AVI-SPL Provides Seamless Monitoring Capabilities for Energy Provider

AVI-SPL wins the 2016 Integration Award in the mission critical category for its Invenergy Control Center video wall installation.

Tom LeBlanc
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Picture this. You work in a mission critical role that requires you to react as quickly as possible to address any sort of interruption in a network that spans from coast to coast. The longer it takes you to address a problem, the more potential loss for your organization and your customers.

There’s a large seamless video wall easily viewable from your workstation to eyeball and monitor status. When a substation is functioning normally, the displays register gray and black colors indicating status quo. If something abnormal occurs, a bright green box pops up, grabbing your attention and catapulting you into action. If there’s an issue affecting an entire region, the entire site is circled in yellow triggering reaction.

See photos of The Invenergy Control Center’s video wall here

That video wall solution saves your organization money, ensures customer satisfaction and protects your brand.

That, in essence, is the peace of mind AVI-SPL provided Invenergy’s North America, a clean energy provider with more than 10,300 of megawatts of projects in operation or under contract — everything from wind, solar to natural gas-fueled power generation projects and energy storage facilities.

The power produced by Invenergy’s North America is bid into local energy markets with high-profile clients including Google and 3M Company. When it upgraded its control center in Chicago, Invenergy sought a high-level monitoring solution with a focus on facilitating quick emergency responses and troubleshooting.

Meanwhile, it required 24-hour support for the mission-critical technology and had to be aesthetically pleasing, too.

It was communicated to AVI-SPL that Invenergy wanted a larger video wall that offered high brightness and resolution with a near seamless appearance, so an ultra-narrow bezel, tiled array became a necessity. Invenergy needed a scalable content management system that allowed for simplistic shuffling of content among displays and the ability to expand in size to create a larger image.

Integrator Takeaways:
1. Being able to work well with construction and consulting partners opens up large project potential
2. Helpdesk solution makes it easier to serve mission-critical customers
3. In control centers it’s important to plan to facilitate future needs

End User Takeaways:
1. Communication of needs to all parties including integrator, consultant and construction leads to more collaborative solution
2. Consider whether a service provider offers helpdesk support
3. Try to anticipate potential expansion needs so they can be incorporated into scalable system design

Equipment Highlights:
Christie Phoenix content management, Christie 55-inch LCD panels for 3.5mm-bezel video wall, 24-hour, 7-day per week AVI-SPL helpdesk

The demand was pretty clear: A system that allows Invenergy to closely watch its energy assets at all times and receive alerts immediately when an issue surfaces. If a turbine goes down and their team is unaware, it could result in significant lost opportunity cost. That’s where the need arises for 24/7 technical support that absolutely must be reliable all of the time.

AVI-SPL, led by project manager Brian McHale and project engineers Adam Stanton and Charlie Salto, integrated a control room solution featuring a video wall of 10 55-inch Christie ultra-narrow bezel LCD panels, which are designed to function 24/7, 365 days a year. The displays are positioned in a tight 5 x 2 array with 3.5mm bezels. Five Christie Phoenix content management systems allow content to be moved among the displays and expanded to different sizes.

The Invenergy Control Center’s new system operates on a 24/7 basis, and can grow as Invenergy needs to stream additional resources. Should Invenergy decide to add another set of displays for a different group of viewers, the Phoenix system can send the same information to that wall.

The overwhelming benefit is the ability to see at a glance if something has gone wrong, allowing operators to respond from their individual workstations. They can open up the breakers if there’s a safety issue and they can coordinate all the outages between the site and transmission company.

If any of the substations at those sites are underperforming, the Invenergy Control Center operators display the content as needed, such as one window across all 10 displays or multiple windows, including views that offer a closer look at the cells.

Meanwhile, AVI-SPL was involved in other aspects of the build-out, including huddle rooms and other meeting spaces integrated with video conferencing working with Leopardo Construction and WMA Consulting Engineers.

There were challenges related to meeting the unique mission-critical requirements while working with an extensive arsenal of partners, but AVI-SPL says it worked well by leveraging great communication between client, consultant and integrator.

The Invenergy Control Center project was completed in the summer of 2015, but AVI-SPL’s relationship with the client continues as it offers 24/7 service via its global helpdesk. 

Watch the video below to see The Invenergy Control Center’s new video wall in action.

Click here to meet all of the 2016 Integration Award winners.

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