Mobile Workforce Management System

The Ventyx Service Suite enterprise mobile workforce management system software is designed specifically for companies that are constructing and maintaining transmission and distribution assets, managing critical service outages, scheduling crews for complex multistep projects and supporting mobile utility workers.

Release 8.1 is a major update to the software, enabling improved communication and more efficient scheduling of mobile workers in the field. The software now allows users to graphically display projects in a new dispatch planner, which allows them to dispatch and manage long-cycle work.

In addition, users can interface the software with third-party applications such as mapping, billing or timekeeping. As a result, they can have seamless communication when they need to receive a work order or complete a form. The new scheduling features allow users to assign orders to technicians and then reevaluate the schedule throughout the day to respond to changes.
Ventyx |

Interrupter Switches

Scada-Mate CX Switching Systems from S&C Electric Co. now feature a tiered outboard-mounting configuration. This design enhances the versatility of the product and allows it to meet the requirements of more applications.

The three-pole, group-operated interrupter switches come in a lightweight and compact package. They are rated 900 A continuous and are offered in voltage ratings of 14.4 kV and 25 kV. They feature a five-time duty-cycle fault-closing rating of 20,000 ARMS asymmetrical. The interrupter position is clearly visible on the opened/closed indicator on the side of the switch. Users can upgrade the features on the switches over time. The products can be furnished with factory-installed 3-phase S&C current sensors or with 3-phase S&C current/voltage sensors on one side of the switch.
S&C Electric Co. |

Steel Track Undercarriage

The Fecon-built Steel Track Undercarriage is now available for the FTX148-L. This undercarriage offers an aggressive design for durability on the roughest terrains. Single- or triple-grouser steel tracks allow operators to maneuver easily on slopes and slippery terrains. The closely spaced rollers provide even weight distribution and offer a smooth ride for operator comfort.

The FTX148-L with Steel Track Undercarriage weighs 19,400 lbs with the BH85 Bull Hog Brush Cutter, and is perfect for land clearing, site prep, clearing rights-of-ways, park trails, firebreaks and vegetation management.
Fecon Inc. |

Hybrid Trucks

Kenworth Truck Co. is producing two new models of medium-duty diesel-electric hybrid trucks. The T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 hybrids are powered by the PACCAR PX-6 engine and feature an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator, a frame-mounted 340-V battery pack and a dedicated power management system. Advanced powertrain controls monitor driving conditions and automatically select the suitable power mode. Drivers also can switch among electric-only, combined diesel and electric, and diesel-only power modes. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine. A dash display monitors the hybrid system. As the power requirements for different driving conditions change, the screen constantly updates the driver on system status.
Kenworth Truck Co. |

Thermal Imaging Camera

Electrophysics' TVS-200 EX handheld thermal imaging camera supports a variety of applications, from research and development to facility maintenance.

The TVS-200 EX has a new image-fusion function that enables the camera operator to mix thermal and visible video into fused real-time video with control over each channel's strength. The ergonomic, lightweight, waterproof (IP-54-rated) camera body makes it easy to control in the field. Select from a number of in-camera analysis tools including multiple-point measurement, temperature alarm setpoint, area analysis, isotherm and auto hot-/cold-spot tracking.

The TVS-200 EX features an intelligent auto-scale capability based on four auto-scale techniques designed for specific applications. The TVS-200 EX produces thermal images at 60 Hz with high resolution and high sensitivity. Users can select from six different color palettes to ensure the most suitable colorization. When users need the device to be more sensitive, they can turn on the advance frame averaging function and improve the camera's sensitivity to better than 0.08°C. The product features 320 by 240 resolution and real-time memory that captures temperature changes at 1/60 sec. Image mixing allows the user to fuse a background of a thermal image with a visible image. The imager also features a laser pointer and LED illuminator.
Electrophysics Corp. |

Attention manufacturers: If you have a new product for electric utilities that pertains directly to field professionals, please e-mail a high-resolution product photo and short product description to Amy Fischbach at

Current Data Logger

The Simple Logger II TRMS Current Data Logger from AEMC Instruments is a cost-effective, advance-designed product. The choice of data storage modes and storage rates allows the operator to effortlessly configure the logger to optimize memory usage to the application at hand. Extended recording mode and delayed start time are just two of the many application-friendly features.

