Quantum inspired algorithms
for ENEL

A complex and distributed reality

Enel is a multinational energy company and a major integrated player in the global energy, gas and renewable energy markets. Present in over 30 countries around the world, it distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometres and supplies approximately 74 million corporate and household end users worldwide.

In short, Enel has an impressive technological infrastructure to be maintained and complex internal processes that require continuous optimization and that make the efficiency of operational resources the key to business development.

The need for optimum planning

A large number of interventions to be performed with a finite number of crews, the mechanism of associated costs, internal processes that are complex and require continuous improvement and an impressive technological infrastructure, represent a great organizational challenge.

Optimizing the planning of maintenance work carried out by the units operating in the area, from a computational point of view, means quick availability and greater efficiency in the use of resources to achieve a significant reduction in costs.

An ecosystem of innovation for concrete results

"The need to perform optimization over increasingly large territorial areas has increased the complexity of the issue to the point of requiring an innovative approach”.

Fabio Veronese - Head of Infrastructure & Networks Digital Hub, ENEL

Data Reply has developed a quantum algorithm that allows you to quickly plan the maintenance work performed by units operating throughout Italy. The solution also makes the use of resources more efficient, thus reducing costs. This algorithm brings added value to Enel's business by supporting the multinational in its decision-making process, with a high impact on planned daily activities.

Combinatory optimization at enel's service

In the context of its partnership with Enel Data Reply has created a QUBO (Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization) model that identifies an optimal plan for assigning maintenance work to teams. In a few minutes the model is able to identify a schedule that maximizes the amount of time spent working, while also minimizing the time spent on the road, thanks to its parallelization features. The resolution of the model has now been implemented through the use of GPUs, demonstrating the scaling and computational acceleration capabilities that this type of hardware is able to provide.

Furthermore, the use of the D-Wave quantum machine and the AWS cloud platform was also tested in order to verify that these “Quantum Inspired” algorithms can be used on today’s Quantum devices.

The quantum inspired - qubo approach

Quantum Inspired Approach refers to the use of a class of algorithms designed to be used on Quantum computers, but which are also solved by means of traditional hardware. Indeed, thanks to certain parallelization features intrinsic to Quantum algorithms, it is possible to give benefits, in terms of both the quality of the solution and the speed of resolution, even using non-Quantum hardware. An example is the Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization (QUBO) algorithm which allows to formulate a combinatorial optimization problem so that it can be solved by means of quantum computers. However, in order to demonstrate the functioning of the model in an area of production use, graphics processors (GPUs) were used for processing, capable of providing, in significantly reduced times, an optimal response to the model to be optimized.

"The Quantum Inspired approach seems to bring very promising results and opens the door to the possibility of being applied to known problems and new business areas”

Fabio Veronese, ENEL

«In business contexts where economic value is linked by optimization, we have found in Quantum Computing algorithms the possibility of creating significant benefits already at this stage, both in terms of greater achievable value and in terms of greater processing speed”» said

Marco Magagnini, Partner Data Reply

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    Enel is the largest European utility with ordinary EBITDA and is present in over 30 countries around the world, producing energy with over 88 GW of installed capacity. Enel distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometres and with approximately 74 million corporate and domestic end users worldwide, the Group has the largest customer base among European competitors. Enel Green Power, within the Enel Group, is the largest private operator in the renewable energy sector in the world, with a managed capacity of over 46 GW from wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric plants in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Enel X, Enel’s global advanced energy services business line, is a world leader in response to demand, with a total capacity of over 6.3 GW managed globally; the company has installed 110 MW of storage capacity and, in the electric mobility sector, approximately 100,000 charging points for public and private electric vehicles around the world.

  • Data Reply is the Reply Group company that offers excellent services for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. We operate across most industries and business functions in order to support executive level professionals and Chief Officers to harvest value from data. We build Data Platforms, define and implement ML and AI models in an efficient, replicable and scalable way, by relying upon human resources highly skilled in Big Data Engineering, Data Science and Intelligent Process Automation. Always active on innovations, we are applying Quantum algorithms to support the optimization of processes with high computational needs.