Software company ARCOS has unveiled a new solution to help utility grid operators to better monitor and manage their grid networks.In a company statement, the North American solutions provider said with the Crew Manager solution, utilities are able to dictate tasks to their crews in the field, view their location as well as of resources in real time.
[quote] By so doing, utilities are able to have a record of the amount of work accomplished in a day as well as consistency on how the work is performed.
Ted Schneider, chief technology officer for ARCOS said: "Our utility customers are looking for more operational efficiencies. Measurement of processes and productivity is critical to improvement."
In addition, the new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform enables utility crew managers to forecast crew work on a daily basis and for emergency events.
For instance, the solution provides managers with information on their workers such as job skills, location and their working hours for deployment in emergency cases.
To improve utility operation efficiencies, ARCOS also launched a new Advanced Reporting capability to improve the communication on the status of field work between the field crews, crew managers and dashboard operators.
The solution allows utilities to develop their own reporting strategy to customise, schedule and send dashboards to executives and regulators as crews restore service for alerting consumers on the status of an outage for instance.
Utility grid management in the US
In other grid management news in the US, electricity utility National Grid announced this week it has started its semi-annual aerial inspections of transmission lines in its service area in a bid to avoid outages.
The utility is conducting helicopter flyovers of more than 2,900 miles (4,600 kms) of high-voltage lines in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont.
The helicopter inspections are conducted by personnel using gyroscopic binoculars looking for signs of wear on power line conductors and lightning protection devices; damaged or leaning transmission structures; loose or broken guy wires; broken, chipped or cracked insulator equipment; and trees leaning toward the lines or into the transmission corridors.
National Grid said it also conducts the flights to identify signs of waste disposal or unauthorized construction on the rights of way, which could alter the amount of clearance between the ground and the power lines.
The aerial inspections are expected to take approximately five weeks to complete and form part of National Grid's "proactive" approach to grid management, the utility said.
Commenting on the work, David Way, vice president, Project Management and Complex Construction, at National Grid, said: "Transmission lines can be damaged during the winter months by severe weather, making now an ideal time to have an up-close look and make sure customers have the reliable service they deserve and expect."
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