PowerWorld Authored Article in the Journal of the Chinese Academy of Engineering



The installation of vast quantities of additional new sensing and communication equipment, in conjunction with building the computing infrastructure to store and manage data gathered by this equipment, has been the first step in the creation of what is generically referred to as the “smart grid” for the electric transmission system. With this enormous capital investment in equipment having been made, attention is now focused on developing methods to analyze and visualize this large data set. The most direct use of this large set of new data will be in data visualization. This paper presents a survey of some visualization techniques that have been deployed by the electric power industry for visualizing data over the past several years. These techniques include pie charts, animation, contouring, time-varying graphs, geographic-based displays, image blending, and data aggregation techniques. The paper then emphasizes a newer concept of using word-sized graphics called sparklines as an extremely effective method of showing large amounts of time-varying data.