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7 Posts authored by: PHohl-esristaff Employee

Global Pandemic

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic is affecting everyone. People and utilities adopt new behaviors – almost daily. They ask themselves not only “how do we get through this?” But also, “What good can be harvested?”

 

Staying close to home, my wife and I went for a long walk on Sunday afternoon. We have taken two more since then. When we come out of this trying time, some new actions will stick– like more Sunday afternoon walks. In a way, it has been beneficial to be forced to think differently about quality time together. We saw the value in doing things in a new way. We will keep this habit.

 

Utilities Adjust

The Edison Electric Institute said, “a large percentage of a company’s employees (up to 40 percent) could be out sick, quarantined, or might stay home to care for sick family members.” A workforce deficit of 40 percent would challenge long-standing comfortable work habits and patterns. Utilities cannot close their doors. They must maintain safe operations. Moreover, what if a storm hits?

 

Utility staff are resilient. We serve our customers – every time. We rise to the occasion.

 

My engineering staff started asking about working from home in the 90’s – it never really caught on. Now, just like that - employees are working from home. Field employees are each taking a separate vehicle to worksites and working staggered shifts. Some are taking company vehicles home and reporting directly to their first job rather than to a central meeting point. It makes sense.

 

Limiting virtually all gatherings and meetings tests our conceptions of communication and collaboration. And, it just blows up the paperwork culture.

 

Employees are not able to turn in paperwork in the same way. Some are using the postal service to deliver their papers to the home of the person that handles it next. Sub-optimal at best! Mail service is being disrupted in some countries upsetting this seemingly simple paperwork workaround.

 

Locating Improvements

In their personal lives, utility employees shop, file taxes, bank, pay bills, and enjoy entertainment electronically – remotely. Could a utility do more things like this – of course.

 

What value could be added to workflows? Plenty!

 

Entering data directly at its source, without paper, delivers several benefits. Errors drop and throughput increases. Less handling cuts out delays in data entry. Timeliness of information skyrockets. The entire organization enjoys a real-time view of activities improving management and business decisions.

 

Most utilities rely on GIS in some way. However, some still view this as a “Maps and Records” responsibility - not grasping its superior communication principles. A modern GIS plays a critical part in communication. It pushes and pulls information specific to each person’s role and interest. Even external stakeholders like customers and local governments get exactly what they need. And, it does all this while addressing hardware and data security in a comprehensive manner.

 

 

Common Communications Using GIS

  • Assign and close work assignments
  • Examine current conditions and reference information
  • Consume status dashboards
  • Access public-facing web maps and apps
  • Collect data
  • Navigate and track locations

 

Communication is essential – it is the foundation of leadership. These resources bolster every utility employee. For example, the call center sees the current status of daily work. They also understand large project progress, and storm response. Mobile communication tools that rejuvenate existing workflows also scale up readily for emergency response. Utilities that see GIS this way use it to drive their tabletop exercises. All emergency staff practice with the same tools they will use in actual conditions (see an example). Because they are straightforward, foreign crews easily use them too. 

 

Wrap-Up

COVID-19 impacts are increasing daily and likely to affect utility work for some time. Utilities are reaching for ways to keep employees and customers engaged. They need ways to manage information without handing papers from one person to another. Customers want to know what is happening. Employees need to get information without walking down to the wall map in the conference room or a co-worker’s cubicle.

 

ArcGIS is a fully modern GIS. It has wonderful communication capabilities that can be stood up very quickly. These help organizations adapt to changing conditions. The next time you take a walk at your home office, consider how advancements in communication could result in permanent improvements to existing workflows.

 

To find out how a modern GIS can improve communication, visit the electric utility page. 

I recently attended the first meeting of a new summit, Utility GIS Applications, in Atlanta, Georgia. This vendor-neutral event was led by utility representatives to showcase how GIS is transforming utilities. Topics focused on mobile applications, data collection, asset management, and outage restoration. Special thanks to Brandon Raso from Puget Sound Energy. Brandon did a remarkable job chairing the program.

The format was unlike any other conference I have attended. During the two days, the group never separated; they met over breakfast and stayed together for breaks and lunch. This provided continual quality time for in-depth conversations. With an attendance of about 40, the atmosphere was ripe to network with others that share interests and struggles. While most attendees represented electric utilities, several from gas and water contributed markedly to the content.

