Are You Smart Enough to

whirrtarragonElectronics - Devices

Nov 21, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Are You Smart Enough to
Implement Smart Grid?

Angela Riley, Metering Supervisor

City of San Marcos

San Marcos, TX


Home of Texas State University


29,500 students



San Marcos River


Spring fed river


72 degrees year
-
round



Population approx. 50,000


19,500 electric customers


9,200 water customers

Why AMI?


2
-
way communication


Quicker connects and disconnects


2,300 remote disconnect meters installed


Read And Leave agreement with most apartment
complexes


System integrity


6,100 voltage recording meters


Includes all commercial meters, AX meters, and remote
disconnect meters


Customer service


Interval usage data available on line


On demand meter reads


A common mistake some people make is thinking an AMI system
will result in a reduction of workforce.


Please know that an AMI system will not necessarily result in
salary savings.


The meter reading function will mostly go away, but personnel
will need to be reallocated to different positions.


Meter Technicians


Trouble shooting meters


Connects/disconnects


Tampers


Meter reading will be limited


Fire hydrant meters


Missing reads for meters that will not communicate (isolated areas)


Interval reading data from an AMI system


Creates more work


detailed reports from interval data


Requires more data storage than the monthly read you get from an AMR
system


Hired a Consultant


Cost
-
benefit Analysis and ROI for Council Approval


RFI/RFP for a Wireless Mesh Network


Assisted with Vendor Selection


Recommendations to Maximize Functionality of AMI


Future Business Designs


Assisted with Pilot Program and Deployment
Planning



We are using one product for

Water and Electric

Meters/Radios

Hardware

Network

Software

Network Manager

Meters Communicate through a Data Pathway

Cellular/

Fiber


Local Area Network (LAN)


meter to meter


Random encryption for each transaction


Wide Area Network (WAN)


network to host


Banking level security


Annual code, but can be changed at any time if Eka
sees a possible security breech


256 bit encryption


Host


user operations


Password protected


Set internally by the utility based on specific user
needs

Pilot Program


Headed by a Project Manager


Include Representatives in all Involved Departments


Electric


Metering Supervisor


Meter Technician/Analyst


Water


Water Distribution Manager


Utility Crew Leader


Utility Billing


Manager


Q/A Specialist


Technical Services (IT)


Geographic Information Services (GIS)


Upper Management (as required)


Key People are the Key to Success


Weekly Status meetings to include vendor from testing through
deployment


7 months of testing


Contract written so vendor is at risk, not the City


Alpha


1 month long


50 meters installed (5 water)


To ensure the wireless mesh was running and
communicating to the network


Beta


6 months


450 meters installed (50 water)


To test the functionality of the wireless mesh and
communications


To test integration with our Harris billing system



500 Meters Installed


Electric was relatively simple


Water had some problems


Node installations (node = transmitting device)


Nodes not transmitting


Meter lids


Challenges


Water meters


Integrating with our Harris billing system


Achievements


99.5% success rate for previous week’s reads


Identified a customer with a water leak during the first week


What We Learned


Testing took longer than expected


Strong, cooperative relationship is necessary with the vendor



During integration, the utility must take an
active roll to coordinate relations between the
Billing system vendor and the AMI vendor.


Added Three Servers


One for interval read data coming into our Harris billing
system (
NorthStar

Interval Data
-

NSID)


Billing purposes


Customer web view


Two for
Eka’s

network system (Network Manager) and
reporting module (Data Manager)


Views Created between
Eka’s

Reporting Module and
our NSID


Allows real
-
time access to the databases


Reduces workload by automating processes


Reduces chances for human error


We have not purchased a Meter Data Management
System, so the NSID is our temporary solution at this
time



Fully Integrated Eka Functionality into our
Harris Billing System


Service connects/disconnects


On
-
demand reads


Demand resets


Interval reads for viewing


Where to Store?


Lots of discussion:
Eka

or Harris?


Multipliers are being stored in the billing system


Harris Systems added the multiplier to the view for
Eka

to
use for reporting purposes only in Data Manager


Water Meter Multipliers Changing


Before AMI, all readings were modified to calculate
usage based on a multiplier of 100.


