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Product Abstract

Survey of Sensor Technologies for Individual Customer-Level Situational Awareness: Alternatives to the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Product ID:3002006633
Date Published:02-Sep-2015
Sector Name:Power Delivery & Utilization - Distribution & Utilization
Document Type:Technical Results

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Communication-enabled smart meters provide an opportunity to attain better granularity in terms of customer-level situational awareness. In fact, for notification of outage and service restoration, smart meters enable a utility to know the on/off status of individual customers. Many electric service providers are already taking advantage of this peripheral benefit as part of their Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) data processing and visualization activities.

This project considers AMI benefits in terms of notifying key personnel about outage status for individual customers and asks: What are the alternatives in the case where AMI deployment is not an option? What is the best approach to evaluating and possibly demonstrating the feasibility of these alternatives?

To answer these questions, EPRI and Consolidated Edison of New York (Con Ed) collaborated to vet a selection of use cases that consider how both the utility and its customers will benefit from awareness of customer-level outages. The team evaluated how different technologies for outage notification could supply such awareness for line crews, dispatchers, communications groups, and other stakeholders. The use cases were then consolidated to a selection representative of the different types of storm damage and restoration outcomes as well as the most likely scenarios where there may be difficulties obtaining accurate awareness of customer status and/or customer communications.

One of the outcomes of the use case prioritizations was the clear distinction between outage awareness on the network versus outage awareness on the overhead (non-network) system. Because the majority of storms impact the non-network system, this study focused on applying sensor technologies primarily in overhead areas. Results show that it is possible to obtain individual customer-level service status awareness independent of an AMI system. However, there is no silver bullet approach; one sensor technology does not adequately accomplish the individual customer outage awareness objectives. The proposed solution employs a combination of sensor technologies that provide the desired level of coverage.

2015 Program 161   Information and Communication Technology
  • Storms
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
  • Smart meters
  • Outage restoration sensors
  • Customer-level situational awareness
  • Service restoration

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