Final Thoughts

The millions of years of evolution have resulted in a wide variety of life forms with unique capabilities that allow them to survive in their continuously changing environment. For many years engineers from different fields have successfully looked for ideas of how to solve the different challenges that humanity is facing.

The protection, automation and control community can also learn from nature and maybe apply some of the solutions that we find there in the design of complex systems that face conceptually similar challenges.

When we think about System Integrity Protection Schemes (SIPS) we realize that they have to react in the most efficient way to different types of events at various locations of the system. The reaction needs to be fast in order to prevent the deterioration of the system conditions and to prevent a potential blackout. This requires proper design of the system and its architecture.

So what can we learn from nature that will help us in our task?

Well, first we need to know where to look. And I suggest that you have a look at the octopus.
According to popular sources octopuses are highly intelligent. We all remember Paul the Octopus, who during the football World Cup in Germany was able to successfully predict the winners in 11 out of 13 matches - a very high success rate that cannot be considered random.

Octopuses are well known for their ability for maze and problem-solving, and the results of many experiments have shown evidence of a memory system that can store both short and long-term memory.

An octopus has a highly complex distributed nervous system, only part of which is localized in its brain. Two-thirds of an octopus's neurons are found in the nerve cords of its eight arms, which have limited functional autonomy.

Octopus arms show a variety of complex reflex actions that persist even when they have no input from the brain.

In laboratory experiments, octopuses can be readily trained to distinguish between different shapes and patterns. They have been reported to practice observational learning.

We don’t have space to go into more details, but I hope it is clear that SIPS have many similarities with the octopus, so take a look and maybe you will get some fresh ideas.

Power. Flexible. Easergy.
Protecting your electrical assets? today and tomorrow