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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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Our GE MDS training event at Ameren headquarters was a big success!

Second Sight’s recent customer event at Ameren’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis was a big success. Our team put on a first-class technical training session for over 55 attendees, representing 10 different utilities and engineering firms, many of whom traveled from several hours away to take part in the full-day training session.

Second Sight is extremely proud to have some of the industry’s most talented RF engineers representing our company and our technical team continues to provide our customers everything they need to know about GE MDS radios and how to optimize a wireless SCADA network around the Orbit platform.  

GE MDS training event at Ameren headquarters

We received countless remarks from the attendees about how much they enjoyed the event.  I want to thank everyone who attended our training session and hats off to our team for all the time and effort put into preparing the presentation material.  Second Sight looks forward to more events as we provide utilities a customer-focused partner for all their wireless network and field service needs.

Sincerely,

Todd Deibel

President of Second Sight Systems

 

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Need to amplify your wireless engineering plans?

Get the expert help of RF and network Engineers today!

When designing Industrial Control or SCADA projects, engineering firms will undoubtedly encounter data transport challenges in their planning. What are the best technologies, protocols and capabilities out there to give my clients what they need?

Wireless industrial communication networks help your clients achieve reliable data transfer for a range of applications. As RF network technology evolves, wireless networks offer the speed, cost efficiency and security features to meet the demands of an IoT-vectored industry.

Second Sight Systems (SSS) exists to help you navigate wireless network requirements and provide you with the leading-edge GE radios and installation services. Partnering with you, we help develop comprehensive communication networks that adapt to applications, security, and regulatory requirements.

Firms benefit from SSS’ extensive knowledge and expertise in GE radios and installation.

Complete RF Engineering Services

Your firm will benefit from SSS’ extensive knowledge and expertise in GE radios and installation.

We are a one stop shop for your industrial wireless needs, allowing you to design your industrial wireless systems with the help of our RF and network Engineers. From beginning to end we do it all – engineering, path studies, radio sales, install, and support.

A nationwide provider of Industrial Wireless Solutions, SSS is also a full-service provider of GE radios, including the MDS Orbit Platform series which is well-suited for a wide variety of wireless applications while including network flexibility and military-grade encryption.

These next-generation radios allow Engineers to integrate a range of technologies, from cellular to Ethernet and licensed to unlicensed radios, while supporting your client’s need for secure private, public, and oftentimes hybrid communication networks.

To learn more – or to request a free 30-day, no obligation demo of the GE MDS Orbit Platform – give us a call at 844-789-9111. You can also email us at info@sssrf.com. We’ll take it from there and get you the insight and support you need.

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Second Sight Systems wins utility metering service contract in MO, IL

Second Sight Systems, a leading provider of technical field support for electric, gas, and water utilities, is pleased to announce it has been awarded a significant metering contract with Landis+Gyr. This contract is a multi-year meter reading and maintenance project supporting the global market leader in grid solutions. This new customer engagement includes:

  • Providing AMR meter reading, maintenance, and installation services for Landis+Gyr – covering all of MO and IL for Ameren, Spire / Laclede Gas, and various other utilities. Second Sight will ensure accurate meter data collection for Landis+Gyr along with installation and maintenance of communication modules for AMR electric and gas smart meters.
SSS is perfectly positioned to help electric, gas, and water utilities get the most out of their smart meter investment.

SSS is perfectly positioned to help electric, gas, and water utilities get the most out of their smart meter investment.

How we ensure smart meter ROI for our customers

Second Sight is a nationwide provider of field solutions for the deployment of AMR / AMI smart meter projects. Partnering with Second Sight’s utility field services team allows customers to quickly mobilize and deploy smart metering investments that deliver higher revenue collection results, as opposed to going about it themselves with limited staffing resources and at a slower pace of deployment.

Expertise and a commitment to excellence enable us to tailor our technical field support to our client’s specific needs. This means that we can provide the fleet of skilled technicians to install, repair, and read meters, in addition to the strategic planning and deployment for AMR / AMI projects of any size and scale.

By using Second Sight as an extension of your field services team, utilities are able to focus on other parts of their operations, cut overhead and quickly meet the goals of the project much more efficiently.

***

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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Are utilities ready for the ‘worst’ hurricane season?

