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TNEB to pinpoint power failures with GIS February 5, 2009

Posted by Bahadir Sahin in English, Haber (News).
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Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) has started work on implementing a geographical information system (GIS) that will detect power failure quickly. More than 100 sq km in the city will be covered and the work is expected to be completed in two years.

Once the system is in place, TNEB staff will not only be able to tell customers why there has been an outage but also pinpoint the faulty junction box. This is part of the computer-aided utility mapping project carried out by the planning commission.

In Tamil Nadu, a total of 1,140 sq km are to be covered, but initially the work will start for 180 sq km. GIS is a database system, which analyses and displays digitised maps and tables through a software tool. Maps developed for Chennai using GIS applications will be on a 1:1000 scale and would pinpoint the location of utility lines or structures.

“We are doing this project in co-ordination with Chennai Corporation. If someone calls the TNEB call centre regarding a power cut, the caller’s location will be identified on the map. Staff will know why there has been a fault and will be guided to the exact spot,” said a TNEB official.

A TNEB engineer, on condition of anonymity, said that upon receiving a complaint, line men visit the complainant’s area and check whether the fault is in the transformer, junction box or the line. Only after this do they start work. “If the location of the fault is identified through the GIS, we can rectify the problem and restore power sooner,” he said.

He said that as GIS would also map underground cables, chances of them getting cut while digging will also reduce. “As of now, TNEB has state-of-the-art, computerised supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) facilities to monitor and control 95 substations of 110/33-11 KV in Chennai area to achieve system reliability for the city distribution network. With GIS in place, the efficiency of the board will improve,” said the engineer.

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