Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command

NSA Bahrain Completes Advanced Metering Infrastructure Installation

04/30/14 12:00 AM

By Lt. Andy Bessette, Public Works Department Bahrain

MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- A contract was awarded for approximately $2.5 million to Schneider Electric USA, INC for a Design-Build Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) System at Naval Support Activity Bahrain Feb. 23, 2012 and the work was completed March 31, 2014.

The task order requested the implementation of the core AMI system to include 76 electric meters, three water and associated hardware, communication network, workstations, a compatible Data Acquisition System (DAS), the development of Platform Information Technology (PIT) Information Assurance (IA) documentation and the implementation of necessary IA Controls as required under the Navy Platform IT guidance. More than 35 electrical and water outages would be required to complete the meter installations.

Following the completion of Schneider Electric's design portion of the contract including site surveys, wireless network RF design and multiple design reviews by Schneider and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe Africa Southwest Asia, Schneider submitted its final designs and was subsequently issued its notice to proceed June 20, 2013.

Approximately 11 weeks later, following the manufacturing and delivery of the meters and associated equipment to NSA Bahrain provided laydown area, the AMI installation kickoff meeting was held Sept. 9, 2013. After 18 months of planning and preparation, it was now time for base wide implementation.

The installation of electrical meters is often difficult to coordinate at any installation due to the electrical outages that are required at the time of installation. Electrical outages at NSA Bahrain are of no exception and particularly difficult due to the high density installation footprint and substation electrical distribution system relationships. In addition, many of the tenants require uninterrupted service so coordination was critical. Coordination of more than 35 electrical and water outages was completed by the Public Works Department Utilities and Energy Management Branch. Backup generator support was provided to critical infrastructure and many commands took the opportunity to exercise contingency plans for power loss, identifying strengths and weaknesses in current plans.

In one instance, UKMCC (United Kingdom Maritime Component Command) mitigated reduced operational capacity by executing its contingency plan to move operations to an alternate location which was a big success. Weekly meetings with Schneider, the contracting officer representative, the installation energy manager and the PWD Production Department staff ensured maximum coordination and communication for successful execution.

The electric meter installation was 100 percent complete by March 5, 2014. Antennas were mounted, enclosures/meters were configured and commissioning was complete.

Oftentimes certain site specific installation conditions can pose some difficulty when configuring antennas and setting up the "meshes" that allow meters and antennas to communicate together. The level terrain and density of meters at NSA Bahrain made it such that no special considerations beyond typical Schneider Electric mesh AMI designs were required. Roofline mounted antennas were common throughout the installation.

A network of backhaul dual radios connected major sections of the base, and repeaters were placed in strategic locations to get around building obstructions. The selected radios to be used were required to meet IA requirements. AirGuard Ethernet radios from Ultra Electronics (3eTI) were installed which are fully compliant with all the IA requirements, FIPS 140-2 requirements and NIAP Common Criteria validation to meet U.S. government protection profiles. The AirGuard radios support several topologies that allow for cost effective wireless network deployment, including Access Point/Client (point-to-multipoint), Point-to-Point Bridging and self-healing mesh. Another requirement of the system is to incorporate WIDS (Wireless Intrusion Detection System).

Intrusion detection is accomplished using Motorola AirDefense remote sensors installed throughout the network and tied back to an AirDefense appliance server. The sensors passively observe and collect all wireless traffic and extract key data required for intrusion detection. The workstations for access to the AMI system are located in the Public Works Department building, the Water Plant and the Waterfront Pump Building.

Three water meters were installed at NSA Bahrain. These meters allow for advanced metering of water from the city to the installation at NSA Bahrain proper and NSA Bahrain II Waterfront. Each of the existing mechanical meters needed to be redesigned to meet metering requirements. This involved moving the meter locations above ground, filling in existing vaults and also incorporating bypasses that would function correctly.

The potable water storage tanks at NSA Bahrain were sufficient enough to hold the required amount of water from the RO (reverse osmosis) plant during outages for the new AMI water meters installation. Tank levels were monitored throughout the outages that isolated NSA Bahrain from the city water supply and subsequently levels did not drop below that which would have triggered contingency plans to be executed.

Schneider Electric proceeded to conduct a successful 3-day training event from March 10-12, 2014. There was representation from the NSA Bahrain Communications and IT Department, PWD Bahrain Electrical and Mechanical Engineer technicians, and the PWD Bahrain Utility & Energy Management Branch.

The first day was the ION Meter Field Programmer course. It instructed personnel on the field equipment and software including a lab demonstration with an instructional meter.

The second day was the Metering/Software Configuration course. The course instructed personnel how to use and configure the monitoring (StruxureWare Power Monitoring - SPM) software include viewing energy information on webpages, web report creation, web report viewing, alarm viewing, SPM software navigation, alarm creation, communications verification and diagram creation.

The third day was the Data Acquisition System Management course including database verification, database maintenance, WIDS monitoring, remote radio shutdown, and Ethernet networks.

Schneider Electric and the NSA Bahrain Contracting Officer Representative (COR) conducted the performance verification test (PVT) March 31, 2014 with zero discrepancies. This consisted of testing actual meter readings to work station reporting of four electrical meters of the COR's choosing. One electrical meter was chosen from each mesh on the installation. In addition, one of the water meters was tested in a similar way.

Following the successful PVT test, NSA Bahrain independently conducted the PVT on 100 percent of the meters with zero discrepancies. The five-year warranty period started following the completion of the PVT March 31, 2014, forty-seven days ahead of the contract completion date with zero injuries suffered during the execution of the contract.

PWD Bahrain will be working with NAVFAC EURAFSWA in Naples, Italy in executing warranty work while they develop a standardized process for warranty work throughout the EURAFSWA Region. A credit that existed on the contract for NSA Bahrain's task order will be used to procure 25 spare AMI water meters of various sizes, antennas and associated equipment that Schneider will be supplying. The installation will be executed in a future utilities major maintenance project scheduled for FY15. This future project will allow for advanced water metering of buildings with the highest water consumption.


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