The Atlantic’s hurricane season began June 1 and forecasters say this year will be the worst in 10 years. Anywhere between five to nine hurricanes, two to four major hurricanes, and 11 to 17 named storms are expected to strike now through November 30.

Photo Credit: Dianna Gee - FEMA Photo Library.

Photo by Dianna Gee – FEMA Photo Library.

For utilities along the coast, this means working overtime to harden their networks and restore outages after blackouts. But just how ready are utilities for this above normal storm season?  Very ready, it seems so far. In fact, what some of these utilities are doing is simply above and beyond.

Duke Energy

The best preparation is year-round, says the folks at Duke Energy, the Charlotte, N.C.-based utility giant serving 7.5 million customers. The company’s meteorologists are constantly monitoring the weather, with its fleet preparing to do whatever it takes to maintain reliable, safe service.

Right now that involves trimming trees and inspecting and replacing wood poles, in addition to investing in grid automation and smart grid technologies. Also, with a 10-year, $13 billion investment announced this year, Duke will move some overhead services that are routinely affected, underground. Funds will also go to retrofitting about 400,000 transformers with new technology to prevent animal interference and lightning strikes. All of this combines to improve service reliability and reduce the length and number of outages.

Entergy Louisiana

Providing service to 1 million customers in the Baton Rouge area, Entergy Louisiana has gotten really good at restoring power safely and quickly after severe storms. That’s primarily due to its Operation Storm Ready plan that involves continuous preparation and training for all its staff. When there’s a weather threat, Entergy integrates weather forecasts with aggregated data to predict the estimated number and length of outages that might occur. Using these estimates, Entergy will call on restoration workers from around the country to get the power back on as safely and quickly as possible.

Photo Credit: Tobin - [1], CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo Credit: Tobin – [1], CC BY-SA 2.0

Florida Utilities

Hurricane Matthew did not spare Florida last year as it totaled $15 billion in damages. As a result, its 5 investor-owned electric utilities are improving storm response and restoration times everyday. In addition to new technologies, efforts are focusing on how customer communications and thoughtful preparation can improve outage restoration times. Other improvements include: facility inspections, maintenance and repairs, flooding and storm surge mitigation, wooden pole inspections, and coordination with other utilities, government, and community groups.

SSS greatly supports these utilities and their partners for keeping the grid and their customers ready.

– SSS

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SSS Ramps Up Field Services to Rural Electric Co-ops

sss-is-happy-to-serve-rural-co-ops-aross-the-us
Second Sight Systems (SSS) is proud to announce that we have officially joined the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) as a Gold Level Associate Member. This means we’ll be able to better connect with you and meet the needs of co-op members undergoing rapid change.

Rural co-ops urgently need SCADA upgrades, network security and affordable personnel solutions. To meet the demand, many are looking to qualified third-party providers such as SSS to deploy an array of utility field services, including:

• AMI / AMR meter installation and maintenance
• Contracted meter reading services
• Surveying for pole audits, inspections, grounding (Motorola R56)
• Certified tower climbers for antenna repair and equipment installation
• Fiber testing and maintenance

SSS is boldly stepping up to the challenge. By delivering these services at the highest level we help rural co-ops drive new-era operational productivity and efficiency. SSS provides qualified utility technicians, professional fleet vehicles, and acts as an extension of your existing field team… no matter where you are located across the country.

Call SSS to learn more about how we can help your rural co-op.

 

If your co-op is looking for a strategic partner, Second Sight is ready to support you. Working together, we ensure co-ops:

• Achieve cost-effective upgrades
• Rapidly deploy metering technology
• Achieve high-level security

To discuss how we can assist your co-op, feel free to call us at 844-789-9111. Or email me at spencer.halbrook@sssrf.com. I’ll take it from here and get you the help you need.

Regards,

Spencer Halbrook,
Second Sight Systems | Regional Manager
www.sssrf.com
spencer.halbrook@sssrf.com

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Recap of APPA Engineering & Operations Conference

This week, SSS was in San Antonio at the American Public Power Association’s Engineering & Operations Vendor Expo. Over the 3-day event, we dove into sessions on communication and control, environment, generation and fuels, safety, transmission and distribution, system planning, and supply management. The sessions on Distribution Automation (DA) and IoT network management were particularly exciting.

