Applications of GIS Technology for Network Analysis and Energy Audit

GIS technology is very versatile – it can be used for a wide variety of applications all over the world. One example of this technology being put to use is in India where the government seeks to make improvements to the way they distribute power to their citizens.

In 2009, the R-APDRP program in India was started. This program is the flagship program that is leading the way in reforms for power distribution. The goal of this program is to identify ways that power distribution processes can be made more efficient in India.

It is the goal, however, to make these processes better without having a negative impact on consumers. These reforms should be made without causing a reduction in the quality of power or its availability to consumers. These reforms should also not come at the expense of increased ATC losses.

The R-APDRP program also aims to reduce power outages and to improve customer service. One of the main tools the R-APDRP program intends to make these changes is by using GIS technology.

What is GIS Technology?

Geographic Information system, or GIS technologies, can be used to gather, index, and analyze complex sets of geographical information. Geographical information includes things like population data, locations of businesses and natural resources, even locations of utilities like power lines.

Within the R-APDRP program, GIS software is going to be used to gather and organize consumer information. It will also be used to make electrical assets databases, mapping consumers to their local power supplies.

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GIS technologies can also be used to perform complex calculations that are important for the power company to know in order to make improvements. These calculations may include things like load flow analyses, network optimization, technical losses, and energy audits. Two of the most important applications for GIS technology in regard to improving power distribution in India include network analysis and energy audit modules.

GIS for Energy Auditing

Energy auditing is an important component of utility applications – it is used for metering, collection, and billing and it can be used to identify costly leakages. They key to using this GIS technology properly involves the government and power companies integrating the systems they currently use with newer, more modern systems. This combination of systems will help with total energy accounting among consumers, distribution transformers, and substation feeders. The energy audit module must also work well with the network analysis module.

GIS for Network Analysis

In addition to using GIS technology to audit energy, the Indian government can also use it to analyze their networks. GIS software can gather large sums of information and then break it down into small parts by individual power stations, feeders, even specific circuit breakers. This will also enable them to identify areas of low voltage or overload, to calculate loss levels, and to optimize network reconfigurations.

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GIS technology can be used to make a variety of other system-wide improvements that will be relevant to energy audit requirements. These applications are just a few examples of the many ways in which GIS technology is becoming a powerful tool for power management and for identifying ways to improve electricity supply services.

GIS System Requirements for Reform

In order for GIS technology to help the Indian government make power distribution reforms in India, the software must meet certain requirements. The GIS software must be able to manage geographic data, to index and maintain utility databases, and to analyze and manage the distribution of network assets.

In order for GIS technology to be the most valuable, it must be able to make and manage these calculations on a large scale. This software must also be able to minimize storage costs as well as data processing overhead. In essence, GIS technology should be able to improve the value and accuracy of field data and asset monitoring for utility applications.

Conclusion

In order to keep track of utility information and customer data, power companies need a reliable software system – that is where GIS technology comes into play. Not only can GIS software be used to collect important data for power companies, but it can be used to manage and store that data too. With improvements to energy audits and network analyses, GIS software can help to make power and other utilities more affordable and readily available to consumers.

 

References:
http://www.esri.com/industries/utilities-communication
http://solutions.arcgis.com/utilities/electric/
http://www.milsoft.com/utility-solutions/geographic-information-system

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