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Are You Smart Enough to Implement Smart Grid?

Are You Smart Enough to Implement Smart Grid?. Angela Riley, Metering Supervisor City of San Marcos San Marcos, TX. About San Marcos, Texas. San Marcos, Texas. Home of Texas State University 29,500 students San Marcos River Spring fed river 72 degrees year-round

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Are You Smart Enough to Implement Smart Grid?

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  1. Are You Smart Enough to Implement Smart Grid? Angela Riley, Metering Supervisor City of San Marcos San Marcos, TX

  2. About San Marcos, Texas

  3. San Marcos, Texas • 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

  4. Why AMI?

  5. 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

  6. AMI ≠ AMR • 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

  7. Getting Started • 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

  8. AMI Vendor We are using one product for Water and Electric

  9. AMI Components Meters/Radios Hardware Software Network Network Manager

  10. Two-Way Wireless Mesh Meters Communicate through a Data Pathway Cellular/ Fiber

  11. Security • 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

  12. Pilot Program

  13. AMI Committee • 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

  14. Alpha & Beta Testing • 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

  15. Alpha & Beta Testing • 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

  16. Integrating with Billing

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

  18. Data Storage • 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

  19. System User Operations • Fully Integrated Eka Functionality into our Harris Billing System • Service connects/disconnects • On-demand reads • Demand resets • Interval reads for viewing

  20. IntegrationChallenges

  21. Meter Multipliers • 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

  22. Meter Communications & Gaps • 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

  23. Reporting • 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

  24. Full Deployment

  25. Deploying the Network • Steps to take • Plan and deploy ‘collectors’ first • By the end of deployment, you will probably install more than expected to increase redundancy in the network • 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 • Plan water meter installations to follow electric • Water meters only communicate to electric meters or collectors, not other water meters • Always work schedules around your meter reading and billing schedules

  26. Change-out Schedules • Two Schedules • Electric • Contracted with TMD through Eka • 6 months to complete • Water • In-house • About 12 months to complete • Follows electric

  27. Education and Notification • 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

  28. Meter Exchange Process

  29. Preparing for Change-outs • 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

  30. Preparing for Change-outs • 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

  31. Electric Meter Selection • 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

  32. Inventory Management • 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

  33. Mass Meter Exchange • 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

  34. Negotiating with Neighboring Utilities

  35. Working Outside the Electric Network • Water Services Extend Outside of our Electric Service Territory • Negotiations with Neighboring Utilities were Necessary to Establish Communication • Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) • Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative (BEC) • Metering points were not necessary, just installation and attachment fees

  36. Future Plans

  37. 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)

  38. Questions?

  39. Angela Riley Metering Supervisor Public Services - Electric Utility 512.393.8311 ariley@sanmarcostx.gov Contact Information

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