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GIS Implementation

In June 1999, EDZ launched the implementation of an Automated Mapping/Facility Management/Geographic Information Systems (AM/FM/GIS) project. The project was distinguished as a “Fast Track Turn Key” realization; the most peculiar thing concerning the project was the challenge to upgrade the utility processes from mere paper work to the GIS-IT environment with a time binding constraint of only four months.

The main goal of the project was to modernize and automate the core electric business process of EDZ utilizing GIS and related technologies. The solution was based on Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI)’s ARC/INFO GIS technologies and a suite of related products including Miner & Miner (M&M) software.

The system spatially maps the concession distribution circuit and land base data and records as well corresponding tabular attribute information. The system interfaces with the existing Customer Information System and Billing Information System to maintain databases interrelation and provides an Arabic interface to display customers’ names in Arabic.

The system applications were developed in close coordination with EDZ utility engineers to meet and serve the daily operational and maintenance needs of EDZ.
One of the main system functions is to compute energy losses values on the distribution network. In other words it allows the utility to calculate technical and non-technical losses based on installed meters’ readings at different levels of the network, as a result monitor energy flow.
The Miner and Miner product provides analysis of the distribution network operation and planning activities. Embedded is a power flow module that enables actual transformer loading based on real meter readings and accordingly calculates the different electric parameters basically voltage, current, power factor, etc…. The software provides as well a design module that allows the functionalities of simulating the addition/modification of load, feeder segments, open points, capacitor banks, etc… therefore; any needed change to the network is first simulated, appropriately studied and put into later implementation according to planned design.
The system also allows the automation of the most frequently required statistics meeting management needs. Basic functions address consumptions and inscriptions with their relative values at different energy levels, their variation along history and differentiate as well between their various usage types.
The consistency and integration of the system electric and land base data is maintained by a specially implemented Quality Assurance/Quality Check (QA/QC) module that preserves electrical consistency through the verification of lines connectivity, relative devices location as well as correct attributes assignment.
In addition, standard map production is completely automated to provide easy and quick plots generation in standard or user-defined scale over regular paper sizes.
EDZ is making beneficial use of the enterprise GIS solution. EDZ employees readily adopted the technology and applied it into their daily operation. The introduction of the GIS provided EDZ the benefits to:
  • Attain better accuracy of distribution lines technical losses calculation thus better monitoring of fraud energy consumptions.
  • Reduce distribution losses including technical and non-technical for both Medium Voltage and Low Voltage networks from about 25% to less than 5% which is the lowest in Lebanon and most probably in the whole region.
  • Achieve a maximum voltage drop under 5% at the furthest end of any LV network by making use of the GIS radial power flow calculations technique.
  • Apply fact based management with more up-to-date, precise and reliable information about the network resources.

Increase day-to-day operations productivity by providing more facilities for effective labor management and enhancing technological capabilities by allowing more time to be devoted to the data analysis rather than data collection. In addition EDZ is expanding the uses of the GIS to interface and consequently increase the functionalities of some other systems implemented at the company. GIS provides an interface to the centralized Remote Medium Voltage Fault Indication and Line Status Monitoring system, which can detect faults that might occur in the electric network, the geographic location of these faults is then pinpointed. GIS works together with the GPS Fleet Management system to geographically display instantaneous crews location. Ultimately the implementation of the GIS allowed EDZ to provide better customer service by contributing into offering quicker response, providing more precise information and enhancing power delivery.