An automated and updated grid is the best way for power utilities to save money and better serve their customers. The session on DA looked at how to get fault circuit interrupters online to find the faults faster and restore power to customers. The IoT network management session featured experts from Riverside, California and Ingenu. Ingenu is a newer company that connects utilities to the outside world and makes them “smart.” Riverside effectively utilized this company for an AMI solution as well as connecting their fault interrupters on the grid. Ultimately participants learned how to avoid truck rolls to find the fault in the line. With Distribution Automation you can see where the fault is between two switches. It also saves the utility money and ideally passes that savings onto the customer.

SSS celebrates these success stories and the hard work that goes into maintaining automated and IoT networks. We look forward to continuing the discussion.

Spencer Halbrook
Regional Manager |Second Sight Systems
844-789-9111 | spencer.halbrook@sssrf.com
www.sssrf.com

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Key points from #UTCTnT 2017 in Charlotte, NC

SSS is excited to be at the UTC Telecom & Technology 2017 event in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a jam-packed program bringing together top utility thought leaders and the latest technology providers for a week of educational sessions, training, workshops and demos. A big focus has been on harnessing IT/OT synergies to build more secure networks. SSS is a leading provider of secure network solutions for utilities and champions IT/OT-driven innovation for a better, more resilient grid.

Key points from #UTCTnT

The biggest takeaways from #UTCTnT so far are:

1. IT/OT professionals must work together in order to build secure and reliable networks in the future.

2. It’s very important to physically test network designs before you deploy them. Modeling them is a start, but they need to be brought into the real world and scrutinized from both from a security and operations standpoint.

3. Celebrate failures – when things go wrong in the lab that is when learning occurs. If you have never had to use the fire extinguisher in your lab then you are doing it wrong.

If your utility needs a network solutions partner, SSS is ready to help. We understand the emerging nexus of IT and OT technology and the security practices required to realize the benefits of the IIoT. We looking forward to partnering with you!

Andrew Krekow
Second Sight Systems | RF Engineer
844-789-9111 | www.sssrf.com

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Let’s connect at MEA: Electrical Operations & Leadership Summit – Booth #3

Whether you’re a big or small utility, cooperative, or municipality, the need for qualified manpower for the efficient deployment of new technology and field maintenance is a clear priority.

Second Sight provides outsourced utility field technicians and certified tower climbers with valuable experience in the following areas:

•AMI / AMR meter installation and maintenance
•Contracted meter reading services
•Surveying for pole audits, inspections, grounding (Motorola R56)
•Certified tower climbers for antenna repair and equipment installation
•Fiber testing and maintenance

Stop by our booth #3 at the MEA event on May 10-12th in Springfield, IL and let’s discuss how Second Sight can act as an extension to your utility field services team in order to achieve operational efficiency. We will be located along the west wall of the exhibit floor at MEA.

If you are not attending the show but would like to schedule an introductory meeting during the conference, you can reply directly to this email, or give me a call at 217-259-5826.

Hope to see you there!

Spencer Halbrook
Regional Manager |Second Sight Systems
844-789-9111 | spencer.halbrook@sssrf.com
www.sssrf.com

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ALERT: NERC proposes CIP revisions to modify cyber security protections

This past March, NERC proposed new revisions to help close the gaps in the CIP-003 Reliability Standard. The additional measures will modify the cybersecurity protections for low-impact BES Cyber Systems, including:

  • Electronic access control permitting only necessary inbound and outbound access to low-impact BES Cyber Systems for certain communications, whether direct or indirect, using routable protocols.
  • Protection of transient electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones, to mitigate exposure of low-impact BES Cyber Systems to malicious code.
  • Documentation for cybersecurity policies for CIP Exceptional Circumstances for low-impact BES Cyber Systems, including cybersecurity emergencies, natural disasters, civil unrest, imminent or existing hardware, and software, or equipment failures.

FERC is likely to approve these additional standards. Utilities have expressed their support in lengthy stakeholder engagement. The goal of the revisions is to close the gaps in the CIP-003 Reliability Standard identified by FERC. An upcoming notice and comment process at FERC will provide another good opportunity for utilities to help guide the new standards, or pose any challenges.

To help you define the cyber security threat and review the numerous guidelines and recommendations, you can download SSS’s FREE White Paper – Utility Cyber Security 2017! Get it now!


SSS