Mr. Prithpal Khajuria with Intel Talks about Utility 2.0 and Solving Utility Challenges through Innovation

In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast we're talking to Prithpal Khajuria, Global Technology Enablement Leader at Intel Corporation about “Utility 2.0 and the need to Educate, Collaborate and Innovate to Solve Today's Utility Challenges”.  Get the answers to your “Utility 2.0” questions along with Prithpal's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

You can find out more about Prithpal and the wonderful team at Intel on upping your Utility 2.0 and Innovation game by the links below. Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2020. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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utilities, substation, grid, collaborate, renewables, Intel, innovate, innovation, happening, dotto, Prithpal, scott, edge, hardware, listeners, devices, infrastructure, application, world, industry


Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go Hey there, welcome to the industrial talk podcast. The place this platform is dedicated to you. This is it. Right here. We celebrate industry heroes. You know why? You know why we celebrate industry heroes because all of you are bold, you are brave, you dare greatly. you innovate. You solve problems. You're changing the lives and you're changing the world as we speak right now, on this day. How can we not celebrate you? Now? This is a special podcast and why I say it's special because I'm gonna geek out on you all things Utility. I'm speaking he's in the hot seat. I'm speaking with a gentleman by the name of Prithpal, that's p r i t h p a l and if I mess up his last name, he understands but I'm going to give it a shot here Khajuria and he is with a just a teeny little company called Intel. And you know what we're going to be talking about Utility 2.0 let's get cracking. Yeah, Utility 2.0, we've got industry 4.0 Utility 2.0 and and we've got industrial talk 2.0 which is a redesign of the industrial talk platform to better serve the industrial heroes. Stay tuned for that one. Now. What we've got is we're gonna be talking about this industry 2.0 and what's interesting about the conversation with Prithpal, is the fact that utilities are going to have to go forward now he's he's going to be talking not me, uh, you know, I'm I'm constantly preaching the necessity to educate, collaborate and innovate. I'm always without any without any prodding from me, Prithpal says, We've got it from a Utility perspective. We got to educate, we got to come together and collaborate. And boy, do we need to innovate and and talk about bottom line value with the innovation that exists out there and utilities. man, oh man, and you're saying so Scott. I'm already excited.


Hold your horses,


what we have now. Now want to get your paper and pencil out. Because this is all about the education. This is all about the collaboration. This is all about the innovation that is taking place within Utility 2.0 and it is a webinar, you're gonna say to yourself, Scott, I don't I don't want on a webinar. Now this is this is cool stuff. Of course, it's free, and it's live. And it's called grid modernization, using advanced protection and control with AI. So, you know, they're rolling in that whole industry 4.0 prep, Pritpal team out there, boom, very, very cool stuff. The date is right around the corner, the date is March 16. And that is 2pm. Eastern Time, and that is 11am. Pacific time. That's Tuesday, March 16. And what I'm going to have out there on the industrial talk the the link, the link is pretty doggone long. You know it is the URL, but it doesn't matter if you're not it's out there T and D world is the I want to say the sponsor of this, but you're gonna you're gonna hear Chris Prithpal and you're gonna hear a gentleman by the name of Anthony severine and I'm gonna say Siv e s i n d and e is with the Salt River Project. Mad Mad street cred major major league. Alright, let's go to the principal stat card, because we can't. Okay, birth Prithpal stack card is with Intel as we talk about it. He is the global technology enablement leader. And he does a lot him and his team at Intel doing a lot they want to be able to in the Utility space, the Utility to dot o be able to collaborate, yes. Be able to educate Absolutely, and biggest and most important component, boom, innovate. There's a lot of opportunities out there to be better. And there's a lot of opportunities to be able to provide a more reliable power. There's just it's it's a fertile ground. And you know who's leading the way that's right, Intel, team Intel. Alright, let's get going. Enjoy this interview with Prithpal Khajuria. Great guy, by the way, so enjoy. Alright, Prithpal, thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. I want to tell you the listeners. This conversation is going to be a barnburner because I'm passionate about utilities and Prithpal and his wonderful Team at Intel, they're gonna bring the lumber how you don't print ball.


