Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) are systems that measure, collect and analyze energy usage, and communicate with metering devices such as electricity meters, gas meters, heat meters, and water meters, either on request or on a schedule.
A smart meter is a meter that records consumption of electricity, gas or water in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting. AMI differs from traditional automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communications with the meter. One example for a process that requires bi-directional communication is remote disconnection and reconnection.
Meter Data Management (MDM) refers to a key component in the Smart Grid infrastructure that is in the process of being evolved and adopted by utility companies.
An MDM system (MDMS) performs long term data storage and management for the vast quantities of data that are now being delivered by smart metering systems. This data consists primarily of usage data and events that are imported from the head end servers that manage the data collection in AMI systems. An MDMS will typically import the data, then validate, cleanse and process it before making it available for billing and analysis. Automated validation, editing, and estimation (VEE) of meter data is one of the key functionalities of an MDMS. The more flexible the MDM application, the better it is able to integrate to existing enterprise applications and help to streamline utility business processes. Benefits can be seen in billing, customer service, outage management and analysis of utility operations.
- SAP Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is an extension of SAP for Utilities and extends functionality of SAP IS-U and SAP CRM for Utilities;
- AMI comes with an extension of the SAP CR&B data model to support smart meters and their capabilities
- SAP AMI extends existing CR&B core processes like, meter reading and billing to support handling of smart meters
The implementation of an SMI system not only entails the introduction of several new applications, but also has a significant impact on legacy systems already in place. The systems tied to SMI impact a majority of the Utility business and IT Systems. As this involves a large investment, and as some components are still evolving, careful consideration needs to be given to the recommended solution. The IT systems are divided into several components:
• Applications: Automated Data Collection System (ADCS), Meter Data Management System (MDMS), Data Historian, Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Demand Response Management System (DRMS), Portal, Legacy applications (including: Customer Information System (CIS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Outage Management System (OMS), Work Management) and other applications.
• Architectures: Development, Execution and Operations
• Hardware: Servers, Storage, Network, Data Centers, Disaster Recovery
The MDMS concept or product is fairly new. Many utilities have fully or partially deployed AMI solutions without the use of MDMS. The reasons could be that the AMI deployments pre-dated the MDMS concept or product, or that the AMI business case was predominantly justified by avoided meter reading costs so the full functionality of an MDMS was not necessary to meet these benefits. These utilities will already have a repository, typically home-grown, of meter read data used as an intermediary between the existing manual or drive-by meter reading system and the billing system.
As utilities moved towards Advanced Metering Infrastructure or Smart Metering systems they started seeking out ways to better manage meter data through meter data management systems (MDMS). Today, a Meter Data Management System has become a crucial component of a Smart Meter implementation.
Utilities have three options for this functionality; build, buy, or use a service provider.
The Function of an MDMS
MDMS provides a single repository for processing and managing meter asset data, meter operations data and meter read data.
The volume, frequency, resolution, and type of data (e.g., interval demand data, voltage, outage events, meter tempering indications, etc.) received from the Smart Meters are vastly different from manual meter reads. As such, the Meter Data Management system may be required to store billions of records and terabytes of data.
To complicate the problem further, the utility may have selected multiple Smart Meter technologies, such as phone-based system for C&I customers, a fixed network based system for urban/suburban residential areas, and Power Line Carrier based system for rural areas. So, the customer care and billing applications and other business and operational systems would need to process more meter data from multiple sources. MDMS helps the utility meet all these challenges of processing and managing meter asset, operations and read data by receiving, processing and then relaying the data to other systems.
An MDMS will typically have the following features/components:
• Interval Meter Data Import - The MDM should be able to successfully import, validate and store millions of meter reads. This includes interval data and daily register reads.
• Data Repository – The MDM should store three types of data
(1) the meter asset data, including meters and communication modules, needs to track the asset from acquisition to inventory to field installation and provide accurate the meter-to-customer and meter to network connectivity information
(2) meter event data (voltage, outage events, meter tempering indications, etc.)
(3) interval meter reads. Note: Although MDM solutions store primarily consumption data rather than meter asset information, some utilities use their MDMS to store meter asset and location information. In most cases, this is asset and location information needed for consumption calculation, rather than a full set of asset data needed to support an entire meter asset management process that includes Smart Meter deployment, calibration and testing.
• Validation, Editing and Estimation (VEE) – Upon importing the meter reads the MDMS should be able to execute a set of distinct validation checks. These checks may include high/low validations on usage and demand and actual vs. historical usage and demand checks. Should there be a gap in meter reading data (meter reads don’t always come every time they should) the MDMS must perform historical estimation to fill in the gap. When necessary, the read is edited manually.
• Aggregation capabilities - The MDM should identify where consumption occurs and aggregate that usage. For utilities planning to offer time-of-use rates, the MDM will be able to identify the rate in effect at the time and aggregate accordingly. Aggregation applies to utility systems beyond billing. For example a utility may choose to aggregate the consumption of all meters up to a transformer level and then on to the next switchable device. This type of information will be used by the operations staff and distribution planning.
• Billing Determinant Calculation – Once aggregated the data is put into billing determinants (e.g. peak, off-peak, and critical peak usage quantities for a given month) to support time-based rates.
• Reporting – The MDMS may provide alerts about premises with energy usage patterns that are outside of defined tolerances (revenue exceptions), outages, • Export Data – The MDMS will subsequently provide data integration with other utility information systems such as the following:
1. The Customer Information System for customer care and billing,
2. Outage Management System (OMS) to improve reliability,
3. Enterprise Resource Planning for accounting and asset management,
4. Mobile Workforce Management (MWM) to manage customer and meter work orders,
5. Geographic Information System to provide good reliable load data for distribution planning and engineering,
6. Transformer Load Management to provide accurate and timely data for optimizing transformer loading and change-out programs.
