Many integration providers freely discuss their solutions’ features, benefits, and ease of implementation as well as their commitment to customer service; present company included. Here at LiveData Utilities, we recently had an unprecedented opportunity to put these words into action. We were having an average Monday in our Cambridge, Massachusetts offices until we received a call from Japan. A potential new customer, SmartCloud, urgently needed to reengineer their ICCP connectivity solution to an electric power grid system operator that had recently upgraded their SCADA system. They knew LiveData Utilities RTI Server natively supports all major protocols for the power industry and that its OT-centric middleware architecture facilitates the integration of grid assets and systems. It was never in question, but what remained to be proven was LiveData Utilities ability to complete SmartCloud’s request by engineering and delivering an OT Integration solution in 5 days.
SmartCloud provides an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution to ensure timely responses to curtailment requests sent to large commercial and industrial electricity users who participate in utilities’ fast demand response programs. The AI reasoning monitors curtailment requests in real time and automates appropriate control setting to avoid penalties, either by guiding operators (open-loop control) or communicating directly with control systems (closed-loop control). Its intelligent monitoring escalates non-compliance to ensure contractual and operational standards are met.
In this instance, SmartCloud provides their service to a leading electric power aggregator who in turn provides demand response and management to commercial and industrial electricity customers. These customers participate in the region’s Demand Response program and a recent upgrade to their SCADA system required a rapidly re-engineered ICCP connection.
With the clock ticking, LiveData Utilities and SmartCloud worked quickly to ensure all necessary business and design paperwork was in place. As illustrated below, the solution required LiveData Utilities to bidirectionally integrate ICCP data to the ISO and SmartCloud’s Azure Service Bus cloud solution. Implementing the solution involved utilizing LiveData Utilities RTI Server as the system OT integration platform and locating it in Smart Cloud’s Boston Data Center.
LiveData Utilities deep ICCP experience and RTI Server’s architecture made the ICCP connectivity part of the integration equation easy. RTI Server is architected as OT-centric middleware and is purpose-built for the specific regulatory, safety, reliability, and operational requirements of the power industry. ICCP is one of the many standard protocols native to RTI Server. The complication arose establishing connectivity to SmartCloud. The internal developer of their Azure Service Bus architecture was not available nor was there any formal documentation. LiveData Utilities engineers had access to SmartCloud’s legacy solution source code and little else. At this point, the project required LiveData Utilities to write an Azure Service Bus adapter under the extreme time pressure of 3.5 days.
The Result: Success
LiveData Utilities engineers designed, built, and delivered the solution in time. For SmartCloud, RTI Server publishes and subscribes data in real-time to the Azure Service Bus via python scripts through an Azure Service Bus translation library that LiveData Utilities created. The entire project was completed in 5 days with the engineering part of the project executed in 3.5 days. On Friday afternoon at 5:00 PM, SmartCloud verified data was flowing as expected. Though the timeline for the project was unprecedented by industry standards, LiveData Utilities successfully completed SmartCloud’s request. That day was another average day in our offices: LiveData Utilities was hard at work for our customers integrating everything OT.
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