Tennessee’s Columbia Power & Water Systems has been deploying steadily a number of integrated information systems that utilize volumes of data to improve customer services and utility operations. Central to this effort are the capabilities of the meter and operational data management system from ElectSolve Technology Solutions and Services. In 2009, as CPWS began deploying the advanced metering information system from Honeywell Elster (then Elster Solutions), CPWS selected the ODM/MDM system from ElectSolve.
ElectSolve’s flagship product, uCentra™, is a proven, vendor-neutral integration platform for AMI, AMR, SCADA, CIS, OMS, EA/GIS, demand response, and distribution line management systems. With interfaces to over 50 of the most common vendor solutions used in public power, uCentra provides a 360-degree view of all operational data with centralized management, analysis, and reporting.
“Our staff preferred the Microsoft SQL database used by ElectSolve, as opposed to database languages used by other systems,” said John Eglinton, IT Systems Analyst, CPWS. “Plus, we recognized ElectSolve as best able to help us analyze and utilize data on the status of our system. ElectSolve enables our employees to monitor metering assets and deploy repair resources efficiently, distill enormous amounts of data into displays and reports that are easy to understand and act on, and access accurate usage information when speaking with customers.”
Recently, CPWS contended with a temporary disruption in data collection for a portion of its electric and water meters. The utility was able to use ElectSolve’s Validation, Editing and Estimation (VEE) algorithms to produce meter data for several days. The utility’s Meter Services department is responsible for overseeing data that is sent to the CIS system for billing. During this short period of disruption in meter data collection, they reviewed carefully the VEE estimates from the ElectSolve MDM to confirm that the estimated consumption data was reasonable. The staff made a slight change to the billing processes to allow the estimated readings to be “pushed up” from the ElectSolve MDM to the CIS system.
John Eglinton explained, “When interval data was once again available from the water and electric meters, CPWS ran a comparison routine that proved the Electsolve VEE logic did a fantastic job producing the estimates. We did not receive complaints from customers about their bills. We all agreed that VEE was in place for a purpose.”
Eglinton added, “We have been taking advantage of the ElectSolve system from the very beginning, and we have come to depend on it being there day in, day out. It is an integral part of our customer service operation. We seldom have to interact with ElectSolve personnel because the system has been very reliable. When we do encounter an issue, their support team takes care of it in a timely and efficient manner.”
In addition to the AMI system from Honeywell Elster and the ODM/MDM system from ElectSolve, CPWS has deployed Survalent’s SCADA/distribution automation system, Milsoft’s outage management system, and the cybersecurity products of N-Dimension Solutions.