San Antonio, Texas – (March 19, 2018) – Together with District 7 San Antonio Councilwoman, Ana Sandoval, CPS Energy unveiled today a newly-acquired, revolutionary technology that will be used to further improve reliability within the Greater San Antonio service territory. The “Smart Sniffer” will redefine how the utility manages and maintains its current natural gas underground distribution system.
“The reliability of our systems and safety of our community is always a priority,” said CPS Energy President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams. “Early detection of needed system maintenance will help us enhance public safety while also improving reliability. Specifically, the Smart Sniffer will allow us to optimize predictive analysis tools and information for the benefit of our entire metropolitan community. Additionally, we will introduce the Smart Sniffer to local schools so children can become familiar with concepts of new technology that are helping us improve our operations and community environment at the same time.”
“Launching the Smart Sniffer Vehicle is exciting because it demonstrates the implementation of a proactive measure to reduce greenhouse gas as we work toward a more formal Climate Action and Adaptation plan, said District 7 San Antonio City Councilwoman Ana Sandoval. “It reduces pollution, saves money and protects our health.”
The Smart Sniffer, developed by Picarro, combines sophisticated laser technology with the ability to cover 40 miles of the city in an hour. The system is capable of producing analytics that CPS Energy’s natural gas operations team can use to immediately pinpoint any areas of concern throughout their 5,415 miles of infrastructure and mitigate the potential risk of escaping natural gas.
The “sniffing” technology is equipped on a 2017 Ford Explorer and will be driven throughout the community on a daily basis as part of the utility’s preventive maintenance plan. Currently, CPS Energy utilizes a number of field technicians to inspect natural gas infrastructure daily. With quicker inspections and less resources, the utility is confident that along with a safety benefit, they will also see a cost-savings benefit as vehicle maintenance and man hours required to do this routine work is reduced.
CPS Energy’s Gas Delivery team provides reliable gas service to more than 340,000 customers. The maintenance plan ensures the dependability of CPS Energy’s natural gas pipelines remain intact. In 2017, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) presented the utility with an award for excellence in system integrity and system improvement. CPS Energy was also recognized by APGA for responding to 89% of natural gas emergency calls within 30 minutes and 99% within 1 hour.