Fantastic. Thank you, Scott.


I love it man. And, and I, listeners, I just want to let you know because of my background utilities and all that stuff, I just I geek out on what we're going to be talking about. But before we get into that topic and the topic, we're gonna lay it out Utility 2.0 and you're just gonna say yourself, Scott, I want to know what that is. We got to figure out who Prithpal is. Give us a little background, my friend.


The sole Thanks, Scott Parker Julia, I'm a global segment lead for power sector Intel. In this role role, we partner with utilities to collaborate and innovate together in I have been working in the power sector for 10 plus years, helping the utilities to transform, build a grid modernization strategies, and also helping the ecosystem to build the products to meet the Utility requirements.


Now, let me ask you this. And I, have you seen, because I've been out of the Utility business for a number of years. And have you seen in that 10 years of helping utilities sort of dragging them along? Have you seen them start to change and start to begin to think about some of the things that need to take place for this digital journey?


Yes, yes, Scott, I think things are changing. I give an example like a snowball. So renewables are creating that snowball at the edge of the grid, and this snowball is getting bigger and bigger and bigger every day. And utilities have realized that they need to get in front of it. Otherwise, it is just going to swap them or swallowed him. So I think that is forcing a lot of utilities to start thinking and be preparing for the future.


But here's the deal that they're utilities, so you're not gonna sit there and boot them out. It's like, I mean, they, they have their territories. But you're finding that they're saying, hey, this snowball, we need to modernize we need to, we need to innovate, we need to truly collaborate. We can't just be islands anymore.


You're right. I so I think you see around the world what's happening with the Utility sector, you know, happened with California last summer, we're happening taxes. So, then we are seeing in front of us this is happening. And we have to prepare, I think one of the biggest thing is which utilities are realizes, as renewables penetrate more and more at the edge of the grid. electrification of our transportation sector happens agree on one it is going to create more demand for electricity. But on the other Snee it is going to create more instability in the grid, because renewables are going to go up and down is to see saw, okay, one time there are too much renewables next minute, they disappear. Okay, how are you going to manage the grid,


I'll tell you one thing, I went to the, at the time, when I was in the Utility, we would go to the system operator, right system operator, and that system operator would be able to add a computer terminal and watch the demand, go up, and then be able to bring in the generation to meet the demand and balance that out, what you have brought up is just an absolute system operational nightmare. And that it can only be solved through what you guys are doing. Because I don't know how you match the supply and demand when things are popping up. And often, like you, you've got solar like it's it's just a


second scope. So when let's let's look at a operation perspective Utility, yeah, they have a contracts for X amount of generation capacity, okay. In then there is a y amount of consumption. But that is always there is a difference between the to the life goes on, but with renewables injected at the edge of the grid. No, you have another variability. So if people are generating their own energy, they are not taking energy from the Utility, all the generation capacity you have, you're wasting money.


And he can't just store it, right.


So Exactly. So So what are you going to do it? So no, as a Utility, you need to figure out a way to basically how to balance it. And I think what one big regulatory change that is, is going to come in coming years with their utilities will be benchmarked against how they maximize the utilization of renewables. Because currently like utilities have a regulation Sadie and carry, you know, that's why they're regulated, you know, benchmark for their reliability of the service and stuff. But if think about if another thing got injected there that hey, how you're maximizing the utilization of renewables, no all of sudden, how do you control your substations? How do you control your feeders? What is the profile of those feeders? Mr. Utility, you need to know it without that you cannot claim it.


There's so many questions. For me, I'm going to try to I'm going to try to hone this conversation in because you're, you're touching on all of these points that are I never even thought of, but you're absolutely spot on. The one of the things that I want to make sure that you defined for the listeners out there, when we start talking, you mentioned it a couple of times, edge of grid, what is that? What just tell us a little bit about that, and then we're gonna get into what you need to do.


