Use of the CIM framework for data management in maintenance of electricity distribution networks

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Aging infrastructure and personnel, combined with stricter financial constraints has put maintenance, or more popular Asset Management, at the top of the agenda for most power utilities. At the same time the industry reports that this area is not properly supported by information systems. Today’s power utilities have very comprehensive and complex portfolios of information systems that serve many different purposes. A common problem in such heterogeneous system architectures is data management, e.g. data in the systems do not represent the true status of the equipment in the power grid or several sources of data are contradictory. The research presented in this thesis concerns how this industrial problem can be better understood and approached by novel use of the ontology standardized in the Common Information Model defined in IEC standards 61970 & 61968.The theoretical framework for the research is that of data management using ontology based frameworks. This notion is not new, but is receiving renewed attention due to emerging technologies, e.g. Service Oriented Architectures, that support implementation of such ontological frameworks. The work presented is empirical in nature and takes its origin in the ontology available in the Common Information Model. The scope of the research is the applicability of the CIM ontology, not as it was intended i.e. in systems integration, but for analysis of business processes, legacy systems and data. The work has involved significant interaction with power distribution utilities in Sweden, in order to validate the framework developed around the CIM ontology. Results from the research have been published continuously, this thesis consists of an introduction and summary and papers describing the main contribution of the work.The main contribution of the work presented in this thesis is the validation of the proposition to use the CIM ontology as a basis for analysis existing legacy systems. By using the data models defined in the standards and combining them with established modeling techniques we propose a framework for information system management. The framework is appropriate for analyzing data quality problems related to power systems maintenance at power distribution utilities. As part of validating the results, the proposed framework has been applied in a case study involving medium voltage overhead line inspection. In addition to the main contribution, a classification of the state of the practice system support for power system maintenance at utilities has been created. Second, the work includes an analysis and classification of how high performance Wide Area communication technologies can be used to improve power system maintenance including improving data quality.