The Integrated Distribution Management System (IDMS) was developed to provide a framework in which decision support tools could more easily and affordably be developed and maintained in electrical utilities. The initial decision support application to which the IDMS has been applied is for fault diagnosis, repair planning, and operations coordination during electrical service outages. Currently, the IDMS provides a diagnostics component called the Outage Restoration Management Server (ORMS), which is integrated with the other information systems present in most utilities via an easily configurable and extensible integration framework. We have shown the IDMS to be an effective solution for fault management in small to medium sized utilities.
Because the IDMS is based on Model Integrated Computing technology developed at ISIS, it is simple and inexpensive to maintain, which will drastically reduce the life cycle cost of this system versus systems developed with traditional software engineering technology. In addition to being easily maintainable, the system can also be evolved to include other decision support applications.
The IDMS was developed with the support from the Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation (JWEMC), a public utility cooperative in Trinity, AL. The project began in 1998, and is ongoing as of April 2000. The IDMS is currently installed at JWEMC, and is undergoing operational testing. We plan to transition the IDMS into a full production system in July of 2000.
In the near future, we plan to extend the capabilities of the IDMS with other decision support functionalities, such as time to repair estimation, GPS based automatic vehicle location, etc. Our strategy is to identify the information technology problems common to most rural electric utilities, and extend the IDMS to provide general, easily configurable, and cost effective solutions to these problems.
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