Fred Deibel No Comments

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.

Fred Deibel No Comments

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!

Fred Deibel No Comments

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

 

Fred Deibel No Comments

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred Deibel No Comments

Second Sight Finishes 2018 With No OHSA Safety Incidents

As 2018 is now closed and in the past, Second Sight is proud to announce that it finished the year with no recordable OSHA safety incidents! And what makes this more incredible is that our field technicians drove over 1.8 million miles and put in 165,709 work hours, a truly amazing feat. Second Sight prides itself on safety, constantly monitoring our fleet with a state of the art geographical tracking system which provides real time speed, road conditions and whereabouts. We are always prepared to overcome any adverse situation that may arise and we look forward to continuing our fantastic record in 2019 and beyond!

Fred Deibel No Comments

Collecting Storm Water Data for The City of Delray Beach, Florida

Second Sight Systems

Challenge / Scope of Work:

The city of Delray Beach, like many coastal cities, has experienced extreme coastal flooding over the past several years. The average king tide height has risen roughly two feet per year, and seawater has begun to infiltrate drainage pipes in low-lying areas. With seawater seeping through storm manhole covers, Delray Beach residents have suffered significant damage to neighborhood roads and the municipal storm water drainage system. Flood waters have also begun to lap up to the doors of homes and businesses in low-lying areas.

The city’s Storm Water Division decided to start collecting data to help decision-makers in the city work towards potential solutions to the flooding problem. The Division needed a system to remotely collect tidal data from the Intracoastal Waterway near the island’s lowest lying areas where flooding was the worst. This approach required a reliable and accurate method of data acquisition alongside a secure wireless transmission solution so that technicians could get relevant data without visiting affected areas.

The data would be used to help the Storm Water Division engineers to interpret and present data to residents and officials who would make decisions on policy related to flood prevention and damage control.

Solution:

With Second Sight Systems’ industry-leading experience in telemetry and technical field services for municipalities, we could immediately offer a solution to help the city of Delray Beach collect the data it needed to enact real policy solutions. Our services included on-site data acquisition, coordinating geodetic surveys, on-site installation, development of a web-based application, remote monitoring, and technical support.

First, Second Sight designed, installed, and maintained an industrially-hardened GE MDS™ 4GLTE wireless communication system, including sensor arrays, to facilitate data collection and transfer from flood sites in low-lying areas back to engineers further inland. This way, tidal data could be gathered from the affected areas accurately and in real time.  Second Sight linked the remote sensors to a cloud-based virtual Open Platform Communication server through a Virtual Private Network to maintain data integrity and security.

Second Sight developed a custom web-based application for City engineers to access the tidal data 24×7. This software allowed engineers to visualize the data using charts and graphs that reflected trends in sea levels and tide fluctuations in five-minute intervals, all from Storm Water Division headquarters, for the most up-to-date information available.

Results:

The City of Delray Beach is now collecting tidal data over a reliable, secure, and efficient network. Information gathered through Second System technology informs City Engineers of changes in tide elevation in order to develop counter measures to reduce flooding during high tide events.  The custom application also provides the Storm Water Division with a real-time data solution that keeps the department at the forefront of sea level changes in the area. Not only do the Storm Water Division Engineers now have access to the most recent changes in sea level available, but they can also track trends evident in historical data that reflect day-to-day changes and extreme flooding events.

About Us:

Second Sight Systems has been providing municipality 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

Todd Deibel No Comments

Veterans Benefit Trivia Champs!

Another trivia night to support military veterans, and another FIRST PLACE win for team Second Sight!  Over $13,000 raised and all proceeds will go to Missouri Patriot Paws, a non-profit organization that provides training of service dogs for Missouri veterans and first responders with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Todd Deibel No Comments

SCADA Tech Summit

Nice work by Andrew Krekow in representing Second Sight in an expert panel discussion at the SCADA Tech Summit.  Second Sight, Freewave, and 4RF discussing a host of topics around deploying the most reliable and secure wireless SCADA networks.

Todd Deibel No Comments

Smart Water Summit

As a presenter and sponsor of the Smart Water Summit 2018, Second Sight is actively involved in finding ways to enhance technology to improve Water Utility Infrastructure.  sws2018

Todd Deibel No Comments

STEM Camp – Scott Air Force Base

While many teenagers were taking the summer off to recover from an intense school year; 40 young men and women took the opportunity to dedicate their summers to training to be some of our nations next generation of superior engineers! Over the past week Scott Air Force Base has hosted the Society of American Military Engineers STEM Camp. Great young minds were put to the test and Second Sight Systems added our expertise to help push them to the next level. By organizing the Combat Control Team Tower Construction Event, named in honor of our nations Special Operations Forces communicators. The Second Sight team helped this amazing group of future innovators learn engineering concepts such as: effective use of time, engineering trade offs, and using their creativity to solve difficult problems. Thank you to all the volunteers and participants who allowed us to be apart of this amazing event. hashtagSTEM hashtagSAME hashtagEngineers