DevOpsDownUnder – Day 2 – Smart Grid

Joel Courtney from Energy Australia (cover parts of NSW)

  • Fundamental business of power not changed in 100 years. Compared to technology and telecommunications
  • Very high reliability requirements
  • 60-80 year old infrastructure in places
  • instrumentation limited as to home close it goes to customers. Only to distribution stations (30k of these) , sometimes substations
  • Rolling out 4G and other wireless networks – priority is coverage not speed
  • IP over power not viable solution
  • Need to do something with all this data


  • Need to integrate GIS and other information about state of network to make sense of raw numbers and how they relate to each other
  • decided to go with web based system since clients had at used web. Browsers on desktops etc
  • Web based systems more mature these days
  • Lack of expertise in IT space
  • Using GIS info and maps based apps to plan rollouts ( reduce tralvel distances)
  • Some inspiration from flickr ( url structure, deep linksing,  simple relationship between assets)
  • Everyblock ( Integrating and agregating information on geographical basis)
  • Twitter (asset reporting of event on timestamp, everything else is on top that)
  • tumblr ( similar to twitter, move through streams of events)
  • Google maps ( simple intergration, visualisation, assets in real world


  • Application for monitoring
  • 750 sub-stations currently
  • Previous systems used polling (didn’t scale)
  • Push messaging
  • Operators at this point able to get better locations of faults than in current systems
  • Huge increase in information being collected (every minute vs once every few months in some cases)
  • able to do overlay on google maps for assets (putting 30k on one map pushes google API). Percentage utilsation
  • Some cases substation in remote areas only have a couple of customers. Not worth deploying especially since next generation metering will provide information
  • Looking at future integration once smart meters rolled out. But data from this still be decided by power regulator. Strong privacy concerns.
  • Mostly event related browsing now
  • Sorter term pushing up into transmission space
  • Interested in releasing more information to public. Need input on formats , interaction.