Outage management system

An Outage Management System (OMS) is a computer system used by operators of electric distribution systems to assist in restoration of power.


Major Functions of an OMS

Major functions usually found in an OMS include:

  • Prediction of location of fuse or breaker that opened upon failure.
  • Prioritizing restoration efforts and managing resources based upon criteria such as locations of emergency facilities, size of outages, and duration of outages.
  • Providing information on extent of outages and number of customers impacted to management, media and regulators.
  • Calculation of estimation of restoration times.
  • Management of crews assisting in restoration.
  • Calculation of crews required for restoration.

OMS Principles and Integration Requirements

At the core of a modern outage management system is a detailed network model of the distribution system. The utilities Geographic Information System (GIS) is usually the source of this network model. By combining the locations of outage calls from customers, a rules engine is used to predict the locations of outages. For instance, since the distribution system is primarily tree-like or radial in design, all calls in particular area downstream of a fuse could be inferred to be caused by a single fuse or circuit breaker upstream of the calls.

The outage calls are usually taken by call takers in a call center utilizing a customer information system (CIS). Another common way for outage calls to enter into the CIS (and thus the OMS) is by integration with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The CIS is also the source for all the customer records which are linked to the network model. Customers are typically linked to the transformer serving their residence or business. It is important that every customer be linked to a device in the model so that accurate statistics are derived on each outage. Customers not linked to a device in the model are referred to as fuzzies.

More advanced Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems can provide outage detection capability and thus serve as virtual calls indicating customers who are without power. However, unique characteristics of AMR systems such as the additional system loading and the potential for false positives requires that additional rules and filter logic must be added to the OMS to support this integration..(Sridharan & Schulz 2001)

Outage Management Systems are also commonly integrated with SCADA systems which can automatically report the operation of monitored circuit breakers.

Another system that is commonly integrated with an outage management system is a mobile data system. This integration provides the ability for outage predictions to automatically be sent to crews in the field and for the crews to be able to update the OMS with information such as estimated restoration times without requiring radio communication with the control center.

It is important that the outage management system electrical model be kept up to current so that it can accurately make outage predictions and also accurately keep track of which customers are out and which are restored. By using this model and by tracking which switches, breakers and fuses are open and which are closed, network tracing functions can be used to identify every customer who is out, when they were first out and when they were restored. Tracking this information is the key to accurately reporting outage statistics.

OMS Benefits

OMS Benefits include:

  • Reduced outage durations due to faster restoration based upon outage location predictions.
  • Reduced outage duration averages due to prioritizing
  • Improved customer satisfaction due to increase awareness of outage restoration progress and providing estimated restoration times.
  • Improved media relations by providing accurate outage and restoration information.
  • Fewer complaints to regulators due to ability to prioritize restoration of emergency facilities and other critical customers.
  • Reduced outage frequency due to use of outage statistics for making targeted reliability improvements.

OMS Based Distribution Reliability Improvements

An OMS supports distribution system planning activities related to improving reliability by providing important outage statistics. In this role, an OMS provides the data needed for the calculation of measurements of the system reliability. Reliability is commonly measured by performance indices defined by the IEEE P1366-2003 standard. The most frequently used performance indices are: SAIDI, CAIDI, SAIFI and MAIFI.

An OMS also support the improvement of distribution reliability by providing historical data that can be mined to find common causes, failures and damages. By understanding the most common modes of failure, improvement programs can be prioritized with those that provide the largest improvement on reliability for the lowest cost (most bang for buck).

While deploying an OMS improves the accuracy of the measured reliability indices, it often results an apparent degradation of reliability due to improvements over manual methods that almost always under estimate the frequency of outages, the size of outage and the duration of outages. To compare reliability in years before an OMS deployment to the years after requires adjustments to made to the pre-deployment years measurements to be meaningful.

Electric Power Outage Map Links, External

A map with the service coverage and links to these outage maps provides a summary.

