Electric utilities recognize the importance of data quality because good data provides them with the ability to efficiently perform planning and analysis and outage management. So, what can you do to validate your electric network data? You can start with the list below and begin reviewing your geometric network to validate the connectivity of edges and junctions. This will help ensure you do not encounter problems when running a trace on your network.
I’ve identified the top business rules that need to be validated and corrected before moving on to any advanced data validation.
1. Devices that self-overlap (e.g. switch overlaps switch): When there are devices on top of one another only one of those devices actually participates in the geometric network; the other one is disconnected. This can affect tracing results. The Duplicate Geometry check in Data Reviewer can be used to validate if devices self-overlap. Here’s how the check can be configured for this purpose.
2. Devices on top of other devices (e.g. fuses on top of transformers): The Geometry on Geometry check can be used to find devices that overlap with other devices. The screenshots below illustrate how to configure this check.
3. Device must split conductors (e.g. switches must split the connected primary lines): You can ensure that devices split conductors by defining geometric network rules. If you don’t have them defined, Data Reviewer’s Valency check helps validate this business rule.
4. Phase of device does not match phase of connected conductors (e.g. transformer phase does not match the phase of the connected primary overhead lines): Again, the Geometry on Geometry check is flexible and can be configured to validate this business rule.
5. Conductor lines must not self-intersect and not self-overlap (e.g. Overhead Primary line self-intersects (zigzag)): Before building your geometric network, you can build a temporary topology to check for lines that self-intersect and self-overlap. The Topology Rules check in Data Reviewer then allows you to validate the features in a topology based on the rules that have been defined.
6. Conductor line must not overlap other conductor lines (e.g. Overhead Primary must not overlap Underground Primary): Again, using the temporary topology, you can check for lines that overlap other conductor lines. The Topology Rules check in Data Reviewer allows you to validate the features in a topology based on the rules that have been defined.
7. Invalid network loops (e.g. primary and secondary lines connected without a transformer device): The Composite check in Data Reviewer allows you to run checks on your data based on multiple conditions such as features that have relationships with two or more feature classes. Remember, if you create separate checks for each condition they may not necessarily return the results you need.
A simple example of such a business rule would be finding service points that are not connected to primary or secondary lines. This can be built using the Composite check. Another business rule that is a bit more advanced would be finding network junctions that intersect primary lines and secondary lines that have missing devices. This will give intersections without any device connected, most likely without a transformer, and those are probable areas of invalid loops.
Click on the animated graphic below to view configuration details for the Composite check.
8. Junctions and Edges violate the geometric network connectivity rules (e.g. overhead transformer is connected to more than three primary lines): Connectivity rules are probably one of the most overlooked network validations. Network connectivity rules constrain the type of network features that may be connected to one another and the number of features of a particular type that can be connected to features of another type. By establishing these rules, along with others such as attribute domains, you can maintain the integrity of network data in your geodatabase. The screenshot below shows the connectivity rule configured to ensure an overhead transformer cannot connect to more than three primary lines.
The Connectivity Rules check in Data Reviewer searches for network features that violate the connectivity rules defined in your geodatabase.
9. Conductor Lines must not have Dangles (e.g. Primary lines with nodes not connected to other conductor lines): Some line dangles are valid, especially when there is an open point at the end, but others might not be. Again, upon building the temporary topology, you can use the Find Dangles check to search for dangling nodes that fall within a specified tolerance of other features. This then uses database topology to find polyline features whose nodes are within a tolerance of but not connected to other features in the database topology.
This is just the beginning of what you can do with the Data Reviewer checks to validate your electric network data. There are more than 40 out-of-the-box checks that you can configure – most of them quite useful for validating network data. Consider exploring these different checks and get creative about how you can use them within your organization. Remember to record any invalid features in the Reviewer table so you can manage and track them through the correction and verification processes.
Content contributed by Marcelo Marques