Suburban Water Utility Pays Off AC Drives with Savings in Electricity

St. Louis Park Water is typical of many water utilities across the country trying to provide customers quality water at a reduced cost. As an enterprise fund to the city of St. Louis Park, Minn., revenue is generated by water production. A rise in operating costs means cuts have to be made or rates have to be raised. To avoid raising rates or making cuts, the utility constantly asks the question, "How can we do this more efficiently and at lower costs?"

Mobile Design System to Increase Efficiency and Effectiveness

Most of today`s electric utilities are aggressively seeking ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness in a rapidly changing marketplace. Southern California Edison is no exception. The utility is turning to field automation as a way to improve efficiency and provide company-wide benefits. One of Edison`s most recent, and certainly its most ambitious field initiative to date, is a mobile design system. Called the Planner Office, this pen-based system lets distribution planners create a projec

Conference Focuses on Technologies for Customer Satisfaction

The DistribuTECH(TM) Conference has emerged into the utility industry`s leading symposium on utility automation. The Seventh Annual International Symposium, held in San Diego, Calif., in late January, continued the legacy of previous conferences by setting attendance and exhibitor records. This years conference centered around the theme, "Creating a Competitive, Customer-Driven Utility Company." The 4,000 attendees were provided with three days of valuable information on current business and tec

DCS-to-EMS Data Link Improves Electric Utilitys Systemwide Operations

There has been a long standing requirement for power plants to respond to load dispatch signals from centrally located power control centers. Likewise, control centers need to know what is happening at the power plants to enable good dispatch decisions to be made and often to forward information from the plants to other departments in the company. The communication methods between power plants and control centers have evolved over the years, but have often not taken advantage of new technology a

Communications Technologies Critical to Competitive Marketplace Survival

As deregulation looms closer, utilities must reassess and plan for the competitive future. Communication with customers is key not only to coming out ahead, but to survival in a competitive marketplace. During the opening plenary session at the recent 1997 DistribuTECH(TM) Conference held in San Diego, Calif., Stephen Baum, Enova Corp.`s president and CEO, predicted that in a deregulated environment, the player having the closest relationship with the customer will be successful. Competition is

1997 Water/Wastewater Study Highlights Developments in Automation

Water and wastewater utilities in the United States and Canada are planning 469 SCADA and/or process control system projects over the next three years. The projects are valued at more than $270 million; 61 projects have budgets of $1 million or greater. These projects and others are described in a series of detailed reports published by PennWell Research. In addition to the two control system reports for water and wastewater, PennWell Research has completed the water/wastewater utility AM/FM/GIS

The Way is Clear for Cost-Effective Rural AMR

Conventional wisdom says that AMR isn`t cost-effective in rural, agricultural and light suburban/small-town applications. But then conventional wisdom once said the world would only need mainframe computers. Likewise in AMR, a "wisdom barrier" has been shattered.

Specifications on the Utility Consultant

With deregulation and rapidly advancing technologies, the utility industry is now discovering the tremendous opportunities for growth and exposure to new markets. Each utility looking at future growth or at entering a new market can greatly benefit from the knowledge of various consulting firms.

The Real Challenge of Todays Power Utilities

For 100 years, it has been assumed that electricity and its delivery were inevitably intertwined, like an egg baked into a cake. Once the cake is mixed, the ingredients cannot be reconstituted. This is the reason why electricity has been viewed as a product used only at the point of delivery and paid for in a single delivered tariff. This single tariff has bundled together both transportation and energy charges. This structure has been one of the major obstacles for introducing competition in th

SCADA Software

The T-Vision SCADA software enables plant engineers and facility managers to gain immediate access to vital facility control information for recording, alarming, reporting, analysis and trending in continuous emissions systems, chiller plants, pharmaceutical production areas, clean rooms, isolation suites and other industrial applications. T-Vision software features easy-to-use, menu-driven operator interface screens which access reading and alarms, generate printouts and analyze trends of up to