The deployment of smart meters and automated metering infrastructure (AMI) communications networks has resulted in a significant increase in meter data. This data has to be transformed into meaningful and actionable information otherwise it is useless to the utility.
Clevest Solutions Inc., a provider of mobile workforce automation software including smart grid mobile technology, is introducing the utility industry to a new way to visualize, assess and respond to this data with the launch of its new Smart Grid Visualization software product.
Co-developed with North Carolina’s Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC), the solution overlays near real-time smart meter data on top of Clevest’s comprehensive, map-based view of field operations to provide utilities with timely, relevant automated metering infrastructure information displayed within the visual context of their power distribution system.
The challenge of harnessing data
Robin Cairns, Product Manager, Smart Grid at Clevest emphasized, “How to harness the value of AMI data is one the biggest challenges for utilities that have installed smart meters. Both Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation and Clevest are demonstrating their respective roles as innovators in the utility industry by collaborating on a unique mobile approach to the problem. By participating in Clevest’s product evolution, Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation is taking a leadership role among utilities that are just beginning to make use of the advanced data reporting capabilities of smart meters.”
David Adams, Manager of Information Service at Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation indicates that with automated metering infrastructure, the utility now has sophisticated systems and huge volumes of data available to them. He adds that mostly this information is difficult to decipher since it resides in data-driven reports.
However, the new platform for visualization allows utilities to correlate automated metering infrastructure data with meter and customer information to more accurately pinpoint the root cause and location of an issue.
He explains, “This will allow us to be much more proactive in troubleshooting. Technology continues to be an important vehicle to help us address the changes in our industry.”
Platform offers numerous benefits
By overlaying the location and status of automated metering infrastructure meters on top of Clevest’s next-generation mobile platform that already incorporates street, satellite, asset, vehicle and service order layers, Clevest Smart Grid Visualization presents automated metering infrastructure data in a more intelligent, consumable format.
The ability to view automated metering infrastructure information in context provides utilities with much better visibility into what’s actually happening in the distribution system and with the ability to efficiently manage corrective service work in the field.
In this way, Clevest Smart Grid Visualization creates opportunities for utility system operators to quickly and accurately identify problems, resolve issues and improve reliability. More meaningful and timely information about trouble events such as outage, voltage and suspected tamper situations will help utilities increase the return on automated metering infrastructure investment; enhance customer satisfaction due to outage prevention, reduced outage duration; improved service reliability; and provide enhanced levels of safety for mobile workers and the public.
Clevest Smart Grid Visualization can be fully integrated with a wide range of enterprise systems, which allows utilities to improve information exchange between key applications, reduce integration costs and extend the value of multiple technology investments.