LV Cloud - Enterprise-level IoT monitoring solution for energy grids
About EA Technology
EA Technology is a UK-based company, with seven regional offices across
the globe, supplying a comprehensive range of high voltage and low voltage
asset management solutions for testing and monitoring power networks.
The business is a world leader in electrical asset management, fault detection
and failure prevention. It provides customers with a state-of-the-art
LV network automation solution – ALVIN.
The company was founded in 1966 and now has more than 200 employees around the world.
The goal was to create an IT system that will work as a user interface for a number of VisNet® Hub, ALVIN® equipment and a couple more devices.
ALVIN® Reclose is the next generation of supply-restoration reclose equipment, providing Network Operators with invaluable support in reducing costs and delivering better customer service.
VisNet® Hub checks the voltage and current data on every LV feeder, giving
insights about the load, faults and condition of respective devices across
This data is critical to network operators in order to improve both network flexibility and efficiency, together with security and quality of supply, as low carbon technologies become more widespread. - If you want to know more about the device, you will find it here.
Introducing the ALVIN
Reclose from EA Technology
This IoT application and its web-based interface needed the ability to process and aggregate a large number of measurements and events, all while working in real time. How did we handle this? You will find all the technical details below.
LV Cloud is a software solution that collects, processes and aggregates data from different types of devices, including Reclosers, TDRs, GUARDs and VisnetHubs. Based on the collected data, it is possible to trace malfunctioning or physically damaged grids and immediately decide whether it needs to be fixed by a team of engineers or if it will fix itself. This brings many benefits to both energy companies and their clients.
How did the IoT application development process go?
To meet the challenges mentioned above and develop the performant IoT enterprise-level solution, we built Ruby and Ruby on Rails applications using a microservices architecture. There is a separate microservice assigned to each type of device, which increases scalability and makes the management, development and maintenance processes much easier. Thanks to this approach, we can easily detect the error and quickly respond to it. Any necessary fixes are made without affecting other microservices.
Each device collects different types of data, including low voltage, high voltage, power, current, temperature of the device, temperature inside and outside the substation, and humidity.
There are between 600,000 and 1,500,000 events and measurements a day sent from devices to the application with an MQTT broker. Microservices receive, process and then broadcast the data via a Kafka streaming platform. Parsed measurements are received by the main application and saved to a MongoDB database.
These huge amounts of data could be useless if they were unreadable
and difficult to interpret. That’s why we have chosen
Vue.js in the frontend development, with
Highcharts to present the data neatly.
Our choice of Vue.js (combined with jQuery library) was also because of its performance and suitability to build stable, large-scale solutions. This combination guaranteed the acceleration and facilitation of the development process.
If you want to know more about Highcharts itself, follow the link to one of our blog posts.
Some of the LV Cloud features
Some of the LV Cloud features
- collecting and analyzing data supplied from devices
- alarms/warnings/notifications of disturbing changes
- failure references
- accurate distinction of single events from prefaults
- detailed information about events and prefaults
- generating summaries and reports
- presenting the event log of the device and their waveforms
Features from the user's perspective
- a list of all the equipment commissioned within the system
- basic information about all the kit installed, such as color coded status, if it’s active, last dial in data etc.
- text messages triggered by events related to reclosers - opened, closed or blocked
- the system displays the status of each device
Ruby on Rails
The main application is written in Ruby on Rails. It is responsible for data aggregation, saving and reading.
There is a separate microservice for each type of device written in Ruby.
The entire solution uses Sidekiq for background data processing.
Stores data for processing.
It is a mature and easily scalable document-oriented database used in the Main Application.
A general-purpose object-relational database management system.
Streaming platform used to broadcast the data.
A lightweight messaging protocol used by devices to communicate with the application.
Naturaily experts involved in the project
Ruby on Rails Developers
Developing smart grid solutions has helped many Distribution Network
Operators, as well as the industry in general, begin to understand, plan
and implement practical solutions for future networks.
LV Cloud application is already used by a couple of companies around the world. It helps them to minimize costs and allows informed decisions to be made exactly when needed.
This helps to provide continuous energy supply, reduce the response time and avoid financial penalties for power outages.
Thanks to the data flowing into the application in real time, energy companies know precisely when they have to send a team of engineers to fix a failure and when it's going to repair itself.
LV Cloud in numbers
types of devices
600k - 1,5m
measurements and events a day
One of the companies using LV Cloud solution
manages the electricity network that powers everyday life for more than 8 million people
supplies energy to 3.9 million homes and businesses
has the network of more than 63,000 substations and some 60,000 miles of overhead power lines and underground cables spanning 9,650 square miles
employs more than 2,700 people
In their own words
We have invested in intelligent fuses and fault-location equipment on our low-voltage network to reduce the dependency on manual operation to restore power, shortening power cut times for our customers.
On our high-voltage network we've carried out significant upgrades to our control system, enabling our network to reconfigure itself automatically to respond to faults, restoring supplies for our customers more quickly.
Working with Naturaily has been a pleasure from the very beginning of the project
Director – LV Solutions at EA Technology
Working with Naturaily has been a pleasure from the very beginning
of the project and throughout our continuous cooperation on the development
of our product suite. The Naturaily team has a vision as well as a dynamic
approach to getting the project completed. They have showed EA Technology
how good they are, achieving outcomes that far exceeded the initial project
Nothing is too much trouble for them and they are always willing to make things right.