 

Here are my top four observations:

 

  • Community—Utility GIS professionals are hungry for a greater sense of community to share and learn. Large utility events often make it tough to add more than a couple of new connections to your LinkedIn network. In Atlanta, a fun icebreaker enabled everyone to meet early in the program. Even the introverts enjoyed the format that started personal conversations with like-minded people. Periodically, discussion questions provided a change of pace at each table. Each table reported its conclusions to the entire group, providing additional perspectives and enhancing the conversation.
  • Data capture—Presentations shed new light on the state of the art for technologies like GPS units, drones/imagery, and lidar—even lidar surveys inside manholes! These capabilities integrate tightly with GIS, enabling rapid and accurate data collection. Good data directly supports activities like enhanced asset and vegetation management.
  • Mobile applications—The original mobile solution—the "tree killer" paper map—is still alive and well. Modern mobile apps clearly represent the low-hanging fruit for utility work. They can improve data completeness, accuracy, and timeliness while updating antiquated workflows. Fieldworkers do not want heavy, ruggedized laptops; maybe they never did. They expect intuitive phone/tablet apps that work like the apps they use in their everyday life. Everyone agreed that these tools must make the work experience better to avoid their being used as truck wheel chocks.
  • User involvement—A clear theme emerged from the stories of success and failure. New technology represents a big culture change for users. They want to understand the why and have input. Intentional change management pays huge dividends. Early and continual user engagement is fundamental to ultimate success. The voices of experience repeatedly claimed that bringing food really helps those meetings with field staff!

 

Modern GIS capabilities line up very well with the changing needs of a modern grid. Utilities face similar technical challenges and yet often address them differently. This stems from their goals, system characteristics, information systems, and resources. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; a wide variety of proven GIS solutions exist to meet every need.

 

Today, location-aware apps are prevalent across modern society. Even individuals with very little disposable income routinely rely on them. We treasure our smartphones that provide efficiency, accuracy, and convenience based on location.

 

Someone commented that they gave up trying to outsmart their iPhone and now simply leave the location services setting on all the time. Why? Because the apps do not work right when it's turned off! Nothing works right without location—very profound.

 

Utilities consider the location of assets, employees, weather, customers, work, traffic, and more. This makes GIS the ideal platform to gather all types of data and understand its business value, simplify communication, and create situational awareness.

 

To find out how proven GIS solutions can address utility challenges, visit our electric industry webpage.

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.

 

Continue the Conversation

Got information overload? The Esri Industry Solutions Team curates the best material for our users - Follow @EsriElectricGas on Twitter for the latest! Sign up for our newsletter.

The 2019 GeoConX meetup held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, saw the largest number of utility and telecom GIS professionals ever gathered to share their work, collaborate on new projects, and discuss new ways of leveraging GIS and location intelligence to support utilities.  The theme was: Geo-Enabling the Intelligent Enterprise.

 

GeoConX 2019 had its highest registration ever with 1,192 attendees from 414 different companies,  a 25% increase over last year. This year’s conference also included the AEC Summit to kick things off and concluded with the Water Summit.

 

The event kicked off with a half-day opening plenary session featuring geospatial thought leadership from Jack Dangermond, CEO of Esri, along with ArcGIS user presentations and ArcGIS technology updates.

 

Highlights from the plenary included our local “host” utility – Southern Company’s use of GIS across gas and electric business units with over 4,800 named users. They easily share information and increase operational efficiencies while also bringing new business to Georgia. Energy Queensland made a fascinating presentation on their Look Up And Live application which is routinely reducing accidents and saving lives in Australia.

 

Undoubtedly the most unique part of the plenary was a fun “magic show” by Esri’s Bill Meehan and Brian Baldwin demonstrating the capability of real-time IoT sensor integration in ArcGIS (no actual magic required).  The opening session really set the energy for the rest of the week and there was a lot of buzz around improving common utility workflows. Here are a few highlights from the week.

 

Peer Connects 

Connecting with peers is what GeoConX is all about. Each of the various peer-connects sessions were well attended with excellent discussions of timely topics.

Esri Technical Sessions

Esri staff engaged attendees with technical presentations on a long list of interesting topics. These included: Utility Network, Machine Learning, Understanding Customers with Business Analyst, Gas, Electric, Administration Tips & Tricks, System of Engagement, and System of Insight.

 

User Paper Sessions

Throughout the week, many users of Esri’s ArcGIS shared how they are Geo-Enabling their Intelligent Enterprises. There were so many good presentations it was often difficult to decide which one to attend. Here is just a sampling of the Sessions:

 

Gas – Integrating Enterprise Systems, Improving Data Quality, Risk and safety, Improving Field Facility Data, Field Operations, Asset Management, Improving Data Quality,

 

Electric – Emergency Management, Utility Network Migration, Utility Networks in Production, Grid Modernization, System Operations, Field Mobility, Asset Management, Field Operations and Analytics.

