Hybrid cloud-edge systems to support the digital transformation

Posted by Matias Almeida Garzon

by Matias Almeida Garzon

It is no news that the energy sector is going through a technological revolution. The urgent need for renewables integration applies pressure on accelerating the adoption of digital solutions compatible with #SmartGrid infrastructure. IOTech Systems' co-founder and product director, Andrew Foster, provides a valuable perspective on how new edge computing solutions play a fundamental role in enabling this transformation.

But first, what are edge solutions? 🤔
In a nutshell, they refer to localised computing resources to process and analyse data in real-time at the network's edge. In other words, edge solutions act at the field level on infrastructure like substations. The benefits include scalability, response time, maintenance cost reduction, decentralised operability, and constant adaptability to AI and machine learning technologies.

Contrary to some assumptions, the expansion of edge computing solutions does not play against cloud systems but complements them. Foster is very vocal on this point. To put things into perspective, cloud computing act as centralised servers that gathers and manages all the input provided by all assets and applications. Edge solutions enter this landscape as adaptors or integrators whose role is to filter asset data reducing the volume transmitted to the cloud and prioritising the local processing of #OT data to ensure optimal timing and operational process efficiency.

The question does not revolve around whether to use cloud or edge but rather how to achieve resilient integration of both systems. The challenge is securing reliable channels of communication within the system architecture. The #IEC61850 standard for substation communication represents a perfect solution that is being used by energy operators worldwide.

Smart Grid Forums has designed a 12-week community-based online training for industry professionals who desire to acquire valuable knowledge that will play a fundamental role in tailoring effective and secure communication systems.

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