Challenge

A public owned electric utility in the Western/Northwestern U.S. needed to modernize their software for gathering meteorological and streamflow data. Their existing system was difficult to configure and maintain and could not handle the number of data sources available via the internet. This data can significantly impact plant usage planning and operations. For example, by knowing the depth of the snowpack, river flow, and forecasted temperatures, it is possible to make proactive decisions about dam operations to maximize generation and avoid flooding. The solution the utility envisioned does exactly this.

The program would need the ability to read thousands of sources of relevant data in a variety of formats. The system would gather data at various intervals, ranging from minutes to days, and would process disparate data formats, requiring significant transformation before being loaded into their data analysis systems. Additionally, the utility anticipated that the load on the system could double in the first few years of use. Because of the mission critical nature of the application, the high-performance requirements, and the need for customization, they sought out IntelliTect to assist their team in developing an architecture and building an initial product.

Solution

The utility has since successfully partnered with IntelliTect for several other projects and engaged IntelliTect for a Joint Architecture Design Session (JADS). One of IntelliTect’s software architects, Grant Erickson, met with their team, and together they walked through a process of creating an architecture for the project. During this week, the team diagramed the key use cases, developed component models, and decided on key implementation technologies. Additionally, the team discussed and documented design decisions driven by specific requirements around auditing, performance, and enterprise needs. By the end of the week, the utility had a path ahead for implementing the solution.