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The New Face of Damage Assessment

The New Face of Damage Assessment

Full Title: The New Face of Damage Assessment
Author(s): Greentech Media
Publisher(s): Greentech Media
Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

In the wake of a severe storm, tens to hundreds of thousands of customers lose power. Trouble calls, emails, texts, social media, and outage orders overwhelm fully-staffed call centers and dispatch centers. Data from the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), interactive voiceresponse (IVR) systems,and call centers floodsinto a utility’soutage management system (OMS).The OMS models the state of the distribution grid with awareness of which customers areexperiencingoutages, but not what caused the outage or the labor and materials needed to restorepower. Once the storm restoration process gets underway, dispatchers use the information fromthe OMS to create and assign work tickets. Dispatcher-guided damage assessors,working withoutaccess toOMS data, patrol the lines without adequate prioritizationof their efforts. Assessorscommonlyuse paper maps to survey damaged equipment, later returning to regional or centraldispatch locationstomanually enter thedatathey collected in the field. The assessment data,stored independently of OMS data,oftendoes not reach repair crews in a timely manner.

The scenario is not unique to a particular geography,nor to autility’s stage of technological andprocess advancement. Overhead distribution lines leave utilities across the world exposed todamage from severe storms, tropical cyclones, winter storms, and wildfires. During severe weatherevents, even utilities with modern operational systems and well-developed storm responseprocedures reach a point at which their remaining manual processes fail to perform, delayingpower restoration efforts and hindering the ability to provide the public, the media and regulatoryagencies with accurate status updates.

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