Yeah, so So there are two pieces to it. One is the edge of the greatest behind the meter, okay, a home or a business, which is that which is at the edge of the grid as a consumer, but they are becoming prosumer. Also, they are consuming electricity, and they are generating electricity. Like today, as we are recording this session. Since a sunny day in California, my house is generating more energy than I consume. Where is that energy going back? It's going back to the grid, okay. Know what happening grid is becoming bi directional before I used to consume energy from it. And no, I am sending back to the nergi. So I become one edge, then we jump into the substation level, we because every consumer is connected on the feeder that electrons are flowing in that whole feeder, we have a substation know what substation has to do in future to monitor and get inside, that how this feeder is behaving? How much is renewable coming in how the Lord is the constant Sisa. Basically, one time we have too much renewable, it is flowing back to the grid. And the next time the renewables drop by 50%. All the load shifts back to the grid, and grid has to provide the power. How do you manage all that stuff?


That's it, you got it? Yeah, this is a huge challenge that that for me personally can only come through a a real, meaningful, collaborative, innovative solution. So let's talk a little bit about Intel. Let's talk a little bit about what you're doing. So you come to a Utility company. And these are realities that are happening on the ground right now. What do we need to do? What do we even start? Which is, which is sort of this old legacy lumbering Utility? What do we need to do?


I think, I think let's, let's start from the discussion, from the substation point of view, what is there in the substation, we have all the electrical asset. And then we have lot of automation and control devices. They're in utilities, terminology, we call them IDs, Intelligent electronic devices, these devices are sitting there, they are doing their own stuff with me. And they come from multiple vendors, with multiple tools, utilities, put them to here, and then they maintain them through the life of the cycle. So what it is it is a silos system, production and control is doing its job. And automation is doing its job. So I give an example to people think about this V. In the data center word, everybody was selling their own application on their own hardware. I don't think internet internet would have reached to the point where it is today. Because so I think we're going to learn from that, that what happened there in the in the world of data centers in the world of internet, which is standardization, standardization of hardware, and standardization towards the tools. A key that's what happened, you know, I can I can buy the standard hardware and build my data center. And I can buys and then use the standard tools to configure and provision panes. So utilities have to think the same way that how they can leverage the data centric technologies which are have mature Over the years, and we start building what we call it a micro data center in the substations.


I can't write fast enough here. I'm scribbling as fast as I can, because you are hitting so many points. I mean, can utilities? Can they can they have, like, an incremental approach? Because let's say I'm a Utility. I've got substations everywhere. I've got generation, I've got substation, I've got an all over the place. And for me to wrap my arms around a big bang type of approach to standardize the hardware, then into the program, is it a wave? Can we standardize in an incremental way,


or that definitely, I think the biggest challenge utilities are going to face in future is the distribution grid. That's where the challenges are it or a distribution substations. So we can do it in so we can do it incremental way. So that's the inter we have kind of divided into two segments. One segment, we call it a basic basically digitalization of automation, or a micro data center for substation automation. So what we do is that we take all your IoT applications, OT applications, and start running on a cluster of servers in this virtualized world. So you standardize that piece. Easy. Okay, we can do it today. So all all that basically gets standardized using a IEC 61 850 dash three class two certified server hardware, because that's a must have for substations, then, then you put all the virtualization software on it, in then after that, you start putting each applications, no life is so good. Like, if I got a new version of a application, I just create a virtual machine, install the new application in it, run it for three, six months, collect all the logs and data, analyze it, it is doing where it should be, then turn it on, there is no need to roll a truck, there's no need to send couple of people there and spending couple of days there working on it. And you know, substation is not a fun place to be in a hazard environment, you blink your eyes, you can be in a big trouble. So it's, wait, wait, wait, we we take that risk out of it? And and I think it increase the safety and reliability for the utilities. So that's one piece. That's one piece. We have been working on it. But then we can jump on the other side of the story, which is protection and control, which is a very critical function in the substation.


Yep, yep. Yep. Let's let's get, you're killing me, man. I'm trying to keep up with all your great points, and I'm writing it down. And I've realized I'm going oh, my gosh, I gotta write that down, too. Because what is the benefit? Why? From a utilities perspective, you're, you're, you're saying stuff, man, you're, you're, you're sort of swimming up that river, you're you're, you're talking heresy here and there. Because I've got a tremendous amount of legacy thinking, and I, this is the way we've always done it, and we're gonna do it. What's the benefit for me?


