Silver Spring Networks has announced enhancements to its UtilityIQ Outage Detection System software to help utilities identify and respond more efficiently, safely, and faster to system outages. The company also introduced a solution that enables utilities to model and simulate smart grid behavior in outage scenarios. The offering leverages data from the smart grid network to deliver reliable and actionable information to existing outage management systems (OMS). Together, the combined intelligence designed for both system outages and simulation tools enable utilities to improve service reliability for their customers and reduce operational costs related to outage preparedness and response.

UtilityIQ Outage Detection System addresses the challenges of integrating smart grid data into utilities’ Outage Management Systems. A robust smart grid network provides a tremendous amount of data during an outage that traditional OMS software should leverage. UtilityIQ ODS interprets this data more effectively so that utilities can quickly identify remaining outages, reduce operating costs, and update customers when power has been restored.

Along with the software update, Silver Spring is also delivering new outage simulation tools and services that allow utilities to simulate an outage of any size, from a single customer to a large feeder with thousands of homes and businesses. Unique in the industry, the new outage simulation capabilities enable utilities to understand network operations during an outage, requirements for system integration, and changes needed in business processes before an actual outage event occurs.

A Silver Spring utility client has leveraged the outage simulation and testing capabilities to better understand smart grid-based outage detection. The collaboration documented the behavior of the utility’s smart grid network during simulated outages and demonstrated that the network delivered outage data very effectively. The utility determined that for each outage scenario, the network delivered more than sufficient outage data to appropriately locate and scope the outage. The testing also highlighted the need for filtering software between the smart grid network and the utility’s OMS.

The UtilityIQ Outage Detection System upgrade features a new set of web services for simpler and faster integration with a utility’s existing OMS. The new web services leverage the standards-based Common Information Model (CIM) for messaging between back-office systems, reducing integration costs and enabling utilities to realize benefits more quickly. The updated UtilityIQ ODS software also features a “storm mode” that prevents the system from overwhelming the OMS and a redesigned user interface. Improvements in the software’s restoration verification leverage Silver Spring’s patented “fast restore” technique for relaying restoration notices from the smart grid network.