ARCOS LLC has implemented its ARCOS software platform for Tri-County Electric Cooperative, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. The Aledo, Texas-based utility says the solution plays a critical role in maintaining reliability and gives system administrators extra time to focus on recovery. For TCEC executives, the platform delivers situational awareness, whether managers are planning an overtime assignment or managing a major event.
For example, the ARCOS platform enables TCEC to automatically reallocate resources from its districts to the areas most affected by a storm. TCEC’s service area spans 126,800 feet and covers 16 North Texas counties in and around Fort Worth.
“In the event of a thunderstorm, the ARCOS platform automates locating and dispatching resources as needed to our four districts, so our system administrators can focus on diagnosing outages,” said David Hollingsworth, System Operations manager at TCEC. “That extra time means our system administrators can spend more time analyzing our SCADA system, using debugging tools, and looking ahead to see if a failure will require additional crews.
“ARCOS makes calls for one district and locates crew status with a click, eliminating the need for our line supervisors to call to identify available crews and equipment,” added Hollingworth.
Before ARCOS, it took TCEC system administrators up to an hour to fill with calls to fill a crew, especially in storm season. Managers also tracked overtime from employee reports via pen and paper, and payroll data didn’t differentiate between call-out hours and other overtime hours. With ARCOS, TCEC system administrators can create and complete out-of-hours callouts in less than five minutes and send failure data to line workers when needed. The platform’s reporting also gives TCEC managers greater visibility into their resources and ensures fair overtime for crews, as managers immediately see who is responding to calls. TCEC, which employs a non-union workforce, promotes its linemen, based in part on the number of calls employees accept through ARCOS. So tracking response rates is critical. The ARCOS platform also helps line inspectors balance the work and home life of line workers, as they can note in the system when not to call a lineman who is on vacation or juggling family obligations.
Reducing SAIDI and CAIDI “Looking year over year, our reliability numbers have improved,” said Hollingsworth of the impact of the ARCOS platform on reducing outage duration in terms of SAIDI and CAIDI.
“ARCOS gets crews to where they are needed faster and reports and visualizes line worker deployment,” said Wes Scheets, chief operating officer of TCEC. “The technology helps us maintain excellent reliability, maintain a high level of member satisfaction and keep our crews safe in the field.”
“Overall, implementing ARCOS for our linemen, superintendents and system operators was straightforward,” added Hannah Turner, a TCEC systems operator. “We see ARCOS expanding for relay technicians and substation personnel.”