GIS Survey and Mapping for Efficient Power Distribution

About the project

Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme, abbreviated R-APDRP, was launched by the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India. The primary objective of R-APDRP was the restoration of commercial viability of the power distribution sector via implementation of appropriate measures for curbing the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses different states of India.

Objectives of the Project

The projects under this scheme were taken up in two parts:

  • Part A includes the projects with the objectives of establishing baseline data and appropriate IT applications for the purpose of energy accounting/auditing as well as creating an IT service center for consumers.
  • Part B of the scheme comprises regular projects for strengthening electricity distribution that include system improvement, strengthening, augmentation etc.

Owing to the benefits of geospatial technology, the Union Ministry of Power (MoP) has mandated its usage in the National Electricity Policy and Integrated Energy Policy.

Being a core GIS company with a complete range of geospatial solutions, we took up the challenge of executing the process of DGPS survey, mapping, GIS data creation and integration under R-APDRP Part-A in nearly 100% of the selected towns of West Bengal, Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh etc. under coverage of the scheme.

Base Map Development

The process of base map creation started with the collection of various kinds of inputs including satellite images, control points along with sketches and projection parameters. The image quality of the satellite inputs was enhanced using image processing techniques for reduction of haze, edge enhancement and tonal variation.

Some of the steps implemented for base map development are mentioned below:

  • Geo-referencing using the GCPs (Ground Control Points) for the desired sub-meter accuracy
  • Digitization of Admin boundaries (data input was collected from utility and respective authority) after necessary ground verification
basemap preparation
  • Digitization/capture of land base features from satellite imagery.
  • Landmark survey and attribute data collection as per data model using DGPS technology
  • Updating land base based on the output of the field verification

Technical Audit of Electrical Substation

The primary purpose of the technical audit was the development of the Single Line Diagram (SLD) of the electrical substation. An SLD provides a clear picture of the assets and their connectivity to the substation. The steps for accumulating the data included the following:

  • The substation area and its boundary were marked using a handheld device to obtain the accurate periphery of the substation.
  • All electrical elements inside the substation were identified and drawn on a hardcopy map.
  • DGPS points were noted for exact mapping of electrical assets placed in the switchyard.
  • Assets of all the sub-stations including capacitors, isolators, breakers, CTs, PTs, relays, supports, meters etc.
technical audit
  • All the attribute information of each particular feature available on site was captured as per the finalized Data Model for that feature.
  • The network connectivity as available in the substation was drawn on hard copy.
  • The hard copy map also portrayed the power-flow information of the source and the destination.
  • Administrative and technical support was availed for the smooth collection of substation data.

Distribution Network Survey and Mapping

The objective of Network Survey was to geographically map each electrical network asset including 66/33, 66/11, 33/11 kV electricity substations, HT (66, 33, 11kV) overhead lines/underground cables along with associated line equipment such as Poles, RMUs, Distribution Transformers, Capacitors etc. and also LT overhead lines and underground cables along with associated equipment such as poles, feeder pillar boxes etc. on the geo-referenced base maps of the specified areas using DGPS technology maintaining sub-meter accuracy level.

The mapping activity also comprised collecting and updating the various attributes of Electrical network entities as per finalized Data Model approved by the utility. The attributes thus collected were linked to the corresponding Network elements which had been mapped through field survey. Consequently, a one-to-one linkage was created for any further data retrieval and analysis.

network survey and mapping

Asset Codification Including Painting

All surveyed and mapped electrical equipment were codified based on the codification logic approved by the Utility team. The asset numbers provided in the Codification Document were painted on the surfaces of all Poles and Distribution transformers as per the specifications provided by the Utility team at the commencement of the project. The following steps were implemented:

  • The necessary activities towards Surface Creation, Base Coloring etc. were completed before writing the codes.
  • The asset codes were written legibly to ensure uniformity.
  • The specifications of the code painting including color combination, the height of the painting, text size, font, orientation etc. were implemented as per the requirement of the utility.
Asset Codification

Consumer Indexing

Consumer indexing is a unique method of enumerating all types of electricity consumers into a single database structure with the help of pre-determined attributes connected to a uniquely coded electrical network including locations with the help of GIS tools to retrieve information. The primary components of consumer indexing include door-to-door consumer data collection and the preparation of a uniquely indexed consumer database.

The methodologies implemented for consumer indexing for the R-APDRP scheme are mentioned below:

  • The process of consumer survey was taken up immediately after the network survey and simultaneously with Asset Painting.
consumer indexing
  • A field survey was conducted as per the distribution-transformer-wise and pole-wise approach to ensure 100% coverage of consumers connected from any particular transformer.
  • The consumer survey process involved door-to-door visit at each premise for the collection of information as per pre-built forms.

Final Deliverable

The executed volumetric for this project consist of the following figures:

  • No. of Towns - 129
  • Base map development - More than 5, 000 sq. km
  • Network Length - More than 30, 000 Ckt. km.
  • Consumer Count - More than 1.8 Million

We have been working on this scheme since 2009 and are continuing with the related activities. So far, the R-APDRP project has been completed in West Bengal, Assam and Mizoram. We met the deadlines and the client found the work satisfactory.