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Second Sight Systems Awarded Fiber Optics Services Contract with the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) in Oklahoma.

In June 2019, Second Sight Systems was awarded a Fiber Optics Services Contract with the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) in Oklahoma.  Second Sight Systems will be responsible for the splicing of ADSS and OPGW fiber on various transmission, distribution, and substation structures for utility communications throughout the 16 county region of the GRDA. This project demonstrates Second Sight’s ability to handle multiple facets of the utility needs required by our customers.

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Second Sight Systems Utility Metering Division wins AMI water meter replacement contract with the City of Shawnee, OK.

In May 2019, Second Sight Systems utility metering division was awarded an AMI water meter replacement contract with the City of Shawnee, OK through one of our partner meter vendors—Core & Main.  Second Sight Systems will be responsible for removing approximately 12,000 existing residential / commercial water meters and replacing them with new AMI Neptune meters, along with the replacement of aged setters and pits where old infrastructure requires such work.

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Second Sight Awarded AMI Water Meter Replacement Contract with the City of Salem, MO.

  • In April 2019, Second Sight Systems was awarded an AMI water meter replacement contract with the City of Salem, MO.  Second Sight Systems will be responsible for removing 2,200 existing residential water meters and replacing them with new AMI water meters including the installation of new pit lids. The City of Salem contact adds to a growing list of Municipalities that have contracted Second Sight’s services for AMI meter installation. Leveraging our extensive expertise and resources, we provide technical field solutions for smart grid deployment and metering services. Contact us and take advantage of our experienced team of technicians to support your utility field operations!

   

 

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Second Sight Wins Tower Services Agreement with City Utilities of Springfield, MO.

  • In April 2019, Second Sight Systems was awarded a Tower Services and Maintenance contract for up to 3 years with City Utilities of Springfield, MO.  Second Sight Systems will be responsible for tower inspections, lighting, maintenance, and modification projects on any of the 8 Springfield towers. Second Sight works closely with tower owners and operators to deliver safe and complete services with highly trained expert technicians.

To learn more, or to speak with an engineer on our team, call us at 844-789-9111 or email us at info@sssrf.com. We’ll take it from there and help you get the insight and support you need.

 

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Flexible Monitoring: IoT Solves Communication Challenges for Utilities

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers the utility industry an invaluable opportunity to perform targeted preventive maintenance. With the IoT utilities market expected to exceed $15 billion by 2024, it’s clear that the technology is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for utility companies.

Without an IoT system in place, maintenance workers manually perform a variety of tests to determine pole stability and structural integrity. These tests are time-consuming, expensive and at times dangerous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical power-line installers and repairers had a 20.5 percent fatal work injury rate in 2015, making it among one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Nonfatal occupational injuries are also all too common. In addition to the suffering these injuries cause, they also translate to many days away from work. In 2015, electrical power-line installers and repairers spent an average of 20 days away from work, higher than the eight-day average for all occupations.

IoT is changing all that. Ameren did a pilot program that involved attaching a small IMU (inertial measurement unit) sensors to utility poles in Champaign, Illinois. These sensors included circuitry designed to measure movement and send data back to Ameren operators. The platform helps the utility efficiently and accurately monitor pole stability and structural integrity.

With the power of edge computing, the system learns what “normal” behavior for the pole is, and rather than inundate users with mountains of data, it sends an alert only if anything beyond that threshold occurs. Because the system is only dealing with a narrow margin of benefit, the sensor’s data usability and battery life are maximized. By analyzing the abnormal movement or angle of the pole, the system knows what needs to be serviced and can alert the right teams. Finally, the system has location ID, directing operators to the precise location of the pole. 

Having real-time data on hand translates to better and more informed decision-making. Problems are caught and corrected before they cause widespread damage or require most costly overtime or nighttime work. Additionally, the flexibility of this IoT system and others like it means the technology is well suited to address the unique challenges the utility sector faces in urban, suburban and rural areas.

In rural areas—referred to as the “corn desert” in the Midwest—it can be logistically difficult to change out batteries. When edge computing is used, the system continually collects and saves data but can be programmed in multiple ways from the pole to the cloud, the pole to the gateway to the cloud or through mesh networking, using a combination of poles and gateways.

This arrangement maximizes the system’s battery life and minimizes the need for manual service. When data is needed on a frequent basis, mesh networking will transmit the data from pole to pole, solving the problem of how to communicate frequently without relying on battery-killing 3G or 4G.

In urban and suburban areas, interference from an abundance of devices poses a problem, as does over communication. Dense materials such as steel and concrete can also interfere with communication between the sensors and the cloud. Navigating that density can be difficult, but IoT solutions like those offered by Second Sight Systems / Atomation that are not wed to one communication protocol have the flexibility needed to adapt communication protocols to the environment. That flexibility serves utilities well in suburban areas, too, where the challenges usually fall somewhere between those posed by rural and urban zones.

About Second Sight Systems

Second Sight Systems has been providing communication tower services, IoT system integration, and utility field services since 1999 and has engineers on staff with extensive experience with SCADA communications and telemetry applications for remote monitoring.  Second Sight Systems partners with Atomation, an IoT platform provider, to deliver technology solutions for use in the utility and communication tower industries.

