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2020

By Tom Coolidge and Tom DeWitte

 

Part 3 of 3

This the third and final blog in a series that explains how the ArcGIS platform with the ArcGIS Utility Network Management extension and the Utility and Pipeline Data Model (UPDM) can be utilized to model a cathodic protection system.

 

What is a cathodic protection zone and why does a pipe organization need to understand it?  

 

Cathodic Protection Zones

What is a CP zone? In the second blog of this series we described the components which comprise a cathodic protection zone and how UPDM 2019 provides a template for organizing the information about those components.  But, a cathodic protection zone is more than its components.

Cathodic Protection System

A cathodic protection zone is really an electrical circuit.  Electricity flows through it to protect the connected components from corrosion. So, to understand what a cathodic protection zone is, we need an understanding of the connectivity between the components.  But even that is not enough. In addition to understanding connectivity we need to understand what connected components have characteristics which will cause the flow of electricity to stop. 

 

This means the GIS model representing the cathodic protection zone needs to know that plastic pipe is non-conducting and will therefore stop the flow of electricity.  The GIS system needs to understand that devices and fittings can be insulated, and this will also stop the flow of electricity. 

 

The ArcGIS Utility Network Management extension provides this higher level of understanding within ArcGIS.

 

Defining the Cathodic Protection Zone

To create a cathodic protection zone within the utility network, all PipelineLine, PipelineDevice and PipelineJunction features must have their CPTraceability populated. Additionally, the test points must be configured as terminals and designated as a subnetwork controller.

The logic that defines how the utility network discovers a cathodic protection zone is as follows:

  1. Start the trace from the sources (Test Point(s))
  2. Use the utility network connectivity to begin traversing the system.
  3. Stop traversing the network when the trace encounters a feature with a CPTraceability = Not Traceable.

The tool within the utility network which performs this task is the “Update Subnetwork” geoprocessing tool.

 

When the “Update Subnetwork” is run, it aggregates the following PipelineLine features to create the subnetwork geometry.

  • Distribution lines
  • Transmission lines
  • Gathering lines

 

Additionally, the “Update Subnetwork” is preconfigured in UPDM 2019 to summarize the following information and write it to the subnetwork feature record.

  • Number of Anodes
  • Number of Rectifiers
  • Number of Test Points
  • Total Length
  • Total Surface Area

 

Defining Flow for Cathodic Protection

In the digital world of flow analysis, there are two types of flow networks; source, and sink.

  • SOURCE — A source is an origin of the resource delivered. For example, for a natural gas distribution system, sources of natural gas are the utility transfer meters within town border stations.

 

  • SINK —A sink is the destination of the gathered resource. For example, when modeling the Mississippi river basin, the sink of the pipe network is the outflow into the Gulf of Mexico, just south of the city of New Orleans.

 

A pressure system is another example of a source flow system. The source of gas to the gas pressure zone is the regulator device. A single gas pressure zone will typically have multiple regulators feeding gas into the pressure zone.

Diagram of Pressure Zone

Within the utility network, a single domain may only have one type of subnetwork controller (Source or Sink). The gas pipe system tiers (System, Pressure, Isolation) are modeled as sources.  In UPDM 2019, the Pipeline domain models the subnetwork controller type as a “Source” to support the pipe system tiers.

 

The cathodic protection system of a pipe system is not as consistent a flow model as the pressurized pipe system. For the impressed current system, the rectifier would be the logical source and the anode would be an intermediate device.  For the galvanically protected system, the anode would be the logical source. Because of this inconsistency, it was decided that the best option was to make the test point the source as it is typically a part of both the galvanically protected system and the impressed current protection system.

 

Tracing Across a Cathodic Protection Zone

Now that the cathodic protection zones have been defined with the “Update Subnetwork” geoprocessing tool users can begin to perform traces across the cathodic protection system.  Some common questions to ask the utility network via a trace are:

  • Where is are the Test Points?
  • Where is the nearest test point?
  • Which pipe system components participate in the zone?

Outside of the trace tools simple attribute queries can be run to understand the following:

  • Which pipe system components are bonded?
  • Which pipe system components are cathodic protection insulators

With the cathodic protection zones defined in the utility network, these questions can be easily answered.

