Canadian software company Clevest, which specialises in mobile workforce automation, has launched a new product that aims to give utilities a new way to visualise, assess and respond to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) data.

Co-developed with US energy cooperative Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC), Clevest Smart Grid Visulization overlays near real-time smart meter data on top of a map-based view of field operations to provide utilities with AMI information displayed within the visual context of their power distribution system.

Commenting on the need utilities have to release the value of AMI data captured by smart meters, Robin Cairns, product manager, smart grid at Clevest, said: “After deploying smart meters and AMI communication networks, utilities face a substantial increase in meter data.

“Unless it can be turned into meaningful, actionable information, however, this data provides little value.

He added: “By overlaying the location and status of AMI meters on top of Clevest’s mobile platform that already incorporates street, satellite, asset, vehicle and service order layers, Smart Grid Visualization presents AMI data in a more intelligent, consumable format.”

David Adams, manager of information service at BEMC, agreed: “With AMI, we now have sophisticated systems and huge volumes of data available to us, but it’s difficult to quickly make heads or tails of it because it resides in data-driven reports.

“We now have a platform for visualisation that allows us to correlate AMI data with meter and customer information to more accurately pinpoint the root cause and location of an issue. This will allow us to be much more proactive in troubleshooting.”

BEMC, based in North Carolina, worked with Clevest and utility communications company Aclara to refine the scope of the product and to define its functional requirements for Clevest’s software engineering team.

BEMC also plans to integrate Clevest Smart Grid Visualization with its GIS solution in order to see and assess smart meter information in relation to substations and other assets.

In addition, the utility’s GIS and outage maps will be integrated with Clevest Automatic Vehicle Location for greater visibility into vehicle locations and its asset infrastructure during routine operations as well as when outage events occur.

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