JCP&L equips work crews with mobile devices for outage restoration

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) crews will now use their smart phones and mobile computers to more efficiently assess damage to the electrical system and expedite power restoration efforts in the wake of major storm events.

When severe weather causes power outages, identifying and clearing downed wires and other hazardous situations, along with an initial assessment of the damage, is a priority.

To make use of the latest technology, JCP&L has two new apps that employees can use on mobile devices to automatically enter damage information into the company's outage management system. In the past, this process relied on paper maps, hand written notes and phone calls between field responders and dispatch offices.

The new hazard app on company smart phones allows responders in the field to electronically document hazardous situations, identify trees that need to be removed before repairs can be made, provide comments about the scope of the damage, and take photographs, all to help clear the hazards quickly. In the event of a wire being down, the responder will remain on site to guard the area until the proper crew arrives to clear the hazard.

Once the hazard assessment is complete, repair crews can use the new damage assessment app on company mobile computers to develop an itemized list of materials and equipment that will be needed to make repairs at damage locations. The app uses a highly detailed map showing JCP&L circuits, complete with the location of poles, transformers and other pieces of electrical equipment.

About 70 JCP&L employees have been trained to use the new hazard app and have been issued company smart phones for use during storms. About 40 employees have been trained on the new damage assessment app and have been issued company mobile computers. Additional employees will be trained next year.

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