Second Sight’s track record of completing highly secure projects on schedule and at the highest service level can’t be matched.

 

Contact Us

844.789.9111

info@sssrf.com

www.sssrf.com

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Second Sight Exhibits At The Nebraska Meter Conference

The Nebraska Meter Conference is sponsored annually by the League of Nebraska Municipalities Utilities Section in cooperation with the Nebraska Rural Electric Association. Along with featuring major manufacturers and local area electrical representatives, Second Sight Systems exhibited with Regional Business Development Manager, Tim Moore and Senior Telecom Manager, Andrew Krekow. Andrew gave a very informative, engaging presentation on the topic of AMI Backhaul & the Basics of RF Installation. 

The school consisted of concurrent sessions for 1 1/2 days. The presentations highlighted software technologies, installation procedures, safety practices, billing and related smart metering capabilities. Both days featured meter manufacturers and regional company electric representatives to provide a well-rounded educational school covering most electric meter or software packages used by Nebraska municipalities or rural public power districts. Second Sight Systems provides turnkey wireless utility solutions in the areas of Metering/Field Services, RF SCADA Communications, and Tower Services & Maintenance.

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Second Sight Notches More Meter Vendor Certifications

Second Sight can now claim to be a certified meter vendor for five of the biggest names in the industry, Honeywell, Itron, L&G, Sensus and Eaton. This impressive list is a testament to the quality and experience of our technicians, our superior safety records and our dedication to delivering projects on time and on spec for our customers. Our track record speaks for itself with the growing number of new projects slated for 2019 and beyond. Congratulations is in order to the team members of Second Sight who make this happen!

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Second Sight Attends DistribuTECH Conference

DistribuTECH is the utility industry’s leading smart grid conference and exposition, covering automation and control systems, energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy integration, advanced metering, T&D system operation and reliability, power delivery equipment and water utility technology. This conference is extremely beneficial as it relates to the Metering and RF communications segments of Seconds Sight’s portfolio. Sr. Telecom Manager, Andrew Krekow, Regional Manager of Business Development, Tim Moore, and Regional Manager of Business Development, Randy Watson hosted several meetings, visited with strategic partners on the expo floor, and gained valuable industry insight into the future of the Utility Industry!

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Second Sight Completes Wireless Monitoring Project for the VA

Scope of Work

 The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) had been given a federal mandate to reduce energy consumption by roughly 25% over 5 years. This posed a problem for the VA, because the infrastructure needed to accurately measure power usage was nearly non-existent outside of traditional methods of billing. To target areas for reduction, the VA needed to implement accurate, reliable, and quantitative measurements of power usage on major campus locations. So, Veterans Affairs opened up bidding for a utility monitoring project for a nation-wide system, which was awarded to Schneider Electric.

Schneider Electric planned to install new power meters to measure power at buildings with 50,000 sqft or larger and/or high usage buildings. This plan included a communication network that would tie the meters together into a central server to collect data for analysis. This way, Schneider could effectively target power consumption and propose ways to cut that usage significantly.

In order to implement their monitoring solution and collect data, Schneider Electric proposed trenching and laying fiber optic cable between metered locations, which would then report data to a central hub server. However, the VA informed Schneider that with the existing pipes and underground utilities, laying fiber would be prohibitively expensive.Schneider turned to Second Sight Systems for a more flexible solution.

Solution

 Utilizing their expertise in wireless and radio technology, Second Sight Systems stepped in to implement a solution for meter measurement that did not rely on landline technology. Second Sight proposed the installation of a local area wireless network at each campus based on GE MDS iNET-II radios. SSS would also provide a  secure VPN back to an offsite server at Schneider Electric headquarters in St. Louis, MO.

The project began with Second Sight installing pilot installation programs at locations in California and  Ohio.    Upon the success of these pilots, Second Sight then installed a wireless network connecting buildings at 195 VA campuses. Schneider simultaneously installed meters at these buildings, connecting them through the Second Sight network.

 The Results

 Both Schneider Electric and the VA considered the monitoring project a success, baseline usage could be determined and power saving solutions were provided by Schneider resulting in power reductions at all the VA campuses and more accurate billing and measurement overall.

Additionally, the United States Navy, ramping up their own power-reduction efforts, had run into difficulties with data collection and digital network installation. Learning of the success of the VA installation as well as Second Sight’s unique position as an expert on wireless communications, Schneider Electric offered an additional contract to Second Sight to design, troubleshoot and install their monitoring network on multiple Navy bases across the globe. Second Sight Systems subsequently installed utility monitoring networks in American naval bases across the SE United States and in Italy, Guam, Greece, and Bahrain, Spain, Djibouti, and Guantanamo Bay.

About Us:

Second Sight Systems has been providing wireless communication and utility field services since 1999 and has engineers on staff with extensive experience with SCADA communications and telemetry applications for remote monitoring.  Our track record of completing projects on schedule and at the highest service level can’t be matched.

