Safer networks through geodata

Monday, 02 May, 2022 | Supplied by: Fugro

Geodata company Fugro has delivered a digitised power network management system to Waipa Networks in New Zealand, with the aim of improving safety and reliability across the electricity provider’s entire distribution network. Waipa, assisted by utilities management consulting firm Utilligent, chose Fugro to modernise its asset management framework based on the enhanced network insights Fugro’s technology could provide. Fugro’s ROAMES technology, a network risk model, is now allowing Waipa to visualise and mitigate ground clearance threats, vegetation encroachment issues, structural safety distances risks, dangerous pole leans and any asset defects.

The project was completed in three phases. First, Utilligent helped Waipa select Fugro and the ROAMES product suite to develop a 3D virtual world asset model to collect and store lidar and pole-top imagery geodata. Next, Fugro and Utilligent worked closely to develop a business intelligence (BI) tool, which was used to prioritise and mitigate issues, risks and defects. Finally, although GPS coordinates existed for each asset, this project served as a great opportunity to update anomalies and create a ‘Record of Truth’ for Waipa. This new level of accuracy gives the company the tools and insight to expedite work orders, and supports Waipa’s mission to provide cost-effective and reliable systems for electricity and other services.

Peter Armstrong, Waipa’s Network Asset Manager, said, “The aerial survey program and the associated data analytic tools have given us a comprehensive view on our overhead network data and condition that we have never had before. Meanwhile, the Fugro ROAMES analytic outcomes are driving actional reporting, which will greatly assist in our ongoing management of the assets.”

Jay Reseigh, Utilligent’s Vice President, Data and Analytics, said that this type of project had transformed the industry. “Gone are the days of walking the lines and taking photographs of poles from the ground, which often takes years. The spatial analytics provided by Fugro ROAMES dramatically reduce the time required to inspect the network, allowing Waipa to quickly identify hazardous scenarios and set the foundation for utilities’ advanced distribution management system (ADMS) programs. The business case speaks for itself.”

Image credit: © Walen

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