Vattenfall

Vattenfall is 100 percent owned by the Swedish state and is one of Europe's largest generators of electricity and the largest producer of heat. Vattenfall's main products are electricity, heat and gas. In electricity and heat, Vattenfall works in all parts of the value chain: generation, distribution and sales. In gas, Vattenfall is active in sales. We also conduct energy trading.

Vattenfall produces electricity and heat from six energy sources – wind power, nuclear power, natural gas, biomass, coal power and hydro power.

In 2013, operations were conducted in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, France and the UK.

 

Vattenfall efficiency improvement thanks to ERAMIS system

The informatization of successive areas of life brings about the increase in the number of activities being transformed onto the digital platform. The company Vattenfall Distribution Poland is the pioneer introducing the latest technology in the Polish power engineering system.

"Vattenfall company deals with the distrubution of electric power so it has a very complex and dispersed field infrastructure. Not only do we need very accurate technical documentation of the infrastructure, but we also need to know its exact location. Initially, we had such information on maps or documents on paper. Having implemented GIS system in the year 2002, we managed to place these data on the digital platform. Thanks to that, our knowledge about the company'€™s technical property is much more extensive and accessible. The efficiency of the use of such information has increased too." - says Piotr Rafalski, Project Manager in the Documentation Department ofVattenfall Distribution Poland.

However, it soon turned out that the very digitalization of the data was not sufficient. The efficient management of the dispersed property requires regular stocktaking or inventory field work. In spite of GIS system being already in operation, the field work was still done with a pen and piece of paper.

Piotr Rafalski: "The system was printing certain forms. Having been filled in, they were again entered into the computer. It was of course an arduous and bothersome job, that’s why we decided to eliminate the stage of transfering the data from the sheet of paper into the digital system. The solution has been worked out together with Gliwice LGBS."

Background:

Vattenfall is one of the largest European power engineering concerns. It has been operating in seven countries, including Poland since the year 2000. In 2001 the concern acquired stocks of Upper Silesia Power Engineering Plant (Gornosla…ski Zaklad Energetyczny) with the seat in the city of Gliwice. At present the group consists of several companies active in Poland, including but not limited to, Vattenfall Distribution Poland which deals with the distribution of electric energy in the region of Upper Silesia in the central south of Poland. The company'€™s operation covers the area of 4 221 km2 and provides services for 1 128 301 customers. The company owns 26 757 km of power lines of the electrical power grid and supplies 11% of the total electric energy being sold in Poland.

Taking into consideration the size of the area of the company'€™s operation, collection of data in the field and their further processing involved a considerable amount of work, especially when such data were written on the paper sheets and had to be entered into the register system. Maintaining an adequate quality of the data was also an issue. It required additional verification of their accuracy. One more problem, pointed out by the representatives of Vattenfall Distribution Poland, was the lack of standardization in data collection. Frequently, the data were impossible to read out due to messy handwriting, soaking of the paper sheet in the rain, omission of information or introduction of data with a considerable error.

Solution:

The problems of Vattenfall Distribution Poland have been solved thanks to ERAMIS (Electronic Reporting and Mobile Inspection System) developed by Gliwice LGBS programers.

"One of our rank-and-file workers drew our attention to the fact that the surveying of the technical infrastructure is done on paper. It seemed only natural to us that we should apply mobile electronic devices to eliminate this staging post, that is transferring the data from a sheet of paper into the computer. And so it began." -€“ says Łukasz Przepiora, the LGBS man in charge of the project, elaborating on ERAMIS beginnings.

The project was dubbed Vattenfall Mobile as it is a mobile system supporting the use and operation of the grid infrastructure. It consists of a browser of vector maps which enables the user to find infrastructure objects. It also has a dynamic generator of the forms describing the condition of the objects surveyed in the field. Through the Web Service - Vattenfall Mobile gets integrated with the system of planning of operational orders within Vattenfall Distribution Poland. The applications have been improved by adding a function of remote updating. It makes it possible to update the applications without bringing the actual devices to the central office. Such facility is quite useful as both companies, LGBS and Vattenfall, are still co-operating and adding new components to expand the system.

Lukasz Przepiora: "We are thinking of the integration with SCADA systems in the future. At the moment we possess only a static map, which does not have a life of its own, but we know of the available systems that could manage its dynamics, for instance, enable switching the status of the objects and installations shown on the map. I think it is the right direction to take in the future."

The system has been installed on 100 devices, but this number is about to double soon.

Benefits:

Piotr Rafalski: The efficiency of the survey has increased greatly. It is partly due to the fact that the whole series of errors – made in the process of re-writing data from the forms into the computer – was eliminated at one go. Previously, the answers were provided in handwriting on the forms, now they are selected from a thesaurus, which eliminates in a natural way spelling mistakes and vague wording".

One more big advantage is that you can download digital maps into ERAMIS mobile devices and take them with you to do your field work.

Lukasz Przepiora: "In addition to that, the software enables you not only to describe the infrastructure under inventory but also to make immediate updates. You make a visual survey of a certain object, estimate its condition and its properties  whether its type is correct, the virtual location is in accordance with the real-life location, no elements are missing, etc. Such data can be updated in the central system as you go.

It is assumed that along with the development of subsequent functions of the system the number of benefits will continue to grow.

Piotr Rafalski: "€žI think that getting further into mobile solutions we will want to use them within the scope of more dynamic functions which facilitate the network management processes. This is the area connected with issuing orders and instructions, switching, team work in the field and management of the teams. With the aid of proper communication – we are planning to introduce solutions enabling direct communication,€“ we will be able to issue orders and instructions orally and relay them remotely to our devices. We will be able to make a remote inventory or introduce changes in the network operation. These are the directions we should follow in the future."

Technologies:

  • .NET Compact Framework 3.5
  • SQL Server Compact 3.5

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