How Oktogrid helps the leading power transmission company in Chile make more data-driven decisions.

April 25, 2024 3 min. read

As Transelec was looking for new ways to enhance the data usage in the daily operations of their assets, they discovered Oktogrid. They’re on the path to making more informed decisions about transformer replacements, saving them both time and money.

Transelec is the leading power transmission company in Chile, lighting up 98 % of the homes in Northern and Central Chile. With more than 10.000 kilometres of transmission lines, 69 substations and around 170 transformers across the country, they are a crucial part of the country’s power infrastructure.

Their innovation vehicle, Transelec Ventures, is always on the lookout to find new innovative and commercially scalable solutions to help them improve their services and increase their margins. Last year, they were specifically looking for new digital solutions or AI-tools to enhance their data usage and support them in the inspection and daily operations of their assets. 

“We were looking for solutions to create and monitor new data from our assets which could lead us to make better decisions," says Tomás Riddell, Head of Innovation and Ventures in Transelec. “That made Oktogrid a good choice for us as a tailored solution for transformers.”

Normally, Transelec has to replace their transformers every forty years which is the average lifespan informed by the supplier. Since transformers are the most expensive assets for transmission companies like Transelec, they are always looking for ways to extend the actual lifetime of the assets, of course without causing failures, as it will save them both time and money. 

With the traditional method using manual inspections, however, they didn’t have enough dynamic data about the health index of the transformer to make informed decisions, making it difficult to extend the lifetime of their transformers beyond the supplier’s instructions. 

That’s why the company decided to launch a pilot project, implementing Oktogrid’s solution to digitise their transformers and receive real-time transformer performance data. 

Daily and dynamic data 

“With Oktogrid, we can see and measure dynamic data from the transformers on a daily basis, so we can estimate the health index and make more informed decisions,” Tomás Riddell explains. 

“Their solution creates data that didn’t exist – daily and dynamic data that enables us to see and estimate the ageing of the transformers and detect possible failures early on,” he elaborates.  

After using Oktogrid’s solution in a pilot project for about a year, Transelec have identified three ways Oktogrid creates value for them. 

  • First of all, they make more data-driven and unbiased decisions. 
  • Secondly, they optimize budget spending on replacing the assets. 
  • And thirdly, they gain remote access to data by receiving the health index digitally, reducing the need for frequent on-site visits. 

In other words, they get easier access to more data which enables them to make better decisions and cut costs. 

Like a refrigerator magnet

Having in mind that Transelec operates in an industry known for relying on certified operators with special permits, Tomás Riddell also highlights service-level and the ease of use of the solution. 

“One of the biggest advantages of Oktogrid is the installation method,” he says. “I’m not a technician and I can even install it as it is magnetically mounted. It’s just like putting a magnet on a refrigerator.” 

After the initial test phase, Transelec is working on scaling the project. More data points across more use cases enables them to compare the data and learn more from it. They believe that this will enable them to make even more informed decisions in the future, possibly saving them even more costs.

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