“In an LV (low voltage) case, there is nothing to do from the control room,” confirms Teemu Suvela, Operations Engineer at Elenia. And truly, the operators in the Elenia control room can take it easy at daytime, as the contractors handle the LV outages from start to finish, independently. “We only alarm the contractor to go to the fault location and repair the fault,” Teemu explains. There is also less and less need for phone calls, as the mobile solution Utility To Go allows for the field crews to see the needed information directly in the field, and the well-integrated smart services tackle 98% (!) of the potential customer phone calls, ensuring that the utility offers excellent customer service via multiple channels with transparent outage information. Highly beneficially, the smart systems have also allowed for the utility to fine-tune its cooperation with the contractors, resulting in very effective and straightforward processes.
Elenia is the second largest electricity DSO (distribution system operator) in Finland, supplying electricity to 425 000 homes and businesses, and covering over 100 municipalities vast across the center of the country. The usual fault causes are thunderstorms and risky trees falling on the power lines, and, as Elenia invests heavily on underground cabling, one common cause has become excavators when digging goes wrong.
Today, utilities already use a variety of mobile solutions for various activities, like work order management, filling in data such as meter identification at a changeout, work hour reporting, safety and quality reporting, and even managing the surveillance cameras at substations. On top of those, there are the services for the utility customers, for example, for checking their consumption data or reporting an outage. Also - and quite importantly - many of our customers have their field crews bring the network to the field in tablets or smartphones with Utility To Go, using it, for example, in network planning, maintenance including component inspections, and operations both by in-house technicians and contractors.
As you may have heard, I had the privilege to visit the electricity DSOs (Distribution System Operators) Elenia, Elektrilevi and Caruna this spring to talk about their ISO 55000 asset management certification. Overall, the standard drives companies to look at the big picture of how they’re running their business, as it can be left a little scattered from, for example, organizational changes or the how-it’s-always-been-done habits. The asset management development project, then, becomes about gathering the entire puzzle together, one sub-area at a time.
This spring, I’ve had the privilege to visit the electricity IOUs (Investor-Owned Utilities) Elenia, Elektrilevi and Caruna which have all obtained the ISO 55000 certification for their asset management system. The certification - or its comparables ISO 55001 or PAS55 - gives companies guidance for the best practices in their asset management, an essential area for the utility business. Rasmus Armas, Head of Asset Management at Elektrilevi, describes: “ISO 55000 is an overview of how the asset management system should work. It doesn’t give you answers or tell you what to do, but it gives you a way to decide for yourself what you want to do.”
Insights into the software development for electricity distribution in the form of interviews with the most inspiring industry experts.