 

Tech Updates, Hands-on Learning Lab, and Data Health Check

Numerous new updates to Esri technology were shown at GeoConX and following the positive feedback of the hands-on learning lab last year, the lab was brought back this year and even more Esri products were available for attendees to try out and play with, and training courses were available for attendees to work through while at the event. The Data Health Check-up team took appointments to review and analyze customer GIS data, focusing on features and attributes and made specific recommendations.

 

  

New Tech Highlights:

  • Machine Learning Tools An update to the machine learning tools in ArcGIS was shared in a session that focused on spatial tools for classification, clustering, and prediction. Some of tools shown were Random Trees, Density-based Clustering, and Geographically Weighted Regression. Also, show was the integration of ArcGIS with external machine learning frameworks like TensorFlow and Scikit Learn. Image detection for detecting features in imagery, such as poles and sidewalks, gained a lot of interest from fiber planners.
  • Field Apps– The demonstrated Esri field apps showed how you can coordinate field activities using Workforce, how to efficiently get to the location of work using Navigator, how to gain spatial awareness and mark up maps using Explorer, how to accurately locate, capture and inspect assets using CollectorSurvey123, and QuickCapture, and how you can improve accountability and enhance situational awareness using Tracker and Operations Dashboard.
  • Sensors, Big Data, and Analytics– Highlighted in this session was the ability to track field personnel as sensors, consuming their location with GeoEvent Server for visualization, geofencing, and storage for improved field operations and increased safety. GeoAnalytics Server was highlighted to help with the analysis of large collections of sensor data. Finally, a new Esri product in development was introduced: ArcGIS Analytics for IoT. This is a SaaS product that combines capabilities of GeoEvent Server and GeoAnalytics Server into a scalable, cloud-based product.
  • Business Analytics– New updates to ArcGIS Business Analyst were shown in a session that highlighted ways to improve customer engagement leveraging Esri Demographics . A crowd favorite was the improved dynamic infographics that can be configured and generated from apps across ArcGIS.

 

GeoConX Expo

Throughout the week, attendees had the opportunity to meet with Esri teams, including solutions engineers and product managers in the GeoConX Expo. Esri staff and representatives from over 60 Esri Business Partners presented solutions and answered questions. The floor was very active and fun this year with great snacks and a conversational tone that many really enjoyed.

 

 

Join GeoConX Next Year!

This year’s GeoConX was another great meetup for utility GIS professionals, and we look forward to keeping the conversation going throughout the year, and seeing everyone at GeoConx 2020 in Denver, Colorado.  Be sure to stay engaged with the community on GeoNet and follow us on Twitter @EsriElectricGas and on LinkedIn.

In his book The Road Ahead, Bill Gates said, "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction." We are already seeing increased complexity in electric distribution circuits. If Gates is correct, we will see much more in the coming years.

Electric utilities historically operate their distribution systems in sections called circuits. This blog series looks at some important characteristics of the circuits of the future and how they may differ from those of the past and the present. These differences are acting to convert our familiar circuits into a network that relies on electronics and data for routine operation. Are you setting your system up for success in the face of these changes?

Part 1 of this blog introduced some fundamental differences between circuits and future networks. Part 2 examined why networks must be capable of being split into smaller parts. This final segment will consider the network's greater complexity and its need to handle rapid changes.

Greater Complexity

The sheer volume of electric system devices is going through the roof—microgrids, distributed generators, smart inverters, sensors, and automatic switches all bring greater complexity. These devices are more sophisticated than most of the circuit devices commonly in use today.

Arguably the most common device on a circuit today is a fuse—a skinny piece of wire that, as its sole operation, burns up! An important insight is to realize that most circuits, on their journey to become a network, are starting from a very low level of sophistication.

Sophisticated devices have more connection points, bypass functions, and test provisions. In addition, they are often configurable, integrate with communication systems, and exchange parameters with other devices and systems. These parameters help govern equipment settings, price signals, and protection from harmful conditions. Much of this complexity is linked to modern electronics that consume data in real time.

Smaller network pieces and sophisticated devices complicate routine operating decisions. Formerly simple manual operations, like opening an overhead pole switch, will be initiated remotely with the use of a new and vastly more sophisticated switch. Instead of simply verifying adequate electrical capacity and switching from one circuit to another, operators will need to understand how each of these changes affects the entire network.

I investigated several high-voltage accidents while working for utilities. Two of the worst injury accidents had their root cause in misidentified energized equipment. In tight spaces, like substations or underground structures, complexity brings the need for more equipment which takes up precious working space. More equipment and less space makes safe operation that much more challenging. To work safely, the data and information systems supporting these new networks must also accommodate their greater complexity and detail.

