On the advantages of using ZuluGIS in the practice of Gazprom Gazoraspredelenie Vologda AO

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3 February 2022

On the advantages of using ZuluGIS in the practice of Gazprom Gazoraspredelenie Vologda AO

The article from the monthly scientific and technical industry magazine Gas Industry №10 822|2021

Gazprom Gazoraspredelenie Vologda AO (Vologda, Russia),
Kochnev S. V.,
[email protected]

Gazprom Gazoraspredelenie Vologda AO
Kudryavcev D.A.,
[email protected]

Gazprom Gazoraspredelenie Vologda AO has implemented and is using the ZuluGIS geographic information system, in which the entire network of existing gas pipelines and those under construction is displayed on an interactive map. Currently, the company's efforts are focused, among other things, on following the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly regarding the expansion of gas services to households to the boundaries of land plots. The interactive map is actively used to visualize and keep records of streets and settlements that are included in the gas infrastructure development program.

In the practices of Gazprom Gazoraspredelenie Vologda AO (hereinafter referred to as the Company), the software product developed by Politerm LLC has been used as a geographic information system (GIS) since 2014. The software is included in the Unified Register of Russian Software and Databases. At the moment, the Company uses the following software systems:

  • ZuluServer 8.0 for 150 workstations;
  • ZuluGaz, which includes: diameter calculations and simulation modeling of low, medium, and high-pressure gas pipelines; calculations of natural gas volume after accidental release; calculations of gas network operating time with a disconnected source;
  • ZuluServer 8.0 GIS web services.

At the moment, all gas distribution networks and the assets they are comprised of have been digitized in ZuluGIS in accordance with the industry standard STO Gazprom Gas Distribution 12.2.2-1-2013 «Graphic representation of assets of gas distribution networks and related utilities» [1]; a unified hydraulic model has been created for them.

The ability to perform the hydraulic analysis of high, medium and low-pressure networks in one go makes it possible to save the labor costs of specialists. At the same time, greater attention is required from editors when updating the created model. When considering each application for installation of gas services, the Company carries out the verification analysis to assess the impact of gas usage by households scheduled for connection on the hydraulic operating conditions of gas networks in operation. Three methods are used for this purpose: those described in STO Gazprom Gas Distribution 12.2.2-1–2013 «Working with data. Determining flow rate, calculating spare capacity of gas pipelines» and SP 42-101-2003 [2] «General provisions on the design and construction of gas distribution systems made of metal and polyethylene pipes» [3], as well as based on the adjustment of gas temperature. As a result, we can get data on all the required characteristics (for example, gas pressure, density, flow rate) at any arbitrary point in the gas distribution network, add thematic color-coding by flow rate or gas pressure to the map for visual assessment, and build a pressure drop graph.

The calculation module allows us to find the nearest shut-off device for any section of the network, analyze the switching of these devices and the impact of such switchovers on the gas offtake by consumers. It is possible to simulate emergencies with automatic search for shut-off devices that need to be closed, identification of disconnected consumers, and calculation of operational parameters: gas flow rate due to accidental emissions, gas flow rate for purging gas pipelines, filling them, and setting up gas equipment.

The Company has implemented GIS-based topographic sheets of emergency dispatch services that are displayed on a single map with quick search enabled visually as well as by their number. The information is updated in real time when the map is updated (i.e. when adding a new consumer, you do not need to edit topographic sheets separately). If necessary, it is possible to print topographic sheets using the pre-configured layouts. Dispatchers can quickly create a visualization of a 50-meter area and intersections with adjacent utilities on the map, and display any required information about the gas network.

In addition, the Company has developed cathodic protection circuits. It is possible to quickly search for cathodic protection units, display information about them, and visually represent protection zones.

In early 2019, all process flow diagrams of the gas distribution network were transferred from AutoCAD to ZuluGIS. The latter makes it possible to display assets in compliance with the principle of orthogonality to meet the requirements [1]. The Company has implemented the linking of assets of the process flow diagram with the main map. This allows us to track them on the diagram and reduces the time spent on filling in semantic data during updating. When necessary, the process flow diagrams are exported to CAD format.

The GIS used makes it possible to link graphic and semantic data that the Company has at its disposal. For example, the Company uses data from the 1C software suite "1С: TU GRO" technical management for gas distribution organizations; implemented to log customer requests and manage business processes). It allows us to track changes in the status of a prospective consumer on the map during the entire business process of connecting to a gas distribution network, from determining the connection point and issuing technical specifications to feeding gas into the system for the first time. Data from the "1С: TOiR"software (maintenance, repair, and operations; used for creating technical datasheets for networks) makes it possible to receive information about technical specifications of the gas network, equipment of gas pressure regulator stations, shut-off devices, gas pipeline facilities, and so on, on the map. The "1С: AIS RNG + VDGO GRO" software (automated information system for gas metering and billing, domestic gas equipment for gas distribution organizations; used for keeping customer/gas consumer accounts and clearing payments) allows us to get information about contracts (contract accounts), customers, quantity and brands of equipment, gas feed dates and the latest maintenance of domestic gas equipment.

The display of photographs and diagrams has been implemented for gas pressure regulator stations. The maps are connected to open data from the automated information system "Reforma GKH", (Housing and Utilities Reform) that is supported by the Housing and Utilities Reform Fund and that combines the available information on the characteristics of the houses in use. This provides access to information about the utility operating company that services the building, the material used for its structural system and the type of structural flooring, the date of its construction and the number of floors, and so on. This data united by the GIS framework and shell makes it possible to use a single query to receive information from various databases for any gas network asset or building, including one not supplied with gas, provided that it was previously added to the GIS and there is information on it in any connected system (for example, Reforma GKH). It is also possible to do the opposite – using any information in the database, you can move to the location on the map, highlight pipelines based on assets they are comprised of, or buildings by attributes (for example, only disabled valves or provided technical specifications), values in the database (for example, consumers with gas usage of less than 5 m3/h or houses without gas boilers).

Requests to databases connected to GIS can be automated and systematized using SQL queries and macros. This will enable handling large data arrays with a single click: create data slices and update information (for example, receive subtotals on diameters, lengths, and location of gas pipelines with insufficient pressure; automatically fill in the internal diameters and roughness coefficients for pipelines of newly drawn networks). It is possible to execute SQL queries or run macros by location (for example, specifying data only for one locality), group (for example, only from one gas pressure regulator station), intersection with other layers (for example, identifying gas pressure regulator stations that are located in the flood zone, taking into account the display of this zone in another layer). The results can be displayed on the map, shown as text in the program window, or saved to a separate file (for example, in Microsoft Excel) for further work. Together, all these features make it possible to complete virtually any task of analyzing a gas network and its parameters, recording any significant information, and monitoring the entry of data into GIS by editors.

In the future, the Company considers implementing the following GIS functionalities:

  • mobile technologies (inventorying utility network assets on-site, filling in tables, various forms, questionnaires, and cards; monitoring the performance and the current location of employees of gas distribution companies; detecting utility network failures and accidents, describing accidents and work performed);
  • monitoring telemetry systems using ZuluOPC;
  • digitizing the archive of as-built and technical documentation;
  • building a digital elevation model and aligning it with a hydraulic model of a gas distribution network;
  • monitoring vehicles of emergency dispatch services;
  • integrating ZuluGIS and 1С software (for example, opening data from one program in another);
  • creating an automated metering system for gas transported to end industrial consumers.

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