The logger's internal memory can store up to 240,000 measurements, more than enough for most data collection needs. The Simple Logger II Model L101 records true rms ac current at user-selectable rates, from eight every second to one every day. Currents can be measured and recorded with 0.1A resolution.

Battery operation and a compact size allows for installation in tight locations without the need for external power. A series of front-panel light-emitting diodes provides a quick status of the logger's state and memory usage.

DataView, the comprehensive application software, which is included for free, facilitates real-time viewing of measurement data even while recording. Instrument configuration, data storage and report generation from predefined templates or operator custom-designed templates are also standard features. Several data loggers can be synchronized to record at the same time intervals.
AEMC Instruments |

Laptop and GPS Receivers

Trimble and Panasonic Computer Solutions Co. are providing a bundled offering specifically for utility field workers. The combination of the Panasonic Toughbook notebook PCs and Trimble GPS Pathfinder ProXT and ProXH global positioning system (GPS) receivers is an ideal asset management solution for mapping, geographic information system and CAD applications.

Mobile workforces locating buried assets, mapping telecom and broadband assets or managing pipeline integrity can rely on the fully rugged Toughbook laptops and Trimble GPS receivers to provide reliable positioning and asset feature information in the field. The Toughbook laptops offer maximum uptime in the field and can withstand virtually any environmental challenges, accidental knocks and spills. The Trimble GPS receivers wirelessly link to notebooks through a Bluetooth connection. The bundled Panasonic and Trimble solution eliminates cables and tangles, allowing workers to move freely around the job site.
Trimble |
Panasonic Computer Solutions Co.

Current Differential Protection

GE Digital Energy's Multilin L30 Line Differential System delivers current differential protection for high-speed subtransmission and distribution lines and cables.

The newest member of the Universal Relay platform of protection and control devices, the L30 offers utilities protection, comprehensive communications, embedded IEC-61850 process bus support, and advanced metering and synchrophasor monitoring. Based on the Multilin L90, the L30 is equipped with advanced sensitive and segregated line differential protection and integrated backup protection. The L30 also includes features for the highest levels of device and system security. It creates a robust network security while enabling critical infrastructure protection with dual-permission access control and user-command logging.
GE Digital Energy |

CIP Compliance

As the deadline for complying with the North American Electric Reliability Corp.'s (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards draws near, GarrettCom has enhanced features to its CrossBow NERC CIP Solution, including enhanced server redundancy, additional options for meeting requirements for system backup and recovery, and easier management and administration for NERC CIP reporting and scheduling requirements.

A core component of the enhanced solution is the CrossBow 3 Secure Access Manager from Bow Networks. GarrettCom is the exclusive North American distributor of CrossBow software to power utilities.

Among the new features are:

  • Additional redundancy and database mirroring options via a move to Microsoft's SQL Server database

  • End-user interface enhancements that allow users to organize authorized IEDs in easily accessed user-defined graphical directories

  • Enhanced password administration to automate password updates across a large community of IEDs or other critical cyber assets

  • New event scheduler capabilities to facilitate collection, archival and review of files from remote systems, and to automate the centralization of event records in a common database

  • Simplified reporting schemes that provide a range of tools that will satisfy CIP mandates in an automated manner.
    GarrettCom |

Power-Quality Meter

From Electro Industries, the Nexus 1500 meter attains the total picture of energy usage and power quality from any metered point in a power distribution network. It is designed for critical applications in which high performance is essential, such as high-voltage transmission and electrical distribution automation.

Advanced features include 10-MHz resolution transient capture for high-performance waveform recording; 1 GB of storage memory for extensive logging and recording of power quality; dual 100BaseT Ethernet communications for user-selectable access to multiple networks; compliance with multiple industry standards; USB support as well as a front-mounted ANSI optical port; and rapid-response Ethernet supplying 20 times faster data download speeds over older generation meters.
Electro Industries

Vibration Analyzers

Datastick Systems Inc. has added six handheld vibration analyzers to its VSA product line, upgraded its Spectrum software suite for handheld computers and smartphones, and created InSpect route-creation and execution software for PCs and handheld computers.