Rapid Changes

Traditional circuit layouts tend to be static, changing only for specific tasks or between summer and winter configurations. Dispatch and field personnel often have them nearly memorized. A gray-haired supervisor may confidently tell a new apprentice, "That transformer is on circuit number 121—it feeds from Buckingham substation up on the hill," speaking on the assumption that the circuit's characteristics remain constant.

Self-healing capabilities such as reverse power flow and the use of automatic switches and microgrids can all change networks rapidly and without much warning. They can alternate in response to different conditions in a short period of time. Traditionally, to alert employees, such changes are announced over the operation's two-way radios mounted in work trucks. Advanced network changes may occur with little or no human interaction, and without radio announcement. This real-time operating paradigm sparks different work procedures and safety concerns because such rapid changes were not normal in the past.

Staff are not used to their circuits changing quickly. They are accustomed to referencing their relatively static maps. Historically, a period of weeks to apply map updates was acceptable. But now, last month's map products from the Maps and Records division will be simply inadequate to meet the real-time operating needs of new networks. All users, in the office and the field, will need more detailed information in near real time.

Wrap-Up

Is there a time coming when we won't even think of circuits at all? Probably, but not in the immediate future. For decades, circuits were the only source of power to the distribution system. Today, every rooftop solar installation is another source to consider. The circuit at the substation may not be the only source on the network, but it will certainly remain important for quite some time.

Many of the standards necessary to implement a smarter network are still under development. Given all the forces acting to change circuits into networks, prepare for a continuous evolution of equipment and capability. When you don't know exactly what will be required, flexibility is a key strategy.

New functions will continue to be added, improving our ability to optimize distribution operations for power quality, cost, and reliability. Grid modernization and circuit evolution also mean a great deal of physical work, building networks and systems to support them.

Because networks of the future will be controlled with electronics and data, the underlying information models and systems will be foundational to success. Like Bill Gates said, "Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction." The ArcGIS platform is specifically designed to help utilities model and operate these new complex and rapidly changing networks.

For more information on how the ArcGIS platform helps electric utilities manage advanced networks, visit our site.Advertisement

In electric utilities, we are really attached to our circuits. Get ready- those circuits are going to change, and as we progress, may become unrecognizable! Circuits are so embedded in our culture that a colleague once remarked that we are fixated on them!  He was right. We are fixated on circuits, and with good reason.

Electric utilities typically operate their distribution systems in pieces called circuits or feeders. We map by circuit, patrol facilities, trim trees, and report statistics by their circuit name or number.  As the utility industry changes, circuits will need to morph into more of an interconnected network. “Network” is a much better term than “circuits” to describe the future state. Is your utility preparing to successfully operate the network of the future?  

Part I of this series introduced some fundamental differences between traditional circuits and future networks.  This part II will examine the first difference – smaller pieces.

Smaller Pieces

In the future, electric networks will need to break down into smaller pieces for greater operating flexibility. Utilities established the sections of today’s circuits to reduce the customer impact of power outages, perform maintenance tasks, and supply large blocks of customer load. Utilities now need additional flexibility to accommodate different types of both customer usage and power generation. Distributed generation, including solar and wind, is steeply on the rise.  These variable resources bring constantly shifting power flows to circuits that were only designed for one-way power flow. Networks need smaller pieces with flexibility to handle variable power flows.

Electric vehicles can plug-in anywhere moving their electricity demand around like a big 2-story house on wheels! Yesterday’s large stable blocks of customer load are becoming less consistent and are now driving from one place to another.  Networks must be more configurable than circuits to meet the needs of tomorrow’s customers.

Smart-grid technologies too will drive networks to operate in smaller sections. Self-healing networks use smart switches to sense real-time conditions. In the blink of an eye, they communicate with other devices and compare observations. Together they determine when a power problem occurs and limit customer impact with instant automatic switching.  As utilities implement more self-healing capability, the pieces of the network will get smaller enhancing customer value by improving reliability.

It’s clear the operating pieces of the network will be smaller than those of a typical circuit today, delivering sorely needed operational flexibility.

Wrap up

New devices will split the coming network into smaller pieces. Because networks will be controlled with electronics and data, the backbone of this evolution will be a central data model of the entire system. This feature-rich model may be called a digital twin.  A fully functional digital twin, adequate to support disparate utility roles, is a big step from the straightforward facility mapping models of the past.

A digital twin should be sophisticated enough to represent each device accurately at its precise location. Device location on the network will guide its every operation.Smart utility operations begin and end with this location intelligence.

