Digitization and updating of distribution network documentation in Germany

| 30. 10. 2019

Hrdlička won a tender for the German energy company Westnetz, belonging to the Innogy SE concern, for digitizing and updating the documentation of the distribution network.

Westnetz is the largest distribution network operator (electricity, gas, water and heat) in Germany. The company employs over 5,000 people and is responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of over 185,000 km of electricity networks and 28,000 km of gas pipelines.

HRDLIČKA has years of experience in digitizing documentation for contracts for local companies such as ČEZ, E.ON, Innogy and CETIN. However, digitization for Westnetz is the first contract that it implements directly for such a large foreign company. The winning of the contract is a continuation of more than twenty years of work of the company experts on the German market, which was created in cooperation with German companies such as Mettenmeier, SPIE SAG and others.

The process of digitization and updating is relatively time-consuming, as it involves digitization, optical and topological control of the drawing, including the filling of attributes of individual network elements. Follow-up work is for example creating various types of schemas and overview maps.

For these purposes HRDLIČKA has a specialized department in Pilsen, focusing only on the digitization and updating of documentation. All team members have undergone demanding training in workflow (rules, methodology, terminology…), network representation (clarity, accuracy, level of detail…), software management (architecture, approaches, tools…).

The digitization and update is fully implemented in ArcGIS 10.2.1 with InnoGIS (Innogy trading platform created over ArcGIS Enterprise) and ArcFM UT, which is a specialized software package for creating, managing and maintaining geodata of any type of distribution network. AED-SICAD’s ArcFM UT software can be easily integrated into existing IT systems for power companies thanks to extensive support for a wide range of database systems, standard development environments and software technologies.

The work of specialists consists in the fact that in selected regions and districts they record and draw into the existing technical documentation the individual real-world survey of utilities, in the case of Westnetz it is electricity and gas. These can be connections to houses, reconstruction of underground and overhead power lines, pipeline routes, but also replacement of transformer stations.

Westnetz has a very sophisticated system for establishing and monitoring the development of individual DSPS documents coupled with double inspection. First of all, HRDLIČKA staff checks the submitted documentation and subsequently checks their work also at Westnetz. Thanks to this double check, there is nowhere to be any difference between reality and digital recording.

The extensive contract that HRDLIČKA has won will be completed by the end of 2021. The project could help open the German market – there are a large number of utilities on its territory due to the size of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Author: Mgr. Lukáš Opat and Marie Běželová