Customer Interface Systems–Energy Tools for a Competitive Era

Although meters have drastically improved since Thomas Edison`s time, many of the meters installed at today`s customer premises are technologically inadequate. Conceptually, it`s logical to assume that utilities would already be the benefactors of current technology, however, since they have not been operating in a competitive environment during much of the technology evolution, they have been slow to utilize some of the available technology, such as customer interface systems.

Bikes Map Out a Future for GPS

There was a time when practically every American kid loaded up his or her bicycle with a playing card "motor," bells, a basket and that fancy tool bag that hung under the seat. We were the proudest things on two wheels. There are some kids that never seem to grow up, or get over the tendency to fancy up their bicycles--or so it seems.

Maine Ice Storm Recovery Aided by Digital Document System

By any account it was a storm of immense proportions. The snow and ice storm that paralyzed Maine in January left 275,000 of 530,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers without electricity.

Mission-specific, Embedded Internet Systems Signal a Paradigm Shift

In years past, the typical embedded system was a self-contained device. Connectivity options were limited to simple point-to-point connections. These were soon followed by network options, usually proprietary in nature, implemented by custom software in the embedded system itself and the computer system to which it was linked. This led to a costly solution, limiting communications to those embedded systems containing highly critical data. Today, however, the way many embedded systems are employe

Careful Implementation Helps Assure Mobile Computing Applications Success

One-third of the current U.S. workforce, or 43 million people, is mobile--that is, they work 20 percent of the time away from their primary workplace. This is according to a recent release from The Yankee Group, a Boston-based information technology market research company. The company reported that in 1996 1.6 million workers in the United States were using some sort of mobile computing. The Yankee Group predicts that by the year 2002, that figure will have grown to 12 million (Figure 1). While

AMR–Strategic Implications for the New Power Enterprise

Over the last several years, utilities have responded to the impending challenges and opportunities of deregulation by embracing business process reengineering (BPR). As with their corporate counterparts in other industry segments, the goal of the BPR effort was to significantly reduce costs, primarily through elimination of organizational redundancies and process inefficiencies. With this initial restructuring largely accomplished, utilities` strategic attention will shift to the second, and pe

Intermountain Gas Finds Solution for its Mobile Radio System

Intermountain Gas is a retail distribution utility that supplies natural gas to the southern half of Idaho. In terms of square miles, Intermountain has one of the largest service territories of any distribution utility in the United States, due to Idaho`s large number of rural enclaves. Recently the utility completed the last phase of a two year program, building a unique Radio Access Control System (RACS)/LTR network to provide system-wide coverage for its mobile radio system (Figure 1).

Power Quality Analyzer Isolates Problem

hinking that it was being overcharged for electricity consumption, a transport company that runs a train service in one of the largest cities in the world complained about abusive charges from its distribution company. Believing that it had done nothing wrong, the distribution company servicing the transport company requested a harmonic analysis be performed at the point where the customer?s load connected.

Optical Fiber

The Corning LEAF, a single mode non-zero dispersion-shifted optical fiber, has a larger effective area than standard non-zero dispersion-shifted fiber, and was developed to meet the emerging 1550 nanometer design requirements of medium to long distance networks that use high output power erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and multi-channel dense wavelength division multiplexing technology.

Internet GIS Information

Intergraph Corp. has released GeoMedia Web Map Version 2.0. It is the first software to publish intelligent vector-based maps and live GIS applications over the World Wide Web. The smart maps can be viewed across an intranet or the Internet using industry standard browsers such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. The software publishes smart maps on the fly, directly from a live, operating GIS database without the need to translate into a new format, or make a copy of the datab