Chubu Electric Power and KDDI to collaborate on 5G verification trials at substations with the goal of increasing efficiency of on-site operations and enhancing resilience
September 28, 2020
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (Head office: Nagoya city, Aichi Prefecture; President Kingo Hayashi; "Chubu Electric Power") and KDDI Corporation (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President Makoto Takahashi: "KDDI") will begin 5G joint verification trials ("verification trials") on October 01 with the goal of increasing the efficiency of on-site operations and enhancing resilience at substations.
The two companies will construct 5G networks that are high-speed, high-capacity, low-delay and multiple-access at two hubs, Chubu Electric Power Grid Co., Inc.'s (Head office: Nagoya city, Aichi Prefecture; President & Director Yaoji Ichikawa; "Chubu Electric Power Grid") Odaka Substation and one of the Chubu Electric Power research centers (both located in Midori-ku, Nagoya city) and conduct this trial to verify the performance of 5G communications in an actual substation environment. Verification will also be conducted with an eye toward actual operation of the network in patrols, monitoring and work support carried out remotely using robots, high-definition cameras, smart glass, and other devices.
Verification Trial Background
- The electric power industry has confronted the challenge of how to further ensure safety and increase the efficiency of field operations in addition to promptly restoring facilities when a disaster arises.
- As one improvement measure, Chubu Electric Power Grid has taken the initiative to develop robots used for remote monitoring and diagnosis in on-site operations at substations.
- While remote robot operation over conventional wireless systems has faced the issue of how to enhance real-time capability due to the large-capacity and low-delay data transmission requirements.
- Chubu Electric Power and KDDI have launched a verification trial that employs 5G and cutting-edge technology to find solutions to a variety of issues.
Description of Verification Trial
1 Trial period
October 01, 2020 through January 21, 2021
This verification trial will investigate the effect that large-capacity transformers, buildings, structures and other objects have on communications at a substation and research center where 5G networks have been constructed. In addition, the following verification trials will be conducted assuming remote patrols, monitoring, work support and other use cases at the substation to assess usability and convenience.
3 Specific considerations
(1) Remote operation of patrol robots
For the purposes of increasing on-site operation efficiency and rapidly collecting information during a disaster, 5G high-speed, high-capacity and low delay-performance will be utilized to remotely operate a patrol robot, which is being jointly developed by Chubu Electric Power and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO Takeshi Sugiyama). This will allow the usability of remote operation, which requires real-time capability, to be verified.
(2) Remote monitoring and work support with high-definition cameras and smart glass
- 5G high-speed and high-capacity performance will be used to photograph with a remotely-operated high-definition camera places which need to be checked at substations. This will permit the usability of remote monitoring with high-definition images to be verified.
- 5G high-speed, high-capacity and low delay-performance will be utilized to share views from smart glass attached to on-site workers as the high-definition images are streamed to a work supervisor stationed remotely. Work instructions will be displayed in real time on the smart glass screens. This will permit the usability of remote work support, which requires real-time capability, to be verified.
(3) AI analysis utilizing MEC (see note)
To monitor for trespassers, detect equipment abnormalities early, verify worker safety and other purposes, 5G MEC, a low-delay network, will be made use of to employ AI in the analysis of camera-streamed images. This will permit the usability of AI analysis utilizing MEC to be verified.
In the future also, both companies will tap 5G to promote initiatives for increasing efficiency of on-site operations and strengthening resilience.
(Note) MEC is an abbreviation for Multi-access Edge Computing, a technology that shortens communication delay by configuring a server close to the communication terminal.