Creating a resilient, reliable grid with a proactive disaster strategy


Chubu Electric Power Grid is one of Japan’s largest electric utilities, providing a transmission and distribution network across the Chubu region through its team of almost 10,000 employees. As the world moves away from fossil fuels, our dependency on the electricity grid becomes increasingly important, so building a resilient and reliable service is a top priority. For Chubu Electric Power Grid, this is particularly daunting as Japan is routinely subject to some of the world’s most violent typhoons and weather conditions, as well as earthquakes and other natural disasters. The Chubu Electric Power Grid team has a real challenge on their hands to deliver safe and dependable electricity services.

 

The goal for Chubu Electric Power Grid is to be more proactive in the management of disasters. To do this, they wanted to create a new Disaster Recovery Information Sharing System (DRISS) that monitors incidents as they unfold, assesses and prioritizes their response strategy, and dispatches and manages field crews. After carefully considering a range of possible options and suppliers, IQGeo was asked to participate in a technical Proof of Concept (POC). The successful POC led to the ultimate selection of IQGeo as the key partner to realize the vision behind DRISS. The choice of IQGeo was based on the power and flexibility of the software, and the successful track record that IQGeo already established with TEPCO Power Grid for a similar project.

1. A shared dashboard
One essential objective of DRISS is to provide a single “shared” system for all the stakeholders in the disaster recovery process and the IQGeo software was ideal to meet this requirement. The open platform interface enables the unification of data sources vital to assessment and response. The DRISS interface includes a hazard map, flooding information, traffic, and weather data, all overlaid on network equipment and facility data from their GIS environment.

 

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The solution provides a single situational awareness dashboard shared with a team of over 4,000 daily users with the ability to expand to 10,000 during major incidents. Users include disaster operations center staff who oversee the response, management that monitors the progress of all incidents, and field crews carrying out repairs. Past experience demonstrated how siloed data from different applications, paper maps, and spreadsheets made it extremely difficult to mount a well-coordinated response strategy. It was also impossible to capture real-time incident developments in the field to evolve tactics in response to changing events. The IQGeo solution gives all teams a common, consistent digital view of how a disaster is impacting their network, allowing the coordination of activities for maximum effectiveness.

Understanding the location of field crews and their equipment capabilities is also vital when rapid action is required to mitigate risks to the public and target high-priority repairs. The DRISS dashboard provides this visibility, allowing the operations center to dispatch the closest field crews to key areas and monitor the progress of response activities in real-time.

2. Empowering the field
The DRISS solution would be incomplete if it did not also meet the needs of field teams at the sharp end of disaster response activities. The IQGeo software provides a powerful and intuitive mobile capability that can be used on tablets and mobile phones. Chubu Electric Power Grid teams have full access to an accurate network view to visualize assets and equipment and plan response activities. Dispatch information tells crews where they need to be, and live traffic data and hazard maps help them plan their routes.

Once on site, crews can quickly capture trouble data and photographic details on grid conditions and repair status which is fed directly to the operations center for assessment and review. The ability to share vital network and ticket information with field crews while they simultaneously capture real-time damage and repair status information creates a powerful operational environment that allows each team to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

3. A more resilient future
The use of DRISS based on the IQGeo software has been quickly adopted by office teams and field crews and used effectively during the most recent typhoon season in Japan and with severe winter snowstorms. The system is proved invaluable for assessing disaster conditions, prioritizing repairs, and directing response activities. This has enabled the Chubu Electric Power Grid team to be more proactive in the management of increasingly common disaster incidents.

The result has been safer and more rapid repairs which have also helped in the overall improvement of grid resilience. The IQGeo software has proved so effective at Chubu Electric Power Grid that some teams have begun trialing it for the potential expansion of the solution across other operational areas of the business.

 

Building better networks
IQGeo Network Manager Electric is a game-changing geospatial solution that is optimized for electrical network operators and the new challenges they face. At IQGeo we provide the tools and capabilities that allow telecoms and utility operators to see their network machine in one powerful view. The business and operational benefits realized through this single pane of glass are clear for everyone to see. Learn more about what Network Manager Electric can do for you below. 

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Topics: Geospatial software, Reality capture, Utilities, Data quality, Digital transformation, Disaster recovery, Network resilience

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