The Last Gasp Outage Notification

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When electronic energy meters are integrated in an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system they can push a message to the system in case of power fail.
Note: This is an optional feature, not all meters have this function. Ask us or your supplier.

General handling

If the power fails for more than 30 seconds the meters are sending a last gasp message to the HES (Head End System, a part of your AMI software solution).

The meters have a super capacitor to keep the meter long enough alive to send the last gasp message trough wireless communication (RF/GPRS/3G/4G) directly to the HES.

Meters with PLC (power line) communication need to send the message to the data concentrator unit (DCU). Depending on the PLC system and the no. of meters behind the DCU this can take more than one hour.
To speed-up the outage information to the HES the DCU sends the last gasp for all registered meters 30 seconds after power-fail to the head end system.

  • Case 1
    Power fail at a three phase transformer, all phases.
    The DCU pushes a last gasp message for all registered meters to the HES.
    Each meter logs a power fail event.
  • Case 2
    Power fail at a three phase transformer, one phase
    Registered three phase meters are logging a phase fail event.
    For registered single phase meters in the fail phase the DCU is pushing a last gasp message to the HES.
  • Case 3
    Power fail at a single phase transformer
    The DCU pushes a last gasp message for all registered meters to the HES.
    Each meter logs a power fail event.
  • Case 4
    Power line interruption between DCU and customer.
    The power line is used for communication. If there is an interruption behind the DCU, the last gasp message from the meter cannot be forwarded. The meter logs a power fail event.

What to do?

power outage

If you have already a DMS (distribution management system) or SCADA ( substation automation) the last gasp message(s) can support you in fault finding.
If not, you still have a pretty good overview about the involved area and you know where to start your service activities. The Geographic Information System will show the outage area.

You will also know the power outage before the first calls arrive at your utility call centre. So keep them in the information workflow.

2 Replies to “The Last Gasp Outage Notification”

  1. A wonderful option for users and Utility that today have penalty for black out, and can resolve very fast. Congratulations.

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