While the State of Israel can fit into the state of Texas approximately 31 times, it has technological prowess that could help the Lone Star State reduce the chances of infrastructure collapses like the one that occurred after the record-breaking winter storm last week, and provide solutions if they fail.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, the main company in charge of the Texas power grid, under-forecasted the amount of back-up energy it would need when demand vastly surpassed supply, especially during a time of crisis.
This error was magnified after every power source failed, leading to electricity outages and rolling blackouts throughout the state that lasted for hours at a time.
These worst-case scenarios occurred against the backdrop of the state failing to upgrade its infrastructure to adapt to the weather.
Emek Sadot, CEO of FSight, a technology provider for forecasting and optimizing energy resources, says that while he cannot quantify exactly to what extent, he believes his technology would have helped the Lone Star State to, at the very least, better predict its energy needs.
“We would tap into the environment in the Texas electric grid, forecasting demand and supply based upon various attributes: previous historical demand and supply, weather, and expected weather conditions using machine learning and artificial intelligence,” he says.
“If they were using our technology, they could figure out in [advance] if there is going to be a storm and if the demand is going to be higher than expected and that the wind turbines would likely fail because it was too cold, leading to shortages in the supply capabilities,” Sadot says.
“The gap between less generation capabilities versus more demand triggers a virtual stages alarm,” allowing the Texas energy sector more time to prepare, he says.
Another Israeli high-tech option to find problems in Texas’s electric grid sooner is through automatic drones like those manufactured by the Israel-based Percepto company.
The drones monitor infrastructure activities, without human intervention. The equipment and cloud software are all that is required for the drones to operate.
The drone leaves its charging station and monitors the power line, then comes back to recharge, only to it again as scheduled.
“Our technology will help them get ready for disasters and make sure the infrastructure does not have any issues that will lead to failure within a few weather events,” says Dor Abuhasira, CEO and co-founder of Percepto.
“If we see somewhere the connection is not good, those areas will fail first in wind or even in cold.”
The electric grid was not the only utility to take a beating, as the frigid temperatures froze water pipes in homes and other buildings, some of which have been…