 

Conclusion

Data management and analysis of cathodic protection systems was a challenge in legacy geospatial systems.  Entering the information has always been a straight forward process.  Maintaining an intelligent representation of the cathodic protection system has historically been the challenge. With the utility network combined with the UPDM 2019 configuration, maintaining and analyzing a cathodic protection system is now an intuitive process.

 

If you missed the first two blogs in this series, we encourage you to check them out. The first blog provided an overview of how cathodic protection systems works to provide GIS professionals and IT administrators with enough knowledge to be able to correctly create a digital representation of a cathodic protection system utilizing UPDM 2019 and the utility network . The second blog went into detail on the use of UPDM 2019 to organize the digital presentation of the cathodic protection system.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The postings on this site are our own and don’t necessarily represent Esri’s position, strategies, or opinions

By Tom Coolidge and Tom DeWitte

Part 2 of 3

 

Our first blog in this series provided an overview of how cathodic protection systems works to provide GIS professionals and IT administrators with enough knowledge to be able to correctly create a digital representation of a cathodic protection system utilizing Utility and Pipeline Data Model (UPDM) 2019 and the utility network.

 

This second blog goes into detail on the configuration of UPDM to manage the components which make up the cathodic protection system.

 

Many, many years ago, being new to the natural gas and hazardous liquid industries, the management of cathodic protection was a mystery.  The data about the cathodic protection system was not being stored in the GIS along with the assets of the pipe system.  When I asked the GIS staff about this, the common answer was that the cathodic protection group maintained their data separately. This leads to the next question. What system were they using?  The most common answer I got was paper and colored pencils. That’s right the cathodic protection data was being manually maintained on a set of paper maps with colored pencils.  And every winter the cathodic protection group would manually transpose the data from last year’s paper maps to the current year’s paper maps.

Over time, the cathodic protection data started to show up in more gas GIS systems.  Most often it was an incomplete representation of the cathodic protection system.  You might see some test points and anode beds, but they usually were not connected to the pipe system.  Additionally, other important information such as insulators and rectifiers were commonly not mapped.

 

Some natural gas or hazardous liquid companies did map the entire cathodic protection system. But they needed special tools to manage and maintain this information.

 

With the release of UPDM 2019 and the utility network, it is now possible to maintain the entire cathodic protection system with the standard data management and editing tools provided by Esri.

 

No colored pencils required!

 

UPDM 2019

The 2019 edition of UPDM provides a template for organizing natural gas and hazardous liquid pipe system information. This data model is an Esri-structured geodatabase.  It is written to be able to be used and managed with the standard data management tools provided by Esri’s ArcGIS products.

 

UPDM 2019 and Modeling Cathodic Protection Data

The release of UPDM 2019 introduces a new, simpler, and more complete data model for managing cathodic protection data in an ArcGIS geodatabase.  These changes are intended to be used with the ArcGIS Utility Network Management Extension to allow for the modeling of the cathodic protection system.

Cathodic Protection Components in UPDM

The discrete components of a cathodic protection system modeled in UPDM 2019 are anodes, rectifiers, test points, wire junctions, and insulation junctions.  The anodes, rectifiers, and test points are point features stored as asset groups within PipelineDevice featureclass.

These PipelineDevice features are not inline features of the pipe system.  Instead they physically sit adjacent to the pipe system.  These anodes, rectifiers, and test points are connected to the pipe system assets by wires and cables. The location where the test lead wires connect to the pipe system can be identified with the PipelineJunction AssetGroup type of Wire Junction.  The modeling of test junctions is not required, as the UPDM default rulebase for the utility network also allows the wires and cables to connect directly to the PipelineLine pipe segments.

 

The location of insulators can be specified with the PipelineJunction AssetGroup type of Insulator Junction.

The wires and cables are classified as bonding lines, rectifier cables, and test lead wires. Within UPDM they are stored in the PipelineLine featureclass.

Modeling Insulating Components

Within UPDM 2019, management of insulating pipe components is key to successfully modeling cathodic protection systems. From the perspective of modeling cathodic protection systems, the management of insulators is the defining of whether a pipe system component can be electrically traversed.