AR, Fayetteville, Texarkana SWEPCO (American Electric Power) [1]
AR, nw Empire District Electric Company [2]
AR Entergy [3]
CA, PG&E Pacific Gas and Electric Company [4]
CA, southern Southern California Edison [5]
CA, San Diego San Diego Gas & Electric [6]
CO Black Hills Energy [7]
CT Connecticut Light and Power [8]
CT United Illuminating [9]
D.C. Pepco [10]
DE Delmarva Power [11]
DE http://dec.maps.sienatech.com
FL, Jacksonville http://outagemap.clayelectric.com/
FL Progress Energy [12]
GA, central http://outage.flintemc.com:8283/
GA, Forsyth, Fulton, Dawson, Lumpkin, Cherokee, Hall, & Gwinnett Counties http://sawneearcgis.sawnee.com/outagemaps/Map.aspx
IA Alliant Energy [13]
IL Ameren [14]
IN, Indianapolis http://www.iplpower.com/ipl/index?page=IPLGeneral&Menu=04080000&DocID=0203917431b9011a564c24930071c8
IN, south central http://sciremc.maps.sienatech.com/
IN Duke Energy [15]
IN http://www.indianamichiganpower.com/news/outages/default.asp
IO http://www.alliantenergy.com/docs/groups/public/documents/pub/p013332.hcsp
KS, Kansas City http://www.kcpl.com/kcmaps/frameset_menus.htm
KS, se https://www.empiredistrict.com/Outages/Default.aspx
KS http://www.westarenergy.com/wcm.nsf/content/outages
KY http://www.duke-energy.com/externaldata/midwestoutages/maps/CGEmap.htm
KY http://www.eon-us.com/storm/default.asp
KY http://www.kentuckypower.com/news/outages/default.asp
LA, Shreveport http://www.swepco.com/news/outages/
LA http://www.cleco.com/site413.php
LA Entergy [16]
MA, west http://www.wmeco.com/community/stormcenter/outagemap.aspx?sec=fh
MA http://www1.nationalgridus.com/masselectric/stormcenter/
MD, Baltimore http://www.bge.com/customerservice/stormsoutages/currentoutages/Pages/default.aspx
MD, Montgomery & Prince George's County http://potomacelectricpowerco.net/home/emergency/maps/zip/default.aspx
MD, south http://outage.smeco.coop/
MD, south Pepco [17]
MD http://www.conectiv.com/stormcenter/outagemap.html
MD http://www.delmarva.com/home/emergency/maps/outage/
ME, central http://www3.cmpco.com/Outage/
MI, SE, Detroit DTE Energy [18]
MI, SW http://www.indianamichiganpower.com/news/outages/default.asp
MI, western http://www.gtlakes.com/countiesmap.aspx
MI, Upper Peninsula Upper Peninsula Power Company [19]
MN, Wright & Hennepin Counties http://wh-oms.whe.org/
MN http://outage.mvec.net/
MO, Kansas City http://www.kcpl.com/kcmaps/frameset_menus.htm
MO, sw https://www.empiredistrict.com/Outages/Default.aspx
MO Ameren [20]
MS Entergy [21]
NC, Charlotte Duke Energy [22]
NC, nw http://bremco.maps.sienatech.com/
NC http://www.dom.com/storm-center/dominion-electric-outage-map.jsp, http://outagemap.dom.com/DomComFlexOutageViewer/index.html
NC http://www.progress-energy.com/shared/outages/car/index.html
NH, Belknap, Coos, Carroll, Cheshire, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford, Sullivan County http://www.nhec.com/oms.php
NH https://www1.nationalgridus.com/granitestate/stormcenter/
NJ, Atlantic City http://www.atlanticcityelectric.com/home/emergency/maps/stormcenter/
NJ, JCP&L Zone: North West and South East, except AC https://www.firstenergycorp.com/outages/outages.do?state_code=NJ
NJ, PSE&G Zone: Central west to North East http://www.pseg.com/home/customer_service/outage_info/outagemap.jsp
NY, Long Island http://www.lipower.org/stormcenter/outages/outagemap.html
NY, NY http://www.coned.com/sm/outageinfo.asp#
NY, Syracuse https://www1.nationalgridus.com/niagaramohawk/storm/storm.aspx
OH, (AEP) http://www.aepohio.com/News/outages/default.asp
OH, Cincinnati http://www.duke-energy.com/externaldata/midwestoutages/maps/CGEmap.htm
OH, Columbus http://www.southcentralpower.com/ow/ow_map.aspx
OH, Cleveland, Akron, Toledo https://www.firstenergycorp.com/outages/outages.do?state_code=OH
OK, ne https://www.empiredistrict.com/Outages/Default.aspx
OK http://www.oge.com/systemwatch/
PA, east http://www.pplelectric.com/Outage+Center
PA http://www.choptankelectric.coop/outages/index.html
PA http://www.firstenergycorp.com/outages/outages.do?state_code=PA
RI http://www1.nationalgridus.com/narragansett/stormcenter/
SC http://www.duke-energy.com/outages/map/default.htm
SC http://www.sceg.com/en/storm-center/
SC http://lec.maps.sienatech.com/
TN, Knoxville http://www.kgis.org/website/kub_outage/mainpage.htm
TN, Memphis http://www.mlgw.com/SubView.php?key=misc_outagemap&x=2
TN, Nashville http://www.nespower.com/OutageMap/
TX, southeast Entergy [23]
TX, Texarkana, Longview http://www.swepco.com/news/outages/default.asp
TX http://www.aeptexas.com/News/outages/default.asp
VA, NNEC http://www.nnec.coop/outages
VA, north http://www.novec.com/map/outage_map.cfc?method=GetCounty&county=all
VA, Shenandoah http://www.svec.coop/outages/
VA http://www.appalachianpower.com/news/outages/default.asp
VA http://www.conectiv.com/stormcenter/outagemap.html
VA http://www.dom.com/storm-center/dominion-electric-outage-map.jsp, http://outagemap.dom.com/DomComFlexOutageViewer/index.html
VA http://www.myrec.coop/outage-center/outage-map.cfm
VT http://www.vtoutages.org
WA, Puget Sound http://www.pse.com/safetyReliability/pseservicealert/Pages/LatestUpdates.aspx#
WA, Seattle http://seattle.gov/light/sysstat/
WV http://www.appalachianpower.com/news/outages/default.asp
WV http://www.southcentralpower.us/OW/ow_map.aspx
Country Province, City/Area Electric outage map link
Australia Central, Northern and Southern Queensland http://www.ergon.com.au/network_info/unplanned_outages.asp
Australia Victoria http://www.powercor.com.au/Power_Outages
Australia South Australia http://www.etsautilities.com.au/current_interruptions.jsp?xcid=852
Australia Western Australia http://www.wpcorp.com.au/mainContent/yourPowerSupply/powerInterruptions/publicInterruptionInformation.html
Canada British Columbia http://www.bchydro.com/outages/orsMain.jsp
Canada Newfoundland http://www.newfoundlandpower.com/Outages/ViewPowerOutages/Details.aspx
Canada Ontario http://www.hydroone.com/stormcenter/
UK Central England http://www.eon-uk.com/distribution/livenetworkmap.aspx


