Integration Powers Tokyo

By Alan Saunders, Autodesk Inc.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) needed a system that would support facility planning, operations and aggregate data from multiple sources, and Tokyo Electric Power Services Co. (TEPSCO) was able to deliver. Using geospatial technology, TEPCO has a system that provides powerful support for electric power operations such as creating and providing electric power grid schematics and transmission line route maps.

 

Creating a Visual Electric Power System

 

The supply of electric power is a great force that moves our society. Maintaining stable generation, transmission, substation and distribution facilities and preparing them for future needs are among the most fundamental infrastructure projects affecting the power industry.

TEPCO realized it needed an updated asset-management system and turned to TEPSCO to develop a facility planning and operations support system in December 2005. TEPCO required the system to display the electric power grid’s supply and demand trends, as well as facility conditions and forecast models on a map. Utility managers needed the system to be a powerful tool to back up the facility planning needed to achieve a stable electric power supply.

TEPSCO delivered a Web-based system that incorporates the capabilities of the Autodesk software already in place that integrated TEPCO’s computer-aided design (CAD) and geographic information systems (GIS) data and offered:

  • Support for planning operations. The system takes numerical data required for facility planning operations and processes it into visual data on an electric power network map.
  • Supplementary data for planning operations that displays detailed data such as photographs and facility data from substations and transmission line towers.
  • A data library that makes it possible to reference archived documents relating to each facility.

 

TEPCO service area

All electric power facilities and electric assets in the TEPCO supply area are displayed on the map. Maps can be simple and easy to understand, and the amount of information can be adjusted to match the map scale. The user-friendly system enables employees to select display layers and turn on or off other interfaces. Moreover, it offers innovative data-sharing settings, such as case-by-case access authority setting capabilities, registration of frequently used maps for each user and more.

TEPCO employees are able to access data and asset information via the map by clicking on the station and substation, represented by symbols. The maps provide additional levels of detail, such as color-coded transmission lines that distinguish voltage classes between 20 kV and 500 kV.

Using the system, users easily can view the facilities’ latest, updated conditions and their most recent forecast models. Implementation rates are displayed in a color-coded map with a single click.

TEPSCO headquarters in Tokyo
TEPSCO headquarters in Tokyo

This system enables TEPCO to efficiently evaluate facility planning operations by displaying regional electric power systems and facilities, operating conditions and facility conditions, as well as past performance on a single map. With this system, staff members have access to data necessary for facility planning, as well as instructions to structure and implement future electric power system configurations. Users see an instant representation of the entire network and know where and how to begin an implementation, said TEPCO Project Manager Yoichiro Masuko.

 

Capitalizing on Existing Skills

 

TEPSCO developed the new system based on Autodesk MapGuide software. TEPCO and TEPSCO chose Autodesk technology because of its compatibility with other Autodesk products, such as AutoCAD software and AutoCAD Map 3D software, which were already used across the utility. The open-source feature data object (FDO) technology in AutoCAD Map 3D assists them in bridging the gap between CAD and GIS and helps engineering and GIS professionals work with the same data. FDO provides direct access to leading data formats used in design and GIS and enables the use of AutoCAD software tools for creating and maintaining maps, network layouts, facility information and more. Because employees were familiar with the AutoCAD user interface and working environment, upgrading to Autodesk MapGuide for a Web-based solution made sense to Nobuyuki Takahara, system engineer with TEPSCO.

“We had great confidence in Autodesk MapGuide’s capabilities and our team, along with TEPCO’s team, helping us devote ourselves to developing a comprehensive geospatial system,” Takahara said. “We created this system by exchanging concept ideas with TEPCO to make it user-friendly. We also paid special attention to interface-related innovations to improve operability.”

Flexible authoring functions that can quickly implement a variety of ideas are one of the defining features of Autodesk MapGuide. The system covered one-third of TEPCO’s managed area when it was introduced and now covers 100 percent of its assets.

With the new, Web-based geospatial system, TEPCO and TEPSCO are able to easily create and view custom maps and share them across the utility.

Alan Saunders is the industry manager for the Autodesk utilities vertical. Since 2005 he has been responsible for Autodesk’s global utility product direction, alliances and business development.

TEPCO was established in 1951 as an electric power supplier to the metropolitan Tokyo area.

TEPSCO was established in December 1960 as an affiliated company of Tokyo Electric Power Co. to provide consulting services for the electric power industry.

 

On the Net:

 

TEPCO site: http://tepco.co.jp

TEPSCO site: http://tepsco.co.jp

 

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