Custom Collection Engine (CCE)
Traditionally, collection engines for Advanced Metering and Smart Grid applications have been developed to work with specific functional partners making it difficult for utilities to use AMI/ Smart Grid infrastructure based on overall system selection. Additionally, when new/updated components of the headend software are introduced, there is no simple functional way to test the new systems within the production environment without providing a full system upgrade. Finally, when utilities acquire other utilities, this inflexibility makes system integration very complex and extremely costly.
Wise Men has built a new software component called the Custom Collection Engine (CCE) for a large utility based in APAC which was implemented on top of any data collection system which interfaces with metering and sensor networks within the utility. The CCE provides abstraction layer to the underlying collection engines by utilizing their given functionality and provides the Utility a common interface, both programmatically and visually, enabling vendor independence when selecting new meters. The CCE supports different versions of the same underlying collection engine to enhance migration strategies as well as to provide a common user interface both within the utility infrastructure and mobile applications.
As the Smart Grid space is expanding to Grid Modernization and IoT Integration, the choice for technology selection is also becoming more complex. This CCE becomes the “Master” headend system which then interfaces with many different collection engines through vendor APIs and provides a common interface for various teams and is independent of the underlying infrastructure.
A large utility and Wise Men’ customer was using the OpenWay Collection Engine with the HW metering infrastructure for many years. If this utility were to implement the RIVA platform, a new headend (OpenWay Operations Center) would have to be installed; new user and programmatic interfaces would have to be developed. By providing a CCE, both systems could be operated with the same look & feel and programmatic framework. Secondly if the same utility acquired another utility, new metering or sensor technology could be integrated with their current systems. The easiest and cost-effective path was to implement the CCE which provided a single interface to all the underlying system for both operators and back-office systems. Work needed to be done to integrate the new software systems into the CCE, but users and mobile devices had seamless access to the new systems once those CCE integrations are performed.
CCE provided an integrated view of the overall systems in the grid infrastructure. New visualization and state management tools were integrated, allowing for a broader and more insightful view of the overall infrastructure. All of this reduces training time and costs helping to maintain common procedures and troubleshooting guides, and reduced system down time.