Power Monitoring

PowerMonitoringPic

What It Is

An early warning system that keeps school administrators in the loop about any and all power outages within their districts.

Why It Matters

Knowing exactly where the power is out after a wind storm—before students and staff arrive—allows administrators to keep students home, saving money and eliminating the hassle of cancelling school once everyone has already shown up.

How McKinstry’s Clients Have Used It

In Washington state, the Lake Washington and Northshore school districts have used our Power Monitoring system to check if power is available across their respective districts. If power is offline, the districts have successfully sent out school closure alerts before any students arrive.

Integration with InfoCentre—McKinstry’s issue management platform—has allowed districts to alert local utilities to problem areas before staff arrive, saving them the trouble of manually reporting the problem areas. Administrators have also been able to cancel school when the power is partially offline, saving staff the trouble of investigating why only one-third of the lights are on. Solving this loss-of-phase problem has prevented both parent frustration and unnecessary staff wage costs.

Technical Background

McKinstry installs power monitoring meters at each school. These meters—which are backed up with battery power—check in with servers every 10 minutes via a cell network to affirm power is online at a school. If the power goes off, the battery keeps the monitor going while the sensor notifies the servers about the power outage.

The servers then push the outage information to a web dashboard—visible to the district—and automatically generates an InfoCentre work order via email. This work order will direct InfoCentre personnel to perform double-checks of the school’s power status, and if the school is confirmed to be offline, they will alert district administrators.

District administrators then have the option to cancel or delay school. They can also independently check the power monitoring information via their web dashboard.

Once power is restored, the Power Monitoring system notes the status change, and a similar set of alerts and updates are pushed through both the dashboard and InfoCentre.

Interested?

To connect with our power monitoring team and learn more, please email powermonitoring@mckinstry.com.

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