Enhancing the analysis and / or design of electrical distribution network by...

Enhancing the analysis and / or design of electrical distribution network by virtue of its integration with GIS


Mohan Sharma, Manish Khare
Hindustan Office Products Limited, B-1, Geetanjali Enclave
New Delhi-110017

Generating powerfrom within Power loss in its distribution and transmission still touches a whopping figure of 29% in India! Being a developing country with limited financial resources, India cannot afford this kind of loss (International statistics showing a corresponding figure of 8-10%). If you know how much a Megawatt of Power costs, just calculate to assess how much we are losing each year out of approx. 79,000 MW being generated by our power plants. And the situation is further compounded by power thefts and poor state of infrastructure. Maharashtra state Electricity Board (MSEB), one of the large SEBs had decided to implement a GIS based application to monitor power quality, distribution losses, and infrastructure. It was a revolutionaly decision on part of MSEB to implement GIS enablement of its network which is a challenge by itself. MSEB awarded to Hope-Network Information Management System (NIMS) of Aurangabad Zone of MSEB as a pilot project and to integrate the same with its energy audit system, called Financial Energy Management System (FEMS). FEMS already covers the entire state of Maharashtra ,

As it has been mentioned, MSEB out of other SEBs in the country wanted to offer better services to its customers plus tackle the losses and improve the quality of power.

A key benefit of NIMS was undoubtedly a better system of data storage leading to superior management process plus enhancement of cost-benefit ratio. NIMS implementation spans a wide area improvement over current practices of a typical utility organization and is directly related to Data Capture, Validation, Storage, Data flow, Data Security, Authorization, Information processing, Report generation, Data Back-up procedures and so on. Last but not the least, NIMS provides, backbone support for SCADA.

The Ground Data
Aurangabad Zone covers one of the large distribution areas of MSEB, consisting of seven districts. In this zone MSEB has 4 circle offices, 17 divisional offices and 65 sub-divisional offices. Aurangabad Zone is dotted with 9000 villages. And most importantly there are 38,000 transformers which are being fed by 350 substations.

The Key deliverables of NIMS

  • System ready methods to calculate voltage and losses in the network, and opportunity to calculate cost benefit ratio incorporating development/ improvement schemes.
  • Capacity utilization checks & estimation
  • Alternate scenario management for Scheme planning analysis
  • Load flow analysis of the electrical distribution network
  • Calculation of technical losses in the electrical network under loading conditions
  • Calculation of Voltages at various points on the electrical network
  • Optimal placement of capacitors in the network
  • Creation of ready list of electrical entities within a selected area with preassigned parameters
  • Generation of Thematic maps for decision support, based on above inputs
  • Graphical presentation of integrated NIMS & FEMS reports

The Implementation
The first step towards this formidable task was to ascertain and identify the exact requirement of software & hardware combination which were to be installed at 88 locations across the Aurangabad Zone. Based on the requirements laid out by MSEB, the software identified were

  1. AutoCAD MAP-SPX : The base program for any GIS enablement
  2. GenMAP: A GIS hased modeling software to create electrical network
  3. DPA/G: The program for analyzing various deliverable of an electrical network, like load flow, fault analysis, calculation of technical losses etc.
  4. GenEDA and CDI : For transferring network data into analysis program (DPA/G)/Windmill
  5. Windows NT: The base operating systenr
  6. Oracle & MS Access : For data storage and retrieval.

The most crucial step in any kind of GrS implementation is perhaps the conversion of available landbase maps into digital format. And in case of MSEB the joh was a major one. Major initiative was launched by HOPE to trace and identify the relevant maps lying in Govt. archives for decades. 2500 Maps in various shapes and sizes,were collected and digitized for this project.

Using these digitized maps, the electrical network was modelled with inputs from MSEB with precise plotting of substations, feeders, transformers, switches and so on with individual attributes of each of these entities. Once the Network model was ready, it was time for training the MSEB personnel on how to use the System. 44 Officers underwent 5 weeks rigorous training on all the software training using real-life data.

The last step was to integrate all software and associated data for production of coherent and consistent reporting desired by MSEB. In addition to this the existing Financial Energy Management System (FEMS) was successfully integrated to provide a seamless system for MSEB to manage their Power Distribution Network in Aurangabad Zone.

Looking Ahead
With this implementation, MSEB enjoys the distinction of being the first Utility in the country to possess a unique reporting system. With the kind of savings MSEB will gain in terms of current losses, NIMS will pay back its cost of implementation in the next two years. Its’ rightly said Power Form Within.

Interface of electrical network and GIS
As can be envisaged , an electrical network designed or analysed in Isolation of GIS will not exactly correspond to real life electrical network subsequently undermining the accuracy of the network analysis.

When Electrical map designing software Genmap is used in conjunction with the designing and hence analysis is more accurate. For example: length of the conductors will be accurate and hence losses corresponding to that conductor as measured by the analysis software will also be accurate.