Manila Electric Company (Meralco), an electric distribution utility company, gave a sneak peek of its digital twin laboratory called PIXL or Powertech Innovation and eXperience Lab.
Meralco said PIXL will play an important role in the distribution utility’s efforts to futureproof its business operations. This virtual world will use real-world data to create simulations for training and education.
“The most important digital strategy we have is the digitalization of the grid,” said Atty. Ray Espinosa, president and CEO, Meralco. “Making the grid smarter entails a lot of new investments in technology. We are looking to smart substations, smart meters, advanced metering infrastructure, and advanced network infrastructure, all of which taken together would make the grid much smarter and more digital.”
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PIXL features 10 short-throw high-definition projectors, a 360-degree projection wall, LED lights, and extended reality devices such as Microsoft HoloLens, and Oculus VR headset.
Smart grid is the integration of innovative systems to the power grid for improved generation and distribution of electricity.
According to Meralco, PIXL can help accelerate innovation and improve its business operations as it can serve a variety of functions critical to the power distributor’s mandate to deliver reliable and stable electricity service to its customers. These include technology scanning, proof of concept, prototype development, extended reality previews of different vital facilities such as substations and business centers, simulations of critical incident resolutions, distant learning, knowledge transfer, and remote support.
PIXL is also envisioned to serve as a venue for co-innovation initiatives with the academe, regulators, other electric cooperatives, and distribution utilities in the Philippines or even other countries.
Powered by a solid data-driven strategy and years of industry experience, Meralco has embraced digital transformation through its Customer Centricity Transformation Program and Digital Projects, a holistic and end-to-end approach that aims to improve customer touchpoints, and level up operational efficiencies and services to achieve better customer experience.
In 2021, Meralco started utilizing ICT Operations Platform and Telecommunications Integrated Command Center (OPTIC), a new command and control center which manages all information, communication, and technology systems of the distribution utility. The facility aims to reduce unplanned downtime of critical ICT systems, increase productivity of employees, and enhance service delivery to customers.