Korea Electric Power Enables Simultaneous, Real-Time Data Collection and Analysis with High Performance, Next-Generation Data Processing
 
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Korea Electric Power Enables Simultaneous, Real-Time Data Collection and Analysis with High Performance, Next-Generation Data Processing

Founded in 1961, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) supplies electricity to approximately 20 million customers in South Korea. The company is aiming to become a global, top-five electricity provider by rolling out smart grids and promoting low carbon, power-generating technologies.

KEPCO implemented Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition to underpin its Substation Operating Results Management System (SOMAS). The system analyzes load status data from transmission and distribution substations across the country. Oracle Exadata has enabled the company to process load information 100x faster and compress data up to 20x. This analysis also allows KEPCO to monitor power usage and take any necessary preemptive action to avoid outages.

 
Keeping Track of Power Usage in a Time of Rapid Growth

A word from Korea Electric Power Corp.

  • “Oracle Exadata enabled us to process load information from our power substations 100x faster, compress data up to 20x, and predict and analyze electricity supply in real time. As an energy provider that needs to manage rapidly increasing power demands, this ability will enable us to provide a stable and efficient power supply to the people of Korea.” – Company spokesperson, Korea Electric Power Corp.

Demand for electricity in South Korea is growing by 10% each year, driven by rapid industrialization and an increasingly plugged-in society. KEPCO must ensure consistent power delivery at all times. If demand outstrips supply, outages occur, inconveniencing people and potentially causing serious damage to the grid. On the other hand, oversupply has a detrimental effect on the environment and wastes valuable corporate resources.

To maintain optimum supply, KEPCO has to continually monitor the voltage that flows through transmission and distribution substations across South Korea. The company’s substations produce 74 million kilowatts per day. The company relies on SOMAS to collect data on the load of transformers and powerlines. SOMAS is designed to detect if overloading or defects occur in any of the substations, and to immediately alert support staff to potential issues.

With customer numbers and power consumption increasing, KEPCO needed a robust database that had the power and scalability to process rapidly growing volumes of load data. The company generates 2 gigabytes (GB) of data per day and expects data volumes to increase by 219 GB every year.

KEPCO also wanted the ability to collect and analyze load data simultaneously and in real time, so that it can assess the operational status of substations and take corrective action if it detects abnormal load patterns. Real-time load data would also help KEPCO respond quickly in emergency outage situations.

In 2011, KEPCO implemented Oracle Exadata to collect substation and powerline load data from SOMAS. KEPCO also deployed Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition to conduct more sophisticated analysis of the load data.

 
Processing Speed Significantly Improved

 
Simultaneous Real-Time Data Collection and Analysis

 
Deeper Analysis of Power Usage Trends

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Implement a robust database that had the power and scalability to process rapidly growing volumes of load data from substations and transformers
  • Analyze load data in real time, so that the operational status of substations can be closely monitored and appropriate corrective action taken to resolve abnormal load patterns
  • Respond quickly to restore power during an outage
  • Enable real-time data collection and analysis to take place simultaneously without affecting the performance of SOMAS
  • Compress data to reduce storage requirements
  • Ensure minimal changes are required to existing applications when migrating to the new database platform

Solutions

  • Improved average data processing speed by 100x, regardless of the availability of an index or whether data was compressed
  • Increased processing speed by a maximum of 170x when data was uncompressed
  • Sped up SQL executions from 137 seconds in the previous system to 1.1 seconds in tests
  • Compressed data tables by up to 20x and sped up data transaction by up to 100x
  • Improved OLTP speed by 126x and reduced storage requirements after compressing data tables
  • Received the load status of transformers and powerlines every 30 seconds instead of every two minutes—a fourfold improvement—to detect and resolve anomalies in power supply before an outage occurs
  • Improved the hourly CPU usage of database servers from an average of 95% to an average of 10%
  • Expanded the scope of load fluctuation analysis in its substations from three to four months, to three years, increasing the reliability of its power operations
  • Enabled real-time data collection and analysis to take place at the same time without any degradation in performance by incorporating Oracle Exadata into its redesigned SOMAS
  • Allowed staff to draw on data from the past 10 years when conducting hourly queries on power usage and overload rates to better predict power consumption and plan for future power demands
  • Completed implementation in less than two months without making changes to existing applications running on Oracle Database
  • Finished data migration in one week with minimal disruption

Why Oracle

KEPCO had four selection criteria for its database. First, it must have a powerful architecture capable of processing large amounts of data. Second, it had to be scalable, as data volumes were increasing at a rapid rate. Third, it should include data compression features. Lastly, the solution had to be easy to migrate; for instance, it had to integrate with existing applications, such as SOMAS, without the need for significant changes. Data also had to be migrated in a stable manner.

After three years of verification and deliberation, KEPCO decided on Oracle Exadata. The company undertook a proof-of-concept to verify the solution’s performance and was impressed with the results. In particular, the SQL test results showed that the speed of almost all SQL executions improved from 137 seconds in the previous system to 1.1 seconds.

The ease of migration was another key reason for choosing Oracle Exadata. The company would not have to make changes to existing applications running on Oracle Database because Oracle Exadata uses the latest Oracle database architecture.

Implementation Process

KEPCO kicked off the Oracle Exadata implementation in December 2011. The entire process―from order placement to testing and stabilization―took less than two months. The data migration and environment configuration took only one week to complete.

Partner

Oracle Partner KEPCO KDN Co., Ltd is KEPCO’s IT subsidiary. KEPCO KDN helps KEPCO implement IT infrastructures that are tailored to the specific requirements of the power industry; maintains and repairs IT assets; and provides experienced technical assistance to resolve IT issues. The company offers automated control and other systems for power generation and distribution operations and transaction systems to modulate power supply and demand.

“Thanks to KEPCO KDN, we have established a next-generation database without completely overhauling or dismantling the existing system configuration,” said a spokesperson from Korea Electric Power Corp. “This has enabled us to provide higher quality service to our customers within a short period of time.”