Using GIS Technology for Power Utility Asset Management

In the event of a power outage, you want to know that your utility company is working hard to restore power. Depending on the cause for the outage, it may last for a few minutes, a few hours, or even a few days.

What does the power company do when a power outage happens? Many of them use power utility asset management systems with GIS technology to identify the source of the outage and to plan a strategy to resolve the problem. GIS technology plays a key role in many modern utilities, though electricity is one of the major ones.

GIS for Information Analysis

Geographic information systems, or GIS technology, is a rapidly growing field that plays a key role in all major industries including business, retail, natural resource management, government, and utilities management. Utilities companies use GIS software to gather large sets of data about their customers, their service locations, their utilities network, and even their repair crews.

Rather than wasting resources and time having someone manually collect all of this data, a simple GIS software program can gather and analyze it in a heartbeat. With GIS software, companies can map their assets, keep track of where their customers are located, and direct repair crews to service locations as needed.

GIS Uses for Utilities

Many utility companies rely on GIS technology to keep track of important customer data including service locations, usage, and cost analyses.

GIS utility design

GIS utility design Source: http://www.fhshh.com/bentley-systems-consolidates-utility-design-and-management-in-new-application.html

Not only can GIS software be used to track current information like power usage and fusebox locations, but it can be use to predict information as well. GIS software can be used to identify areas where a transformer is overloaded which might eventually lead to an outage – it can also be used to predict surges in the event of a heat-wave or cold-snap, or outages in the event of a natural disaster.

Using GIS Software to Manage Outages

Another important aspect of GIS technology in the utilities industry is its ability to predict and manage outages. When a power outage occurs, the utilities company must identify the source of the problem as quickly as possible. Then, they need to send service professionals to the area to fix the problem.

With GIS technology, repairers can visualize the fastest, most efficient way to reach the source of the problem. GIS can also be used to show what service crews are close to the area already. GIS technology can even be used to track how quickly repair crews respond and how soon they are able to correct the problem.

Conclusion

Managing an entire city’s power supply is no easy task – that is why many suppliers rely on GIS technology to gather and store important information. GIS technology plays a particularly important role in managing and resolving power outages.

References:

http://providencegissolutions.com/840/gis-solves-power-outage-restoration-episode-3/
http://www.esri.com/industries/utilities-communication
http://www.esri.com/industries/electric

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