The Datastick InSpect route-creation and execution software makes it easy for a supervisor to create an inspection route on the pc and download it to the handheld computer so that a less-trained technician can collect vibration data through a simple push-button process. When the inspection route is complete, the supervisor can upload the data to a PC where the supervisor can easily create machine-health trends and reports. The collected data can also be used for detailed analysis in either of Datastick's two vibration analysis software applications.

On the hardware front, Datastick added three vibration analyzers each to its VSA 6-Series and 7-Series. The three new 6-Series VSAs — the VSA-1216 for Palm handhelds, the VSA-1226 for Hewlett-Packard iPAQ handhelds and the VSA-2216 for Palm Treo smartphones — add to the capabilities of the existing 5-Series, with the inclusion of pressure-sensing capability, and the ability to interface with displacement sensors and displacement-based machine monitoring equipment such as Bently Nevada systems.

The three new 7-Series VSAs — the VSA-1217 for Palm handhelds, the VSA-1227 for Hewlett-Packard iPAQ handhelds and the VSA-2217 for Palm Treo smartphones — add to the capabilities of the 6-Series by enabling automatically triggered impact tests (bump tests) with maximum frequencies of up to 1 kHz.

Datastick's Spectrum handheld vibration analysis software has been updated to version 1.9. It now includes a new password-protected supervisor mode to prevent unauthorized changes to settings, as well as a period tool in time-domain waveform views to help vibration analysts quickly quantify periodic wave anomalies.

Datastick VSA hardware modules attach to PDAs and smartphones, and ICP-compatible sensors attach to the hardware. Datastick Spectrum software displays waveform or FFT spectral information on the PDA. Data can be shown in terms of acceleration, velocity, displacement, vibration decibel and overall vibration.
Datastick |

Bird Deterrent

From Bird-B-Gone Inc., the Bird Chase Super Sonic is an outdoor sound device designed to deter pest birds. The sonic system features the distress and predator calls of more than 22 types of birds. The system is a low-cost, effective and long-term solution for targeting pigeons, crows, starlings, swallows, gulls, woodpeckers, sparrows, grackles, cormorants and many other birds.

Bird Chase Super Sonic will protect a utility's property and surrounding area for up to 1 acre, and is adaptable with “pro pack” attachments to cover up to 5 full acres. It is easy to install and maintain, and offers an easy volume adjustment.
Bird-B-Gone Inc. |

Superconductor Cables

Utilities worldwide are seeking ways to relieve choke points and instantly suppress power surges in their grids. Superconductor technologies provide the ability to accomplish both goals simultaneously. American Superconductor's (AMSC) Secure Super Grids (SSG) technology uses customized high-temperature superconductor (HTS) wires — known as 344 superconductors — HTS power cables, and ancillary controls to deliver up to 10 times more power through the grid while simultaneously suppressing power surges that can disrupt service and damage expensive equipment. SSG technology also uses multiple paths for electricity flow in metropolitan power grids to ensure system reliability when individual circuits are disrupted due to severe weather, traffic accidents or willful destruction.

HTS wires conduct more than 150 times the electrical current as copper wire of the same dimensions, dramatically reducing the size and weight of power cables. As a result, the SSG solution also consumes less underground real estate that could be used for power, gas, water, sewer and telecommunications networks.

Since April 2008, a 138-kV HTS transmission line has been operating successfully on Long Island Power Authority's (LIPA) primary transmission corridor. At full capacity, LIPA's HTS cable system is capable of transmitting up to 574 MW of electricity in a right-of-way approximately 1-m wide. Phase two of the project calls for the replacement of one of the existing HTS cable system's phases with a 600-m-long cable employing SSG technology.

Project HYDRA, showcasing the fault current capability of SSG technology, is also underway in New York City at Consolidated Edison Inc., where the first distribution-voltage (13-kV) level SSG solution is being installed in the utility's Manhattan power grid. The full-scale, 300-m-long HTS power cable system will connect two of Con Edison's Manhattan substations and is scheduled for operation in 2010.

Superconductor cables are not only an attractive option to meeting traditional urban area load growth, but also to addressing future incremental power needs such as the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and the transmission of greater amounts of wind-generated electricity, such as that expected to come on-line in the United States.