SmartSub Technical Overview

Transforming Data into Useful Information

SmartSub is comprised of a tightly integrated set of core system components and application modules that work together to deliver an enterprise power information management solution. These core system functions include:

SmartSub Architecture  

Data Collection

SmartSub collects measurement data, including waveforms, from a wide variety of protection and control devices, power recording devices, smart apparatus, equipment condition monitors, and customer revenue meters—regardless of equipment manufacturer. This makes data generated by both legacy equipment and new equipment readily accessible. In addition, SmartSub acquires information from external data sources such as online lightning, temperature, and wind data networks.

SmartSub's data collection module is fully scalable and can be installed on a single server or multiple servers to monitor from one to thousands of devices or IEDs. Additional servers are simply added to increase capacity as an organization's connected device base increases. SmartSub automatically balances the data acquisition and processing load to ensure that overall system performance is continuously optimized. In addition, the system is "self-healing" if a server is lost. SmartSub can be configured to poll each device at scheduled times or accept device-initiated data transfers. The data collection module can be located at the central office as a polling system or on a PC at each substation pushing the data to a central data warehouse. SmartSub can utilize conventional dial-up telephone connections as well as any IP-based LAN/WAN technologies, such as frame relay and ATM.

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Data Exchange

SmartSub was designed to enhance and interface easily to common utility IT systems that collect or depend on system measurement information. This feature achieves meaningful enterprise integration with applications such as asset and outage management systems. Customizable interfaces are currently available for systems that include the OSIsoft PI System, General Electric PMCS, Power Measurement ION Enterprise, Schneider Electric PowerLogic, and Electrotek Concepts/EPRI's PQView. Data can also be transferred seamlessly to and from SmartSub via the DNP3 and Modbus protocols or COMTRADE and PQDIF files. DevSci welcomes your inquiry about customized interface development for your application.

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Data Warehousing

SmartSub uses an open-architecture database (industry-standard Microsoft SQL Server) as the repository for all historical data collected by devices throughout a utility's power distribution system. This database is uniquely designed to handle the wide variety of complex data types generated from non-operational data sources and also to integrate and exchange data easily from operational data historians, such as OSIsoft's PI System. It is also designed to contain the ancillary information required for analysis of measurement data, such as properties of devices, their electrical relationship to each other, and physical locations. The database can be self contained on a single server or distributed on many servers to accommodate growth and performance objectives.

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Analysis Engine

SmartSub includes a proprietary, artificial-intelligence engine that analyzes fault and power measurement data as well as complex waveform data and recognizes patterns that characterize events such as breaker restriking or sub-cycle current surges, which often are the precursor to equipment failure. The artificial-intelligence engine is currently used to generate sophisticated fault, power quality, waveform, and energy delivery analyses but is also the platform for a variety of future enterprise-analysis reports.

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Alarming and Reporting

Routine reporting and alarming functions are easily configured to deliver insights via the Web, e-mail, pager, and other notification methods. SmartSub allows users to create "jobs," which define the procedures that trigger and manage reporting and alarming functions. Jobs can be simple, such as event-triggered routing of power quality reports, or they can perform advanced calculations when predetermined or interrelated alarm conditions occur.

Alarms are user selected for any measurement parameter, such as volts, amps, watts, power factor, or a parameter calculated by the system, such as demand, energy cost, and energy use. System events such as monitor download failures also generate an alarm. Value events are a sophisticated form of alarming, where a condition can only be detected by a complex correlation and analysis of data, possibly from multiple sources.

A complete electric bill that accounts for all utility rate parameters can be generated at the system node, billing node, and group levels.

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Via a user-friendly Web interface, SmartSub rapidly translates complex information into easy-to-understand charts and intelligent reports. The system currently supports over thirty chart/report types that address a variety of application-specific problems, such as interactive fault event analysis, power quality, harmonic distribution, 3D power, CBEMA/ITIC, and a wide variety of power and energy charts.

In addition, charting capabilities include a powerful interactive data analysis tool designed for engineers, which provides the ability to drill down and display detailed data within a disturbance or fault event.

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SmartSub is administered via an easy-to-use console application that is installed on the local area network. Administrative tasks include initializing devices and hierarchy, associating map images, importing rate schedules, specifying automated report jobs, setting alarm conditions, and creating user accounts. Each user account can have its own "profile" based upon its assigned name and password, which controls the measurement points the user will see and which charts, logos, and presentations will be offered when the user logs on the Web. These system components interact seamlessly through SmartSub's Web interface and off-the-shelf, customized, or third-party application modules that address your most challenging initiatives.

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Supported Substation IEDs, Equipment, & Data Sources

Protection and Control Devices (Protective relays and associated control equipment)

Power Recording Devices (Digital fault recorders; power and power quality analyzers)

Smart Apparatus

Customer Revenue Meters

Equipment Condition Recorders / Apparatus Monitors

Third Party Data Sources

* Scheduled for 2010

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