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Discover How Ameren and SAS Leveraged 8 Critical Data Sources to Develop a Use Case to Monitor the Health of Distribution Transformers

Distribution Transformer
With the adoption of smart meter or automated metering infrastructure (AMI) and big data platforms to collect and analyze AMI meter data, utilities are equipped to continuously monitor and proactively manage distribution transformer overloading.


Ameren Illinois and SAS Institute worked together to create a cost-benefit case for distribution transformer health monitoring along with a detailed proof concept for their predictive model.


Distribution transformer is the most vital asset in any electrical distribution network. Hence, distribution transformer health monitoring and load management are critical aspects of smart grids. Transformer health monitoring becomes more challenging for smaller transformers where attaching expensive health monitoring devices to the transformer is not economically justified. The addition of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in smart grids offers significant visibility to the status of distribution transformers. However, leveraging vast amount of AMI data can be daunting.


This paper uses the hourly usage data collected from Ameren Illinois‘ AMI meters to determine distribution transformer outage, failure, and overload. The proposed methodology not only detects and visualizes outage and congested areas in near real time, but also detects transformers and distribution areas with a long history of outage and congestion. This paper also offers a predictive algorithm to enhance regular equipment maintenance schedules and reduce repair truck trips for unscheduled maintenance during unplanned incidents like storms. SAS® Enterprise Guide®, SAS® Enterprise Miner™, and SAS® Visual Analytics were used to efficiently produce the information necessary for operational decision-making from gigabytes of smart meter data.


UAI Members can access the full whitepaper at Distribution Transformer Health Monitoring and Predictive Asset Maintenance.


About Utility Analytics Institute (UAI)

UAI Enables Utility Transformation Through Analytics

UAI is a utility-led membership organization that provides support to the industry to advance the analytics profession and utility organizations of all types, sizes, and analytics maturity levels, as well as analytics professionals throughout every phase of their career.

Transforming into a data decision-based company is one of the most difficult transitions a utility will have to make to thrive in the new energy economy. It’s more than just managing massive amounts of data, implementing the right tools and technology, and people and process management. It’s ensuring you have proper change management processes in place to address cultural challenges, as well as data management and governance plans, and best practice and compliant security strategies in place. It’s implementing the best organizational structure for your utility, and hiring and retaining talented staff, plus so much more! UAI brings together leading utilities who are serious about tackling these challenges and together we concentrate on utility analytics.

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About the authors

Distribution Transformer author

Prasenjit Shil, Manager of Ameren Innovation Center, is actively shaping the future of the electric grid, utility operation and decision making through analytics, Lean/Continuous Improvement, innovation, and disruption. He Influences strategic decision making by providing predictive and descriptive analysis.

Distribution Transformer article

Tom Anderson, Principal Systems Engineer with the SAS US Energy Division, has 25+ years of analytical experience, including 20 years with SAS concentrating on advanced analytics and data management in both Utilities and Oil and Gas.
Recent achievements include solutions in Asset Performance Analytics in both upstream and downstream O&G applications as well as Advanced Meter Infrastructure analysis and application development within electric utilities.