Aclara Software™ Applications provide utilities with value-added software solutions that unlock the power of AMI systems and underlying billing and metering data to deliver benefits to the utility and customers alike. Aclara's ENERGYprism® Customer Care solutions and Energy Vision® Operational Efficiency Solutions are used by more than 100 major energy and water organizations worldwide to reduce capital and operating costs, increase customer satisfaction and address efficiency and resource management needs.
Aclara offers an enterprise suite of applications focusing on:
- Meter Data and AMI/Meter Device Management
- Revenue Management
- Distribution Asset Planning & Analysis
- Customer Care
- Efficiency and Demand Management
Aclara's AMI Device Management
Meter Asset Management and Data Collection
Tracking meter-related assets is a complex process - and becoming much more so with the deployment of AMI and AMR systems, as well as the requirements of Sarbanes Oxley. CIS systems were not intended to manage this level of complexity - and generic asset management systems are not designed to handle the intricacies of meter testing requirements.
AclaraÕs AMI Device Management (formerly known as AMS2000) offers the advantages of a proven and complete solution, configured to meet the specific business needs of each utility. Track metering equipment and their status through the shop and in the field. Add new devices to the database and retire broken or outdated ones. Print and scan barcode labels for increased speed and improved accuracy. Select devices for sample testing and determine if sample results are acceptable using ANSI Standards or simple percentages. Automatically configure and control calibration equipment, data collection, and validation of test results. Determine pass/fail status based on pre-defined limits. Manage the relationships of multiple meter-related devices in a Home Area Network. Leverage Aclara's AMI Device Management to support AMI deployment.
Aclara's AMI Device Management can provide an Enterprise solution for full meter equipment management and serve as the system of record, or interface with and add capabilities to existing asset management and meter history systems.
Aclara's AMI Device Management is tightly integrated with Aclara MDMS to provide an end-to-end solution for Meter Asset AND Meter Data Management.
Delivering power, flexibility, and scalability for all Aclara Software solutions
The power of Aclara Software applications begin with an Oracle-based data repository underlying all application modules. Aclara MDMS performs the critical functions of data integration, validation, estimation and editing (VEE) and data storage and management. Aclara MDMS has an open, accessible, and versatile architecture, maintains a complete audit trail, and leverages Oracle to provide exceptional data management and transactional performance for even the largest applications.
Aclara MDMS can be configured to pull in, normalize, validate, and store data from any number of systems, including CIS, SCADA, GIS, load research, load schedule systems, weather, and other legacy and middleware systems, creating a central data repository.
- Flexible Data Management - Data configuration is extremely flexible; there are no proprietary data storage structures and business users can readily establish the appropriate data structure with no programming. The data architecture is readily configurable and is designed to store virtually any data entity and an unlimited number of user-defined characteristics for each data entity.
- Efficient Data Structure - Leveraging a Star-schema data structure and "wide storage", Aclara MDMS Data is optimized to handle large volumes of interval data in an efficient manner. The system is currently supporting the largest AMI deployment in North America with 1.4M hourly meters.
- Powerful Validation, Estimation and Editing - An extremely efficient VEE engine addresses the most common validation routines, while a powerful Logic Builder allows the business user to configure any custom rules without programming.
- Comprehensive Audit Trail Capability - For every action involving the addition, deletion, or processing of data, the system records the date, time, and user ID. All input data and superseded calculations, scenarios, results, and configuration settings are time-stamped and saved - no data is ever lost or overwritten. This feature allows users to reproduce historical application computations.
- Flexible Billing Determinant Calculations - Turning AMI data into billing values support the entire meter to cash process. With the powerful Logic Builder as the backbone for the computations, rates of any complexity can be computed.
Aclara Load Research & Forecasting
Accurate and reliable load profiling, forecasting and settlement
Aclara Load Research & Forecasting is a robust load forecasting and settlement system that uses sophisticated, statistically based profiling methodologies to generate highly accurate interval load forecasts and backcasts, without the need for ubiquitous interval metering. It has become the leading commercial solution for load profiling and aggregation, used in open access markets in North America, Europe and Australia, by utilities, transmission companies, system operators, and competitive suppliers.
The effectiveness of Aclara Load Research & Forecasting is based on a combination of accurate load profiling, flexible data handling, high scalability, and a user interface that enables users to easily control the process, including quickly establishing all necessary logic with no programming. The result - quick and accurate near-term, mid-term and long-term load forecasts and load and capacity settlements that conform to any market rules.
Sophisticated Load Profiling Engine
Aclara Load Research & Forecasting's unparalleled functionality enables you to:
- Choose from among numerous profiling representations, including: hourly and daily weather sensitive, day type, proxy day, Julian sort, multivariate regression, net system load shape.
- Configure profiling methodologies with multiple options for regression analysis, cluster analysis, and weather scenarios.
- Designate "dynamic" profiles that use actual meter data when available.
- Refine "best-fit" regressions with point-and-click functionality for redefining breakpoints or converting data points to outliers.