 

Contact us:

844-789-9111

info@sssrf.com

www.SSSRF.com

 

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Utility Cost Recovery: A Two-Sided Approach

Introduction                      

When Second Sight Systems received a call from CBRE in the Fall of 2017, it had no idea the extent of what it would encounter during an audit in the following weeks to come.

CBRE is a real estate service provider for commercial properties across the United States and manages several small office and storefront complexes in the Dallas, TX metropolitan area. One such building, Mockingbird Station, serves as a commercial and residential center for nearly 500,000 people within a 5-mile radius. Mockingbird Station supports several unique businesses and loft-style apartment buildings, strategically located near affluent Dallas suburbs and Southern Methodist University.

 

Every business in Mockingbird Station accesses water and electric service through individual submeters, consisting of 42 water meters and 34 electric meters throughout the complex. CBRE had previously hired a utility contractor to manage meter reading and invoice reporting throughout the Mockingbird Station complex.

The Problem

After some time, CBRE noticed an increase in complaints from businesses due to irregularities in their utility costs. It became clear that the contractor’s technicians were not physically reading every meter in the complex, instead relying on usage estimates for many of the businesses leasing space in Mockingbird Station. This led to customer dissatisfaction and a potential financial shortfall on recapturing utility costs for CBRE.

CBRE hired Second Sight Systems to develop an approach that mitigated the billing irregularities and costs throughout Mockingbird Station. They needed a complete replacement of their existing meter service, including an audit of all the meters in the property, to improve billing and invoicing.

Meter Reading Services: Custom Solutions                                

Due to Second Sight System’s established expertise in meter services for utilities and commercial property managers, we were able to step in and implement a comprehensive solution that corrected inaccuracies and lowered costs.

Second Sight began the process by conducting a free comprehensive audit of all meters in Mockingbird Station. Not all meters utilize the same multipliers to determine usage, so it was crucial to establish the multipliers and accuracy of each meter to ensure precise readings. Second Sight confirmed all meter locations, IDs, and multipliers to create a complete record of all meters on the property that could be used as a guideline for data collection efforts.

 

Following this, Second Sight implemented a full-scale meter reading effort in which trained technicians performed physical monthly meter reads for all units. Since the previous contractor estimated many of the meters monthly, our approach of physically confirming usage for every meter led to an increase in accurate monthly billing. Alongside our audit, we immediately and exponentially increased the accuracy of utility meter reads throughout Mockingbird Station.

To integrate data into CBRE’s existing system, Second Sight also consulted with CBRE personnel to develop a tailored data-reporting format using traditional MS Office applications. This meant that CBRE could take collected data and import it directly into CBRE databases with no conversion or translation, so data integrity was maintained across companies.

Another Problem solved

Furthermore, during the audit, it came to light that many of the water meters were in hard to access areas, as a result of the original commercial spaces being subdivided over the years by new tenants. Second Sight had to trace the lines and figure out which meters were servicing which units. The tenants were extremely unhappy and CBRE could not figure out how to solve the problem. It was a tangled web of lost meters and lost revenue.

Wireless Submeters: A Perfect Fit           

To make sure that the readings would remain accurate and that CBRE wouldn’t have to use a meter reader to access these difficult meters, Second Sight installed wireless transceivers from Next Century that attached to each water submeter. These state of the art  transceivers collect the water flow data and then transmit that data to the cloud where it can be accessed by the billing company through a web portal. All data is accessible on mobile apps which allows the end user to check the status of the equipment and other maintenance systems.

“Some of the water meters were in hard to reach places so the previous contractor completely ignored them. We now have accurate data and tenants are being billed for their actual usage. “ Dusty Phomsouvanh – Site Manager

The data can be manipulated into any invoicing system that is required by the end user. Furthermore, they can detect leaks, high consumption and other emergencies that arise. Shortly after we had installed these transceivers, we received an alert from a vacant unit showing extremely high water usage.

We alerted the engineering department at CBRE, and after they entered the unit, they discovered a toilet had a flap open and water was continuously pouring out. Since the unit was vacant this might not have been discovered for a very long time. The wireless submeter had already saved CBRE lost revenue.

Results

The two-sided approach of first analyzing the problems and instituting manual reads to capture the actual data, and then installing wireless transceivers on the difficult to access meters was a perfect custom solution. With Second Sight Systems managing meter reads, utility charges for businesses in Mockingbird station stabilized. Businesses leasing space in Mockingbird Station were satisfied that their water and electrical bills reflected actual usage and not estimates. And CBRE was satisfied that monthly utility charges would not reflect an underestimation of actual use. Not only did CBRE avoid a customer service nightmare, but they also felt confident that they had significantly cut losses in monthly revenue due to inaccurate meter reads by the previous contractor.

 

About Us

Founded in 1999, Second Sight Systems is a total solutions provider for utility communications and technical field services.  Our Utility Field Services team is a provider of outsourced utility field operations and metering services to help improve efficiency, productivity, and response time.  Second Sight Systems provides comprehensive utility cost recovery programs for multi-unit and commercial properties.  This includes electric, gas and water.  We can deliver a full solution including system design, equipment, installation, reading and billing services.