  • Burke, J.; 2000, "Using outage data to improve reliability", Computer Applications in Power, IEEE Volume 13, Issue 2, April 2000 Page(s):57 - 60
  • Frost, Keith; 2007, "Utilizing Real-Time Outage Data for External and Internal Reporting", Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 2007. IEEE 24–28 June 2007 Page(s):1 - 2
  • Hall, D.F.; 2001, "Outage management systems as integrated elements of the distribution enterprise", Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition, 2001 IEEE/PES Volume 2, 28 Oct.-2 Nov. 2001 Page(s):1175 - 1177 vol.2
  • Kearney, S.; 1998, "How outage management systems can improve customer service", Transmission & Distribution Construction, Operation & Live-Line Maintenance Proceedings, 1998. ESMO '98. 1998 IEEE 8th International Conference on 26–30 April 1998 Page(s):172 – 178
  • Nielsen, T.D.; 2002, "Improving outage restoration efforts using rule-based prediction and advanced analysis", IEEE Power Engineering Society Winter Meeting, 2002. Volume 2, 27-31 Jan. 2002 Page(s):866 - 869 vol.2
  • Nielsen, T. D.; 2007, "Outage Management Systems Real-Time Dashboard Assessment Study", Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 2007. IEEE 24–28 June 2007 Page(s):1 – 3
  • Robinson, R.L.; Hall, D.F.; Warren, C.A.; Werner, V.G.; 2006, "Collecting and categorizing information related to electric power distribution interruption events: customer interruption data collection within the electric power distribution industry", Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 2006. IEEE 18–22 June 2006 Page(s):5 pp.

Sridharan, K.; Shulz, N.N. (2001), "Outage management through AMR systems using an intelligent data filter", Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on 16 (4): 669–675, doi:10.1109/61.956755 

  • Sridharan, K.; Schulz, N.N.; 2001, "Outage management through AMR systems using an intelligent data filter", Power Delivery, IEEE Transactions on Volume 16, Issue 4, Oct. 2001 Page(s):669 - 675

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