Robust and Flexible Load Aggregation
Aclara Load Research & Forecasting provides maximum flexibility and accuracy by allowing you to:
- Create load forecasts and backcasts in intervals ranging from daily to sub-hourly and for schedule lengths ranging from one day to several years.
- Calculate load "as-of" any date for individual customers and in aggregate by geographic region, supplier, rate schedule, customer class, or any other aggregation entity.
- Apply perpetual, yearly, monthly, daily, and/or hourly loss factors, and specific loss estimates to model distribution and transmission losses.
- Reconcile "bottom up" load aggregations with upstream system metering points, and distribute unaccounted for energy (UFE) back through the system.
- Schedule automatic load forecast runs on a user-defined timeframe.
Aclara Distribution Asset Analysis
Delivering accurate utilization forecasting and overload detection for downstream distribution assets
The Aclara Distribution Asset Analysis delivers a key - and often excluded-component of any distribution asset management program: accurate measurement of network utilization for downstream assets at and below the substation level.
Aclara Distribution Asset Analysis leverages all available interval data from AMI or other sources. Where such data are not available, the Aclara Distribution Asset Analysis applies sophisticated and proven load profiling and aggregation techniques to provide accurate estimates of hourly usage for any point on the network, from substation to transformer. This translates into tangible cost savings and better reliability through:
- improved asset sizing
- capital planning tied to accurate utilization rates;
- reduced equipment failures
- increased asset life and;
- mitigation of energy losses
Forecasting (or Backcasting) Load Along the Network:
- Create short - or long-term load forecasts (or backcasts) for a selected circuit, substation, transformer, capacitor, switch or other network device.
- Define forecasting parameters with multiple options for season or month, day-type, and weather conditions.
- Plot bottom-up load estimates against top-down SCADA metering to identify "unaccounted for energy" due to theft or metering failures.
Utilization Analysis & Overload Detection Generate:
- Key metrics such as utilization percentage and overload duration allow you to quickly pinpoint chronically under- or over-utilized assets.
- Query, sort, and group data to easily target and refine your analysis.
- Display utilization from the substation level down to individual pole transformers.
Phase Balancing Analysis:
- View peak and average load by phase to assess load-balancing performance at any selected node.
- Use filter criteria to compare load balancing performance for different seasons, months, days, or temperature ranges.
- View corresponding load aggregations by profile class to help identify the source of phase imbalances.
Aclara Complex Billing
Complex billing made simple
Managing complex billing is challenging enough; the last thing you need is a billing application that requires scripting or database programming each time you want to design or change a rate.
Aclara Complex Billing is a reliable, automated, highly scalable system for generating accurate bill-ready billing data, invoices, settlement statements, and transaction reports. Aclara Complex Billing can quickly represent any rate - no matter how complex - with no programming. ItÕs easy-to-use, graphical rate designer and flexible data model provides direct control over billing calculations, reducing the time it takes to create rates and generate bills. This capability makes it more flexible and less expensive than home grown and third party complex billing applications. With comprehensive audit trail capabilities, Aclara Complex Billing is also a much more robust, reliable solution than spreadsheet billing, critically important in this era of Sarbanes-Oxley.
Aclara Software has integrated Aclara Complex Billing with Aclara Bill Analysis to provide seamless access to billing information and load profiles for customers and business customer service representatives.
Aclara Complex Billing can be used for:
- Complex C&I Billing
- Generation and Distribution Billing
- Wholesale & Retail Customer Billing and Transaction Settlement
- Billing and Settlement of Transmission and Ancillary Services
- Shadow Settlement for Asset Owners and Service Providers
Flexible Rate Design
Aclara Complex Billing enables you to:
- Create or model any pricing method, rate schedule, or scenario, no matter how complex- including interval data-based rates, index-based rates, coincident peak, ratchets and curtailment rates.
- Calculate any number of charge types for C&I rate schedule or ancillary transmission or distribution service or for any commodity type, unit, or time interval.
- Change or redesign a tariff calculation while preserving the previous calculation for re-settlement activity.
- Design rates with a graphical rate designer that does not require programming scripts or database table changes.
Complete Billing Work Flow
Aclara Complex Billing is a complete billing engine that delivers:
- A graphical user interface guides that user through the complex billing workflow - from defining bill cycles, scheduling bill runs and data import/export, handling exception reporting, and reviewing results, to invoice production.
- The ability to create and control any number of billing, late billing, and re-billing cycles of any interval length for any selection of accounts, as well as support on-demand billing.
- Support for summary, consolidated and conjunctive billing.
- Printed or electronic invoices, - which can include nested line items to differentiate charge categories - or links to your existing CIS system for the actual creation of bills.
Full Audit Trail Capability & Diagnostics
Aclara Complex Billing delivers complete auditability along with extensive, automatic validation:
- For every action involving the addition, deletion, or processing of data, the system records the date, time, and user ID associated with the action.
- All input data and superseded calculations, scenarios, and results are time-stamped and saved in history data tables-no data is ever lost or overwritten.
- Built-in mechanisms detect, trap, and report errors in execution; detailed diagnostic messages are logged for every process transaction.
- Automated validation routines speed up the billing process and improve accuracy.