July 2020

Utonomy today announced that it would implement its pressure control and management system using Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform in the second phase of its NIA (Network Innovation Allowance) project with SGN and Wales & West Utilities.

Utonomy’s intelligent sensors and controllers are intended to perform continuous measurement and management of the gas grid in order to optimise network pressure, keeping it as low as possible while maintaining statutory minimums. This enables leakage from the networks to be kept to a minimum and allows network operators to meet their environmental goals. During the second phase of NIA trials, remote monitoring and control of network governors will be assessed, and successful operation expected to demonstrate ability to minimise site visits, lower operating costs and assuring services; if the technology can be proven to be safe and efficient for use on the gas network during the NIA project, then an early roll-out could help further protect workers during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

After a successful first phase, SGN, the UK gas distribution network (GDN) that provides gas to 5.9 million households, has awarded the significant contract for the second phase in the evolution of their intelligent gas grid solution to Utonomy. Furthermore, Wales & West Utilities the GDN that provides gas to 7.5m people across Wales and south west England, has joined the project as a full funding collaborative partner under NIA.

The new contract is a second phase to the NIA project. This phase will aim to prove the Utonomy solution against both a greater number and wider range of pressure control assets and extended operational requirements. A key element of the Utonomy solution is its cloud-hosted software, which is powered by Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform that was recently named a visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the Industrial IoT 2019.

Speaking about the contract, Utonomy CEO Adam Kingdon said: “We are very pleased to be working with the highly experienced teams at SGN and Wales & West Utilities to develop our technology further. We are also delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with Software AG to deliver our cloud-based solution. The project will enable us to complete the product development of our innovative pressure management system and to test it on a wide variety of pressure management assets.”

SGN Innovation Project Manager Mark Skerritt said: “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Utonomy on this exciting project. The aim of the project is to provide the UK gas network with a new and unique pressure control and management system that is not only more efficient than existing systems but also enables network operators to confidently exercise ‘real time’ control over their governor assets.”

Wales & West Utilities Innovation Manager Lucy Mason said:

“We’re pleased to be joining this important project and to be working with SGN and Utonomy. It’s our ambition to help communities and the environment across Wales and south west England thrive by delivering reliable, affordable and sustainable energy long into the future, and we think that this technology could help us to do that, by improving the way we manage our gas network.