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Smart maps streamline distribution design

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3 Author(s)
T. Rajakanthan ; Univ. of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa ; A. S. Meyer ; B. Dwolatzky

The need for low-cost electrification to uplift the living standards of the community is a major concern in developing countries. In South Africa, the majority of the population is without electricity and, in many instances, lives in informal settlements. Major strides are underway to supply electricity to these people in a short period of time. Designing low-cost and effective electrification schemes manually requires skilled manpower and is time consuming. The more time that is spent on achieving the most cost-effective design the higher the design costs. To address this problem, a research group at the University of Witwatersrand is developing an integrated set of software tools called Automated Software for Electrical Distribution (ASED). For manual computer-based distribution design, a township map in the form of a CAD file must be available at the start of the project. However, any tool aimed at automated facilities design requires an “intelligent” map, which implies a nongraphic database linked to the CAD file. The database provides appropriate information about the features represented on the map. An intelligent map enables the optimization software to perceive features on a map in the same way as a human would perceive them. Creating an intelligent map manually would be a time consuming task, defeating the purpose of the time saved by the optimization routines. This article provides an overview of ASED with focus on the module for rapidly creating an intelligent map from CAD, GIS, hardcopy, or aerial photographic sources

Published in:

IEEE Computer Applications in Power  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 1 )