Energy management: The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which ends November 30, will be remembered as one of the top ten most active in recorded history. Millions of Americans were left without critical services as storms devastated the continental United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. With the season now over, we can look back at how Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused catastrophic damage and left utilities racing to restore services for their customers. With the FlexNet® communication network from Sensus, a Xylem brand, utilities can better prepare for the havoc Mother Nature wreaks with a resilient, reliable system for quickly getting their infrastructure back up and running.
“After a natural disaster, all eyes focus on repairing infrastructure and rapidly restoring power, water and other essential services—often a matter of life or death,” said Randolph Wheatley, vice president of marketing of Sensus. “The FlexNet system gives utilities a resilient network that can help them weather the devastating effects of a storm and quickly get their customers the services they need.”
FlexNet is a two-way communications highway that delivers data over a private network. It gives utilities real-time alerts on system-wide issues and outages. Further, its point-to-multipoint architecture offers a critical view of a utility’s infrastructure and provides strategic insights to organize and increase efficiencies in disaster relief efforts.
Getting Corpus Christi Back Up and Running
Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast as a category four storm with winds up to 130 miles per hour late in the evening Friday, August 25th. Nueces Electric Cooperative, the only deregulated electric co-op in Texas and only one of a handful in the United States, reported that 45 percent of its customers had lost power—which left approximately 8,200 homes and businesses in the dark. By Sunday afternoon, less than 48 hours after landfall, crews had restored power to every customer—even those who had evacuated and were not at home to report an outage.
“The FlexNet communication system sent us timely and accurate outage information so we were able to send our crews to the exact trouble spot and restore customer service efficiently,” said Nueces Electric Cooperative IT Director Sergey Seryogin. “We take pride in an effective disaster recovery plan for our customers and the FlexNet system is the strongest, most robust setup for outage management.”
History of Restoration
The FlexNet system has a long history of helping utilities restore services and playing an integral part in disaster recovery efforts. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy tested the true resiliency of the FlexNet system in Stafford Township and Seaside Heights, New Jersey. In response to the more than 2,260 homes damaged, these municipalities used FlexNet to prioritize relief initiatives.
While restoration efforts took weeks and required assistance from utility crews across the U.S. and Canada, Stafford Township and Seaside Heights proactively assessed the data from FlexNet and sent support to the most impacted areas, greatly improving disaster relief efficiencies across the service areas.
Sensus helps a wide range of public service providers—from utilities to cities to industrial complexes and campuses—do more with their infrastructure to improve quality of life in their communities. We enable our customers to reach farther through the application of technology and data-driven insights that deliver efficiency and responsiveness. We partner with them to anticipate and respond to evolving business needs with innovation in sensing and communications technologies, data analytics and services.
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative technology solutions to the world’s water challenges. The Company’s products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services, and agricultural settings. With its October 2016 acquisition of Sensus, Xylem added smart metering, network technologies and advanced data analytics to its portfolio of solutions. The Company’s nearly 16,000 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions. Headquartered in Rye Brook, New York with 2015 revenue of $3.7 billion, Xylem does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands.
The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all—that which occurs in nature..