  • Pipe system component is insulating       = Not traversable
  • Pipe system component is not insulating = Traversable

 

In ArcGIS and the utility network, we simulate traverseability with tracing.  This means that if a pipe system component is not insulated, it is traversable which means it is traceable when defining a cathodic protection system.

  • Pipe system component is insulated       = Not traversable             = Not traceable
  • Pipe system component is not insulated = traversable                    = Traceable

 

In UPDM 2019, determination of whether a pipe system component is traceable is defined with the attribute: CPTraceability.  The following UPDM featureclasses which participate in the utility network have the CPTraceability attribute:

  • PIpelineLine
  • PipelineDevice
  • PipelineJunction

 

This attribute is assigned a coded value domain called: CP_Traceability.  This coded domain has the following values:

 

Code

Description

1

Traceable

2

Not Traceable

Coded Value Domains for CP_Traceability

Within the utility network properties predefined in UPDM 2019, this attribute has been associated to the network attribute: cathodic protection traceability. This allows the value to be utilized within the trace definition which is used to define the cathodic protection zone.

 

Within UPDM 2019, a pipe system asset is defined as being insulated by setting the BondedInsulated attribute to a value of “Insulated”. The following UPDM featureclasses which participate in the utility network have the BondedInsulated attribute:

  • PipelineLine
  • PipelineDevice
  • PipelineJunction

 

The attribute BondedInsulated has been assigned the coded value domain: Bonded_Insulated.  This coded value domain has the following values:

               

Code

Description

1

Bonded

2

Insulated

Coded Value Domain for Bonded_Insulated

 

Management of Bonding Lines

Bonding lines are the wires which are used to extend the electrical connection of the cathodic protection system.  They are used to span pipeline assets which are non-conductive.

Example of Binding Wire Spanning Plastic Pipe Segment

 

In some legacy GIS systems, the management of bonding lines was tedious. Data editors were required to draw in the bonding line and insure that is was connected to the metallic pipe system components on each end of the line.  In the UPDM 2019 configuration, the need for geometry feature creation has been minimized by allowing an attribute on the non-conductive pipe system asset which is being spanned to indicate that the asset has been bonded.  Instead of drawing the spanning bonding line, a user simply needs to change the attribute value of the attribute: BondedInsulated to a value of “Bonded”. This means that within the Utility Network, the spanned feature can be considered traceable.

 

Automating Cathodic Protection Data Management

The previously described attributes, Material, BondedInsulated and CPTraceability are the PipelineDevice and PipelineJunction attributes which UPDM 2019 and the utility network use to define a cathodic protection zone. The attributes AssetType, BondedInsulated and CPTraceability are used with PipelineLine.

 

Attribute Purpose

PipelineLine

PipelineDevice/ PipelineJunction

Determine material type

AssetType

Material

Determine whether bonded or insulated

BondedInsulated

BondedInsulated

Determine CP traceability

CPTraceability

CPTraceability

 

To provide automation and improve data quality, attribute rules were written to auto-populate the CPTraceability attribute based on the values of the AssetType, Material, and BondedInsulated attributes.

 

To explain the logic embedded within the CPTraceability attribute rules here are three scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: Metallic Pipe Segment
    • Asset Type           = Coated Steel
    • Bonded Insulated = null

 

  • Scenario 2: Insulated Gas Valve
    • Material                = Steel
    • Bonded Insulated = Insulated

 

  • Scenario 3: Plastic Pipe Spanned by Bonding Line
    • Asset Type           = Plastic PE
    • Bonded Insulated = Bonded

 

In each of these scenarios the CPTraceability attribute is automatically populated by the UPDM 2019-provided attribute rules.

  • Scenario 1: Metallic Pipe Segment
    • Asset Type           = Coated Steel
    • Bonded Insulated = null
    • CP Traceability   = Traceable

 

  • Scenario 2: Insulated Gas Valve
    • Material                = Steel
    • Bonded Insulated = Insulated
    • CP Traceability   = Not Traceable

 

  • Scenario 3: Plastic Pipe Spanned by Bonding Line
    • Asset Type           = Plastic PE
    • Bonded Insulated = Bonded
    • CP Traceability   = Traceable

 

To have the CP Traceability attribute correctly set, all the editor must do is insure that the Material/AssetType and the BondedInsulated attributes are correctly set.

