November 26, 2007
Utility Challenges, ROI with Autodesk Topobase and the New Topobase Electric
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Topobase also stores relationships within the database, and has the rules and topological relationships that make design data entry a lot more seamless.
Technical features of Topobase Electric:
1) Data model for transmission and distribution. This data model includes transmission to and from a substation, then passes it out to commercial and housing areas. It enables you to store both structural and electrical assets. “Structural assets” include manholes and underground ducts, towers, any physical assets that would hold electrical assets. Electrical assets are what form the circuit or the network and consist of transformers, conductors, fuses, switches, etc.
2) Connectivity. Checking for connectivity includes doing a trace to find an open switch but this can also be done physically from a fieldworkers’ point of view. Topobase Electric also has some industry workflows and business rules so that a user can say, show me all the open devices coming from my circuit breaker. It has the ability to manage overhead as well as underground utility data.
3) Infrastructure utility data tends to be more complex because there is more happening within those assets. “For example, if you look at a conduit, or electrical duct, it may have multiple cables within to form a part of a circuit,” Ganguly explained. “Traditionally, from a representational point of view, you represent that by a line, but there is more happening within that line that tends to be more than you visualize. Traditionally, you would pick that line and see a text box showing all the conductors within. With Topobase we give you a graphical view that allows you to visualize that cross section, to actually feel the conductors that fit within that duct. You can
define the type of duct it will be, which automatically defines the number of conductors you would have for the specific duct. Once you have that, you can insert your duct, and it automatically detects what it’s connected to. If it’s an extension to a existing circuit, it will automatically inherit the value of that circuit.”
4) Smart assemblies allow you to automatically insert into the database multiple assets that are related in one step.
5) Electrical connectivity tools allow you to connect upstream and downstream, and allow you to create space in certain phases. You might have some residential housing that’s fed by multiple phases and you can do a trace to find out which houses are being fed by which phase. This functionality would be very useful to customer service, and maintenance and operations field workers.
6) A cross section view enables a user to visualize all complicated data that might be housed within a single representational line. From a real world perspective, that line is actually a physical 3D dot, which has multiple conductors within. This capability allows the user to visualize these complex layouts of assets right on the screen, and automatically visualize what it looks like within that dot.
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