We are already seeing the writing on the wall as pilot projects adapt existing circuits to accommodate new unconventional devices. Common distribution circuits will evolve into a more robust network.  This flexible network must consist of smaller pieces, include numerous new complexities, and change quickly in response to system and customer needs.

The ArcGIS platform gives all stakeholders the ability to access and share critical network information. Advanced network information will have to become embedded in our “circuit culture” as it evolves.   The ArcGIS Utility Network Management extension is specifically designed to handle the smaller pieces and greater detail of the advanced electric networks now on the horizon.  

For more information on how the ArcGIS platform helps electric utilities manage advanced networks, visit our site.

One afternoon in engineering school, my professor boldly proclaimed, “Nothing has changed in power engineering since the 1930s!”  He knew that even the most advanced electrical devices of the time were controlled by very simple things like springs and magnets.  He wanted us to be solidly grounded in the underlying laws of physics, and my resulting education served me very well.  In contrast, the circuit networks of the future will be controlled with electronics and data, often managing the springs and magnets inside devices.

Can you imagine a professor making that statement today? Such a professor would certainly be out of touch with the utility business. In his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith describes the necessity for successful people to make changes to further their success.  Successful utilities, and their circuits, will need to adapt to a dynamic world to be relevant and successful in the future.

Electric utilities typically operate their distribution systems in pieces called circuits or feeders. This practice served the industry well for many years. However, more than a few changes occurred since my university days in the early 1980s.  At that time, I didn’t have a computer or cell phone, and wrote term papers on an electric typewriter. This blog series will look at some important characteristics of the circuits of the future and how they may differ from the past and present. Like never before, data and information systems will be an integral part of operating future circuit networks.   How is your utility preparing to successfully operate the electric system of the future?

Given the changes in our business, the very term “circuit” could become confusing.  For clarity, I’ll call the future arrangement a network, rather than circuits.  The interconnected electric system is sometimes referred to as the largest and most complex machine on Earth. Historically operated as circuits, the network may become a utility’s most important asset, capable of enabling new business models and greater customer value. Rather than a one-way circuit that delivers electricity to customers, the network will have to become a market place for many more participants.

To avoid disappointment and become a market enabler, the network of the future must have some fundamental key differences – it must be divided into smaller pieces, have greater complexity, and change more rapidly than we are used to.

1 - Smaller Pieces

Sections of circuits are optimized simply to isolate system problems and supply large blocks of customers. Utilities, and in fact all users, will need the increased flexibility of smaller pieces to accommodate an exploding range of possible operating conditions brought about by all types of additional network devices.

2 - Greater Complexity

The sheer number of devices is increasing dramatically -  micro-grids, solar panels, sensors, electronic controls, all bring greater complexity.   A simple fuse, in service and undisturbed for 30 years, will be replaced by a sophisticated switch with an electronic controller communicating with the network. Its complex operation is based on the actual operating conditions as they exist right now! The complexity will usher in new challenges in recordkeeping, workforce development, maintenance, operation, and troubleshooting.

3 - Rapid Changes

Self-healing capabilities, reversing power flow, automatic switches, and smaller pieces, will all require networks to change rapidly.  Changes may occur with little or no human interaction, and may bounce between multiple states in a short period of time.  When things change quickly, they become a safety concern.  A pile of paper circuit maps is wholly inadequate to safely operate a more complex and rapidly changing network. Engineers and line workers alike will require near real-time information to operate the network safety and effectively.  

Near real-time information drives and enables better optimization of the entire system to reduce costs, enhance reliability, and improve power quality. A customer’s equipment, needs, and choices will also affect familiar circuits in many new ways.

Wrap up

Industry changes will require our beloved distribution circuits to be much different in the future.  The array of new utility devices offered in the marketplace is dizzying and trade articles regularly detail pilot projects dramatically altering the traditional distribution circuit layout. 

Because networks of the future will be controlled with electronics and data, information systems will be the foundation to operating these networks. The electronic model of the network will be central to all core business functions.

All the change drivers relate to the new network based on their exact connection points and location.   The ArcGIS platform gives all stakeholders the ability to access and share critical information, including the network model. The ArcGIS Utility Network Management extension is specifically designed to address the needs of a more complex and variable electric network. 

My professor, with his 1930s thinking, would be shocked how much power engineering has changed. He would be surprised at how inadequate classic circuits will be to safety support utility operations in a few years. How long will it take before circuits change into networks?  In some locations, the shift has already begun. The ArcGIS platform is designed to help utilities operate these new networks.

For more information on how the ArcGIS platform helps electric utilities model advanced networks, visit our site.