Everybody's talking Big Data, but Echelon gets to the point


Quick take: Everybody's talking about Big Data today, but far too often in a general sense. What are the real-world, fast-payback applications of Big Data? I think two of the best places to start are 1) asset health and management and 2) theft and tamper detection. And here's Echelon with news of ready-to-run applications in those very domains. - Jesse Berst


Echelon announced a new set of software applications that enable network operators to monitor the health of distribution transformers, rapidly detect and respond to outages, and identify technical and commercial losses in the low voltage network.


The three new Control Operating System (COS) software apps run on Echelon control nodes in the field and are managed at the utility’s data center. Here's how Echelon describes them:


·         The Transformer Protection App enables operators to remotely monitor electrical parameters such as energy and maximum current per phase along with physical parameters relevant to the transformer’s health such as temperature, moisture level and door open/close status.


·         The Service Quality Assurance App can continuously pull and analyze power quality and other status information from all smart meters on the distribution network. Alternately, in order to reduce data deluge, the app could instead pull and analyze data from a subset of meters that are strategically located at the middle or at the end of feeder lines.


·         The Revenue Assurance App identifies areas of loss on the distribution network by tracking energy usage at distribution transformers and comparing it with usage at the meters attached to that transformer.


"These apps provide unparalleled visibility into the stress points that grid operators face at the edge on a daily basis,” noted Varun Nagaraj, senior vice president of product management and marketing at Echelon.


Echelon’s COS apps, which the company will demonstrate at Metering Billing/CRM Europe in Amsterdam next month, are now available for beta testing through the end of 2012. Interested utilities can get more information about participating in the beta trial by contacting Echelon at COSapps@echelon.com.


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Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid News.com, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.