So let's think this what is the benefit for the utilities? First thing that standardized hardware always cost less money, you standardize the hardware, build a flexing ball infrastructure, where you can add the security monitoring capabilities, because security threats constantly evolve. And you need a system which can evolve accordingly. So what it will do is that it will reduce your capital cost because no you're not buying these 10 different boxes, you know, in then it will reduce your operational cost also, because you don't have to roll the trucks so that creates a win win situation.


Yeah, I so we're talking about a reduction in the whole capital, right capture costs as well as ops cost because you're Are you Is it because I can see things like you can I see the data and I can I can.


Exactly so so it's exactly Scott. What happens next is that once we got all these applications consolidated in this in infrastructure, no, I can normalize it, aggregate all the data at a single place in then the next step is unleash the power of analytics, artificial Intelligence, extra start extracting valuable insight out of the data. So once we have an insight, now we can take decisions faster to it, and which leads to any increase all reliability. So that's the benefit of the technology. by standardizing it, your software innovation can run at a much faster pace, then the hardware, because the old approach was, somebody will build a box, they will take two to three years to build that box, then Utility will take another two years to test that box. It is a five years, and then nobody wants to touch it for 10 years, we are not in that world. The things are changing way faster around us, who believed five to 10 years ago, that renewable will catch up at so fast, who believed that electric vehicles will be the talk of the day? No, everybody believes that the next decade where all our infrastructure is going to get electrified. Okay.


See, it's interesting, because you bring up a couple of great points. First off, one, there's gold, and what you're trying to create within the Utility environment, the access to that gold, that that data to be able to make better decisions, it can be approached from an incremental point of view, which is great, I don't have to look at this, I can look at this and be able to get to that gold through that approach that you mentioned. That's one, two, you're absolutely correct, there's going to be that electrification, it's going to be greater demand, there's greater things happening within this world. And in fact, I was having a conversation with somebody specifically about unmanned vehicles. And the reason there's going to be unmanned vehicles is because we just don't have enough people to deal with that logistics component, right. And so that is an electric electrification of that logistics.




you cannot manage the demand, and the load, and all of the stuff without doing without being innovative, you just can't.


So I can see see, human resources very valuable. And what is going to this, this future innovation will drive that human resource to do things which are higher value, and then lot of things will get optimized. The key and one of thing is, is basically autonomous. mobility,


it's gonna happen, it's just gonna happen.


Exactly. So so what what Intel thinks is that we need to utilities at Intel need to collaborate and innovate together to address the challenges of the future.


I want I want to make sure you listeners just that is a absolutely brilliant, yet simple statement. The utilities have to collaborate and innovate together, you can't. And I think that just in this world of COVID is just my my, my two cents. I think it's requiring more people to collaborate because we need answers. And I, me singular guy doesn't have all the answers, I might have a little sliver, but not the answer. And I want you to listen to understand, again, we need to collaborate we need to innovate, but it also comes down to educate Right.


Exactly. So they go together, we we start with education and awareness, and then we jump into collaboration and innovation. And that is how we solve solve the problems of the future. And one of the area which we are very focused is production and control.


On that real quick, yeah,


yeah, because production control is very critical function in the utilities, grid operations. And keep in what we are seeing, what we are seeing there is that they have these devices from multiple vendors, sitting there in substations and not using the goal of the data, the goal which there which is there. It's not usable. So What Intel has done working with the utilities to combining this into a system, where standardized hardware, then all the model quality infrastructure software runs on the top of the standard hardware, a key it is a distributor hardware again, and then application reside on the top of it in a distributed fashion. Because currently, what happens if one device fails, they have to go send somebody to replace it. But if we create this flexible infrastructure, and if one server fails or five servers, life continues, you don't have to send anybody in the middle of the night. Scott, you'd be in alignment in your life.


Wow. I remember getting called is like, yeah, that logs out.


Exactly. So no, you know, your your one server failed no issues. The system has a built in redundancy and reliability, it will keep running in the morning, you go and pull that server out, push a new server in and walk away. You don't have to configure provision do anything igni. So that is kind of the beauty is going to bring it to the utilities. And no, no, the game will change. You know, in our work with some of the utilities, we found out that it will reduce number of devices by 50%. Okay,




devices by 50 50%.