 

Conclusion

The new enhanced representation of cathodic protection data in UPDM 2019 makes managing a digital representation of your cathodic protection data easier. This enhanced presentation can be created and maintained with the standard tools provided by ArcGIS Pro and the standard capabilities provided by the utility network. 

 

In the third and final blog of this series, we will dive into how the utility network enables organizations to understand cathodic protection zones, discover when an insulating fitting or device stops the electric circuit of the cathodic protection zone, and which pipe materials are non-conducting. 

 

All of this is done without colored pencils.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The postings on this site are our own and don’t necessarily represent Esri’s position, strategies, or opinions

On January 28, 2020 over 13,500 utility professionals gathered in San Antonio TX for the annual Distributech conference to learn about the latest innovations in the electric utility industry. This year Distributech was huge and the action never let up.

 

The Esri booth flooded each day with visitors learning ways to geo-enable the modern utility – using the complete ArcGIS platform to accomplish digital transformation. Two themes rose to the top – Grid Modernization and Field Mobility.

 

Visitors enjoyed demonstrations in the following areas: Asset management, Safety first, Customer engagement, Grid Mod, Network management, Analytics, Field operations, Innovation, Real-time/IoT, and Emergency management.

 

The demonstration theater seemed to run almost non-stop drawing crowds and often filling the adjacent isle addressing such topics as:

  • Esri - Maps and Data for Utilities, ArcGIS Utility Network,  Seeing your Business Holistically and in Real-Time, Enabling your Field Workforce with Apps, Leveraging drone Imagery for Mapping Inspection, Utility of the Future
  • SAP/Critigen – Integration of Spatial Data using SAP HANA and ArcGIS
  • UDC – Moving Utilities from a Reactive to Proactive Reliability Approach, Utility Network Migration – Getting Down to the Details
  • EPOCH Solutions – EpochField: Field Work Management Made Simple
  • DataCapable – How Dominion has Transformed Safety and Reliability, How Central Hudson Gas and Electric has Transformed Safety and Reliability with a New Platform
  • 3GIS – Avoiding Fiber Deployment Roadblocks, Accelerating Speed to Activation
  • Critigen – EAM, ADMS, OMS, Design, Esri’s Utility Network, Mobility, What should we do first?

Business Partners Bring Advanced Solutions

Esri had a very large business partner presence. Critegen, Cyclomedia, DataCapable, EOS Positioning Systems, Epoch Solutions, SAP, UDC, and 3GIS all presented solutions in the Esri booth. In total, 44 Esri business partners exhibited this year demonstrating the heightened interest in real-world solutions. Numerous companies expressed a desire to form new partner relationships to leverage with wide-spread adoption of ArcGIS in utilities worldwide.

 

A formal press release announced an exciting new partnership. Electric, gas, and water utilities will now be able to leverage both ArcGIS Utility Networks and the Open Systems International, Inc.(OSI) monarch operational technology (OT) platform as they become more tightly integrated.

 

"Many of our utility customers are adopting new Esri technology, such as ArcGIS Utility Network Management, which provides advanced network modeling capability," said Bahman Hoveida, president and CEO of OSI. "We are very excited about our partnership with Esri, as it will enable us to provide the best technical solutions to our joint customers, leveraging the latest functionality ArcGIS Utility Network Management provides."

 

Presentations

Esri’s Bill Meehan presented to an engaged audience on why Field Mobility is more than just giving maps to field workers! Bill discussed ways to improve entire workflows with accurate data, and awareness/ access for everyone. Leading utilities are using ArcGIS mobile solutions to improve KPIs in every corner of the business.

 

Remi Myers shared about Analyzing Lightning Events to Improve Electric System Reliability. Remi hit on some very popular themes of Network Management, Big Data, and Analytics. He processed over 600,000 lightning strike data points in a live demo that identified broken grounds on a utility’s transmission system – impressive!

 

Make Plans to Join Esri Next Year

Make plans to join us next year when Distributech will return to sunny San Diego on February, 9-11, 2021.

 

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