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The University of Texas at San Antonio's Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department hosted a PI workshop on May 12, 2016.  The one day workshop took place on the UTSA campus and was hosted by ECE Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair and Professor, Dr. Mo Jamshidi.  The workshop was well attended by numerous ECE department graduate students and faculty.


The purpose of the workshop was for the UTSA students and faculty to obtain a better understanding of how OSIsoft's PI System is used globally by industry leading companies across the value chain in the fields of oil & gas, power & utilities, and facilities optimization.  The discussions also focused on how other universities are currently deploying the PI System for research and classroom learning in the fields of big data, facilities optimization, and as a real-time data infrastructure for various Smart Grid research projects, including microgrid deployment and analysis of phasor measurement unit (PMU) data.


One of OSIsoft's field service engineers, Dan Lopez, presented key PI System functionality and demonstrated how real-time information can be extracted from the PI System in a variety of ways, including:

-- For KPI and trend analysis on web and mobile devices

-- Importing data into Microsoft Excel, for ad-hoc analysis and exposure to Matlab

-- Extracting cleansed data as input to various machine learning modeling platforms

-- Integrating real-time data onto Esri's ArcGIS maps and operations dashboards

In the afternoon session, the group discussed various internal research projects for the PI System, including analysis of their multi-campus PV solar panel data, use of PI System future data for renewable energy forecasting, and as a decision support system for advanced robotics projects.


The group achieved a more in-depth understanding of how the PI System works and how it can be applied to their individual and department research initiatives.  The workshop was concluded by a visit to the UTSA robotics labs.

I had an opportunity to attend and speak at one of the foremost academic workshops on the future of the smart grid.  The workshop was held at Texas A&M University (TAMU) on April 28, hosted by Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, a Eugene E. Webb Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Director of the TAMU Smart Grid Center.

The theme of this year’s Smart Grid Workshop was big data for the smart grid and on how all types of big data can be utilized in the smart grid of tomorrow.  There were very interesting presentations and panel discussions by distinguished members of the academic community, government agencies (DOE, NREL), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and various people representing industry.

Topics included the latest research on modeling and analytics, outage minimization, customer data privacy, geospatial visualization as an emerging tool for outage management, microgrids, and the role of phasor
measurement unit (PMU) data as decision support for wide area stability/microgrid effectiveness.


While the domain experts offered valuable insights on how the smart grid can be taken to a new level, Dr. Kezunovic’s goal for the workshop was to maximize audience participation, so that audience members could ask questions and foster discussions on particular challenges they are currently facing.  This workshop is held annually, with the specific focus changing every year. 


I am looking forward to attending next year.  A more detailed summary of the workshop is available from the Texas A&M web site:

UC Davis wanted to look at additional information to be harvested from a single utility meter by breaking down the load measured by the meter into the component loads under the meter. In doing this UC Davis could avoid sub meters and retrofits to get increased 'visibility below the meter'.   The project proved quite valuable, even during debug phase,UC Davis group found a failing sump pump.  Left undetected, this would have resulted in an emergency repair of an expensive unit with some possible safety issues for flooding during the next rainfall.


In case you missed the "Maximize the Value of Each Existing Utility Meter" at the OSIosft User Conference talk in 2015 given by UC Davis - you can see it here:

2015 - Users Conference - San Francisco - Facilities, Energy and Water


so why blog this out now?


There is an ongoing conversation that has continued around this project.

The conversation now includes this blog post from Microsoft - check it here:


I have had other universities interested in disaggregation of other high resolution data or the use of R for other analytic. 

If you find this interesting, you might find this blog by Microsoft interesting.

Please post here and continue to share.


I wanted to quickly share a nice report from MIT from their sustainability working group -


It is quite short and a quick read, well worth the time to read and then to go back and study each set of words and the impact they share.


Some areas l like about this report lie in “Shared Principles” and the “Conditions for Success” sections.  What makes this interesting for me is that given the complex subject of “Sustainability” they distilled the key drivers and issues down to some clear points to guide actions in these two sections.


They continue this clear cutting view into the “Recommendations” section.  In the recommendations section, they picked areas that were specific to MIT to work on.  This provides a context and motivation to MIT that help make MIT a living lab to take action. Finally if you look at the appendix you will find a wide cross section of the interested people who helped form the ideas. These include both operations staff and academic staff working side by side to solve these issues. 


How can OSIsoft help you turn your campus into a Smart Campus?