With AMI, we changed the way we read water meters. All
dials are read and the meter multiplier depends on the
type of meter (0.1, 1.0, or 10)


The multiplier had to be changed so we could see the
resolution for leak detection and water loss


Meters Can’t Always Communicate with Collectors


Eka

‘nodes’ allow meters to backfill data in the network
once communications re
-
establish


However, when polling reads for billing, some meters may
not be reporting


Created a Gap Fill function in the billing system to fill the holes


Calculates the gap automatically


Important because future functionality to include Time Of Use billing


Reason: No Validation, Editing, Estimation (VEE) yet


Demand resets


Can’t guarantee demand reset at time of reading, so demand
calculations are set in the billing system


Demand calculations are based off of interval readings


Demand meters report reads every 30 or 15 minutes


Resets will still be requested through the network monthly as
required


Reporting is very important!


Allows you to discover problems in the network, such as:


Communication failures


meters not reporting


Tampers


Duplication of data in meter inventory


Hi/Low voltage


CT installation problems


Outage reporting


Possible dead meters


Continuous Flow
-

leak detection


Negative consumption


Some reports developed by
Eka

Systems as part of our
contract


City of San Marcos requesting special reports to fit our needs

Full Deployment


Steps to take

1.
Plan and deploy ‘collectors’ first


By the end of deployment, you will probably install more
than expected to increase redundancy in the network

2.
Plan electric meter installations starting around the
collectors first and move outwards


Allows meters to form to the network faster


Reduces pockets in the network

3.
Plan water meter installations to follow electric


Water meters only communicate to electric meters or
collectors, not other water meters

4.
Always work schedules around your meter reading and
billing schedules


Two Schedules

1.
Electric


Contracted with TMD through Eka


6 months to complete


2.
Water


In
-
house


About 12 months to complete


Follows electric


Customers


Mailer and Maps (not a bill stuffer)


Press Releases


Maps in Lobbies of City Facilities


Webpage


Door Hangers


Completed change
-
out


Access issue


Information Cards


Employees


Very important!!!


Same education as customers


Training sessions for Workflow Changes


Time consuming process


Multiple tasks to prepare


Organize a “To
-
do” list


This list will be lengthy


Divide amongst departments


Prioritize


Empower staff with assignments


Project manager follow up





Electric examples:


Deployment schedules


Determine quantities of meters & locations


Order extra metering supplies (seals, locks, disc sleeves)


Storage space (new & old meters, extra supplies)


Supplies for contractor (ID’s, vehicle magnets, keys)


Meter Exchange testing


Train staff


Customer Notification & schedule


Custom reports & specs


Increase staff in office


Meter shipments/inventory


File creations & uploads for exchanges


Review upload files for exchanges


Service upgrades & emergency meter base repairs


Who will take responsibility? Budget?


City of San Marcos took the responsibility


Contract with an electrician for the project


Objective: keep the project on target and restore power quickly for customers


Water
-

Be prepared for replacing damaged boxes, resetting boxes, and
repairing leaks





Install a Variety of Meters


Increase Functionality of the AMI System


Reporting Capabilities


Meters San Marcos Selected


Landis &
Gyr

AL (14,000)


Landis &
Gyr

AX (2,000)


Report line voltage


Landis &
Gyr

AX
-
SD (2,300)


Allow remote service disconnect


Report line voltage


Elster

A3D (1,800)


Demand meter


Report line voltage


Programming


Before AMI, minimal meter data stored


Meter number


Residential vs. commercial


Multipliers


With AMI, changed inventory to include many more details


Meter number is prefaced by meter form number


2s meter numbers start with 2 (ex: 200222), 4s meter numbers start with 4, and so on…


Helps meter technicians identify meter types easier


Meter Form


Meter Manufacturer


Meter Type


A3D (demand)


AL (regular residential)


AX (voltage recording)


AX
-
SD (service disconnect)


Purchase date


Purchase cost


Important changes for analyzing the meters in your network and
inventory, especially through GIS


Test the Program


Test as much as possible before deployment


Start deployment slow to work out unexpected
problems


Verify Removal Reads to Avoid Overbilling
Customers


Photograph final read on meter


Review final consumption (hi/low) to locate
misreads and make edits before uploading the file
into the billing system


Prepare Meter Dept. Staff for Problems


everything funnels here and to Billing staff


Water Services Extend Outside of our Electric
Service Territory


Negotiations with Neighboring Utilities were
Necessary to Establish Communication

1.
Pedernales

Electric Cooperative (PEC)

2.
Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative (BEC)


Metering points were not necessary,


just installation and attachment fees

Future Plans


Customer Web View


Interval Read Data


Energy Profile Chart


Energy Conservation Tips



Meter Data Management System (MDMS)


Outage Management System (OMS)


Time of Use Billing


Conservation Reporting (water)


Questions?

Angela Riley

Metering Supervisor

Public Services
-

Electric Utility

512.393.8311

ariley@sanmarcostx.gov