Based on its recent analysis of the ICT for smart energy market, Frost & Sullivan recognises the PSI Group, the largest energy control system software provider in Germany, with the 2012 European Customer Value Enhancement Award.
"PSI's products deliver increased quality and reliability of energy supplies, and thus bring added value to end customers in the energy market," noted Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ewa Tajer. "Through ongoing development and R&D, PSI offers highly functional and field-proven products facilitating utilities' daily operations. This approach has enabled PSI to grow both in and outside of its German market, despite fierce international competition."
As the energy mix changes to incorporate more renewables, it is expected to bring a host of opportunities and challenges. PSI Group helps utilities to balance renewable energy fluctuations through advanced automation. It facilitates feed-in and load management, enables virtual power plants and offers optimised calculation for energy production, consumption and storage.
"These applications help PSI's customers to minimise the negative impacts of renewables on voltage quality," added Tajer. "For example, while the German energy grid performs well with 15 per cent of renewable energy, PSI makes it possible to increase this share to 20 per cent without investing in storage or cross-border transmission capacity."
Furthermore, PSI's monitoring and control systems help energy companies reduce outage duration by detecting fault locations quickly and facilitating more efficient field force management.
Since the majority of renewable energy sources will be connected to low voltage networks, PSI also works with other market players to facilitate the energy shift at the distribution level. For example, PSI partners with RWE in a smart project called "Smart Operator".
"This project is aimed at testing intelligent low-voltage power grid," explained Tajer. "PSI's control devices are used in the project to enable power flow optimisation and guarantee grid stability with renewable energy supply."
In addition to helping utilities provide high quality services, PSI also helps them to achieve higher utilisation rates for their assets. It enables utilities to expand grid limits and gives them more time to carry out necessary investments. Due to its in-depth knowledge of grid parameters, PSI can facilitate optimum network utilisation through load monitoring and control.
"PSI provides additional customer benefits through ongoing product development," stated Tajer. "It invests heavily in R&D to develop new control system variants applicable in the transmission and distribution layers, and more secure communication between smart grid devices."
The company has built up its group software platform, which enables more efficient knowledge sharing and product standardisation. New products are developed in collaboration with pilot customers to ensure that the product meets market needs. Follow-up implementations enable further adjustment and offer field-proven, standardised products.
In February 2012, PSI enhanced its portfolio with the acquisition of Time-steps AG. This acquisition complements PSI's smart grid portfolio by adding leading technology for optimal use of grid infrastructure, especially with regards to storage facilities.
The Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Enhancement is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. This award recognizes the company's inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
About PSI AG
For more than 40 years, PSI develops and integrates software solutions and control systems for the network infrastructures and complex production and logistics processes.
As the European market leader for energy control systems for electricity, gas, oil, heat and water, PSI's customers include almost all the major energy suppliers. Beyond that, PSI provides control system solutions for operational management, network utilization, pipeline management, leak detection and location, portfolio management, energy trading and sales.
For international corporations and medium to large sized companies, PSI develops integrated software solutions for production management and logistics for the metals, automotive, mechanical and plant engineering industries as well as control technology applications for the production, telematics and mining sector. The offering for traffic companies includes control technology applications for traffic systems and operations.
In close cooperation with industry-leading pilot customers, PSI continuously invests in product innovations and the further development of existing software products. The Group was founded in 1969 and employs more than 1,500 people worldwide.
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