to dominate the industry in the coming years as infrastructure professionals wrestle with the technological and process changes impacting their environments whilst focusing on improving reliability and gaining greater efficiency during the grid transformation.

Another interesting session is likely to be “Forum 5: Transformers and Substations” which is set to address the challenges of designing and maximizing the potential of such assets. With a multinational speaker panel, there is a large contingent from China which is reminiscent of our own Bentley Be Inspired Awards program and specifically, the awards for “Utilities and Communications”. Many of the most innovative projects we see are coming from China as they continue to educate others on their processes and best practices.

 Image courtesy of Henan Electric Power Survey and Design Institute

Strength in substation design and operations can be found in impressive projects submitted to the Bentley Be Inspired Awards program from China. Some noteworthy projects over the last few years include:

Image courtesy of Southwest Electric Power Design Institute

The Be Inspired Awards submission portal is now open, and we encourage any user to submit their project which can be shared on the global stage.