Product Selection Some products are from new companies in the field built from the ground up with the singular vision of filling this evolving MDMS product niche. Others are from established vendors who are
(a) adapting and extending their existing software to be a more fully featured MDMS, or (b) pre-integrating with other software systems to offer a hybrid solution to provide the MDMS functionality. Utilities should evaluate MDM products on their functionality and scalability:
Functionality - The MDMS solutions in this space cannot yet be treated like commodities. A multitude of vendors exist that fulfill the functionality expected of an MDMS; each offering has functional strengths, weakness and gaps. Each product has its own unique architecture differentiators, like the ability to perform and scale as needed. Each product is implemented with differing technologies and, each company is unique in its level of product development maturity and implementation experience and expertise. All should be considered to find the solution that best fits a utility’s specific needs. The utility should complete an assessment and quantification of benefits for an MDMS thus driving the identification and weighting of what functionality their MDMS must support. For example some MDMS provide rich meter asset management functionality. Thus if a utility already has a strong meter asset management solution this functionality will be weighed low; however if the utility is looking for a meter asset solution the functionality would be weighted high. Or some MDMS support the deployment of Smart Meters with route planning and a material forecasting component. If a utility has already deployed their Smart Meters then this functionality will be weighted low.
Scalability - The scalability requirements will vary per utility depending on the number of Smart Meters being read, the frequency of the reads and the requirements for keeping historical readings. In addition, scalability requirements will vary depending on whether meter asset and meter event data is being kept in the MDM. Hosted MDM The typical enterprise-class MDM system is expensive, obliging a utility to make a major investment in information technology infrastructure. That kind of financial commitment can discourage some utilities from implementing MDM. That’s where hosted MDM solutions come in. A hosted MDM solution may provide the utility a lower cost, reduced-risk alternative to purchasing an MDM and operating it themselves. Hosted MDM systems are significantly less expensive to implement than enterprise solutions. This is because the host company purchases and maintains the software, hardware, network infrastructure, and security solutions necessary for an MDM. The host company spreads this cost amongst a number of utilities. When a utility deploys a hosted MDM solution, it buys the right to use the application for a certain number of meters serviced by the utility. There is usually an annual service fee which goes up if the meter base increases. Another benefit of a hosted MDM is that they can be up and running in a fraction of the time it takes to deploy an enterprise MDM solution. Typically, the hosted solution can be implemented within a few months as the host company is typically very experienced in setting up the software and interfaces and the hosted MDM is generally preconfigured to pull data from any Smart Meter system. Suppliers of hosted MDMs include: Itron and Accenture (Oracle Utilities MDM) For large utilities purchasing an enterprise MDM may be the best financial option. Or a utility may decide they do not want to outsource key strategic information; they may not want to pay for access to their own data. In these cases the utility has a number of MDM solutions to select from. Suppliers of Meter Data Management Systems include: Itron, Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management, Ecologic Analytics, Nexant
3. Demand Response Management System (DRMS) A Demand Response Management System is used to manage the Demand Response programs. The DRMS will have functionality that communicates with the devices it is managing in the field, functionality to communicate with users via multiple user-friendly communication pathways, and functionality to maintain hierarchical groupings to allow load control operations to happen efficiently. A DRMS will typically have the following features/components:
• Group Management – A control group is a grouping of devices based on their system characteristics for example location on the electric network. The DRMS will provide functionality to create hierarchies of devices to be used when load must be shed.
• Program Management – A customer may be on one of many different programs. The DRMS will manage these programs and their enrolment.
• Device Management - Manages devices, accounts, sites and premises and manages the relationship between them. Contains information on how a device is operated. Provides application interfaces and user interfaces to create, update or delete devices.
• Message Management – The DRMS will contain functionality to capture and send messages to devices, emails or other mechanisms (ex. pagers). For example, messages with consumption, and/or demand response, cost and pricing information might be sent to customers through an in premise display via alpha-numeric message format. The text message content is configurable by the utility in the DRMS.
• Reports – can be generated automatically at preset times, and saved at pre-defined locations including shared folders. The report generation process can also be configured to email out the reports. Reports might include: o Customer reports – reporting from the customer database based on various criteria such as firstname, lastname, etc. o PCT and DCU Control Switch reports – reporting from the switch database, based on various criteria such as PCT and/or switch type, etc.
o Event reports – report of all events within the system. o Transmission reports – report of the transmission logs o Override reports – reports of all overrides – customer or administrator initiated. Suppliers of DRMS include: Comverge
|1.||Device Initialisation process|
|1.1||Smart Meter Creation in ISU system|
|1.2||Synchronisation of Smart meter with MDUS|
|1.3||Smart Meter Installation|
|1.4||AMS and AMCG Concepts|
|2.||Exchange Technical Master Data|
|2.1||Meter Change Request|
|3.||Remote Meter Reading|
|3.2||Monitor Incoming and Outstanding Meter Read|
|3.3||Meter Read Upload|
|3.4||Meter Reading Validation|
|4.||On Demand Meter Reading|
|4.1||Meter reading request|
|4.3||Meter reading processing|
|4.8||Ondemand Read trigger from CRM|
|5.||Upload Usage Data|
|5.1||Upload Interval consumption in SAP EDM|
|5.3||Concept of TOU Interface|
|6.||Remote Disconnection & Reconnection|
|7.1||AMI Event from MDUS|
|7.3||Followup Activity and BPEM Case setting|
|8.||Text Messaging to AMI Device|
|8.1||Sending Text to Meter|
|8.2||Text Message process flow|
|8.3||Concept of IHD|