Work Force Development No Longer Optional

When considering problems that limit reliability and performance, most people would agree that improving work force skills ranks high. Most corporations, however, invest little in work force development.


Highfield Manufacturing Co., a global producer of utility industry security systems, offers a locking ring for smart meters. Highfield’s AMLR (Advanced Meter Locking Ring) is designed for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and automatic meter reading (AMR) ring-type meter enclosures. The new ring gives electric utilities an affordable tool to help guard against tampering and theft, to protect their investment and to ensure metering accuracy. The AMLR is easy and quick to install. A key is not required for installation because a preloaded barrel lock and end cap are included with each ring, giving utilities an extra level of key control. Also, the notched rear flange of the ring allows rapid mounting in the field. The AMLR can be supplied in stainless steel or case-hardened carbon steel and includes a short or long barrel lock made of the same metal alloy. The ring is manufactured to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) meter standards.

Are Your Transformers Ready for the Smart Grid?

For years technologists have been toying with the idea of a smart grid, and adoption of the smart grid is expected to enhance every facet of the electric delivery system. Transformers are a key component of a successful smart energy transition, making them immediate candidates for integration into the technology. Most of today’s transformers, however, are by no means ready for the smart grid because they were placed into service years before the age of interactive information transfer. Building next generation transformers will require incorporating remote monitoring of a wide range of transformer and system parameters.

IEC 61850 Multivendor Substation Applications: What’s Working in Europe?

IEC 61850 was created in the 1990s to be an internationally standardized communication and integration method that supports systems built from multivendor, microprocessor-based intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) networked to perform protection, monitoring, automation, metering and control.

The Smartest Grid of All: Power Network That Pays Its Own Way

Since the term smart grid first appeared in 2005, it has become almost synonymous with another term used to describe something priceless and eternally evasive—Holy Grail. Although engineers, venture capitalists and politicians have evangelized the vision of an intelligent, dynamic and self-healing power grid, building even a single working prototype has been slow. The reason? The software technology that would allow thousands of local and grid-level power system data points to be monitored in real-time, diagnosed for accuracy and stability, and acted upon in an intelligent manner did not exist. Until this year, even the most optimistic experts believed that, even with a well-planned, well-funded and well-staffed software development effort, the software missing link, called a master controller, was at least three to five years away.

AFRICAN SPOTLIGHT FEATURE: Building New Infrastructure in Post-Conflict Angola

The Republic of Angola obtained independence from Portugal in 1975. Immediately following independence, a civil war erupted that did not end until 2002. During the civil war, what little infrastructure existed was destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people were killed and millions more displaced. Due to the petroleum sector boom in the in early 1990s, migrations during the war, and the lack of opportunities in the provinces, the population in the capitol city of Luanda and the surrounding areas grew from fewer than 800,000 in 1989 to more than 8 million today. These factors have strained public services in general and the electricity system in particular.

Automating Outage Management

For Wisconsin Public Service, also known as WPS, outage management is a time-tested system maintenance routine consisting of tree-trimming programs and outage-recovery planning that ensures utility personnel are prepared for emergency outages.

The Communications Future is Now, but plan your Smart Grid for Tomorrow

If anything has been learned over the past 10 years about the smart grid, it is that a communication network needs to support more than just metering. The evolution from automatic meter reading (AMR) to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to smart grid teaches that the network will be required to work harder, faster and carry a bigger data payload as advanced functionality makes its way onto the grid.

EYE ON EUROPE FEATURE: Delivering Power to Meet Britain’s 2020 Targets

To meet its aggressive environmental targets and ensure security of supply, significant amounts of new generation, much of it from renewable sources, must be brought on to Britain’s grid by 2020. The current transmission access regime, however, has left some generators operating with one hand tied behind their backs. Changes to the nation’s transmission access arrangements should help bring new and renewable generation onto the grid as rapidly and smoothly as possible and represent the best chance of meeting the 2020 renewable energy targets.

The State of SCADA

Children nearly burst with pride when they conquer the complicated task of correctly spelling Mississippi or remembering what the acronym SCUBA actually stands for. The same can be said for industry newbies when faced with one of power’s favorite acronyms, SCADA. When you can blurt out that it properly stands for supervisory control and data acquisition, you’ve formally arrived.