Yes. Compute devices, the devices.


That's outrageous. I'm just telling you, that's an outrageous number. It is it's an outrageous number. That's huge. 50%.


Exactly. And I think that goes back to what we said. The cooperation, key and innovation. If Intel and the utilities work together, we collaborate and we innovate. And then everybody gets benefit of it. Yeah.


And how can you sit listeners? How can you sit there and just knock holes into that? That's that's Win, win win all around, everybody wins. And, and I would imagine me as a consumer, right, I win just because I I'm working with in a Utility that is innovative, that's collaborating that's edge. They're doing everything they can to deliver product, which is


you get you get a better system, which is more reliable. Yeah. cost you less money. Yeah. And cost you less to do to maintain it mean, what else we need? All right. I think I think the artist, the artist, this caught our focus at Intel, to drive the innovation into the Utility sector and key and transform it.


I am speechless. This is such a great conversation. I love this conversation. I I hate to call it AI we've got it looking at my handy dandy little quick one. Yeah, we got to wrap it up my friend. Now let me ask you this. We've got a webinar. It's It's It's coming up. Now. I'm looking at the landing page here. Are you speaking at this webinar, which is calendar, calendar, calendar, everybody get their calendar out March 16. Tuesday, it is at 2pm. Eastern time. And okay, you can do the math that is 11am. Pacific time, are you going to be speaking at this grid modernization using advanced protection and control with AI?


Yes, sir. That is what we're going to be presenting there. And I have a course. presenter with me, Mr. Anthony from Salt River Project, which is a Utility we are working closely with with, okay, so it will be it will be a giant presentation. What Intel is doing in this area, and then you can hear from the Utility side that how the utilities are seeing it is the beneficial to them. So this is this is what we're talking about collaboration and innovation.


I'm telling you, I'm all tickled about this whole thing. I love it. I love what you guys are trying to do. I love the fact that you're trying to bring awareness to an industry that needs to collaborate that needs of more innovation and you got great companies like Intel that's doing and I'm looking I'm sorry, I'm, I'm looking at the landing page and it's great. Okay, listeners, I'm going to have this. I'm gonna have the URL of this particular event. Get out there, get involved, write down it's all easy peasy guys. You are a ripoff. Thank you. You're awesome.


Thank you, Scott.


I'm speechless. And by the way, listeners, this is called Utility 2.0. Yeah. Yeah, that's their, that's their term Utility 2.0. No more with 1.0. This is Utility 2.0 conversation with Prithpal, thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. absolute honor, he brought the lumber loving.


Thank you for hosting me.


Now you were great. Alright listeners, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. We're going to talk a bit a little bit about that webinar that we've already mentioned. Links, contacts with profile your, your act about on LinkedIn because your stat card is pretty cool. Yes. All right. To him, I'm gonna have his link there too, as well. Everything that you need to get ahold of don't come to me and say I can't get ahold of him. Because you're lying. Alright, stay tuned. We're gonna wrap it up on the other side. Thank you very much for joining the industrial talk podcast. You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


All right, did I tell you I was gonna geek out on that stuff. That is just incredible, incredible innovation that is being brought to you by those wonderful people at Intel. Pritpal brought the lumber. Now everything you're going to get out there on industrial talk on his podcast, of course his stat card on LinkedIn, you can reach out to him. They're easy peasy. No big issue there. Now you're going to have to get your calendar out again calendar out. This is a webinar. This is grid modernization using advanced protection and control with AI a lot of opportunities out there with this Utility 2.0 nullam what is happening at Intel. I love the conversation with Chris Pritpal. You got to reach out. You just do that for me. Okay? Because he's a great guy. All right. One last thing, industry, industrial talk 2.0, we're gonna be doing something that is really special with the website we're going through right now. That's ability to be able to find those professionals whose industry heroes easier and reach out to them. All right, be bold, be brave, dare greatly change the world. That's what you guys are doing reach out to. Bertha, thank you very much for joining. We will be back with another great interview.

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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