In the first post of the series we talked about why having good information and data is critical for an accurate power system study. If you haven’t read that one yet, stop reading an check out Data Collection for Power System Studies and then head back here. This article will talk about the planning process of getting all this critical information together, and the last post of the series will be cataloging what information is required for specific devices, equipment, etc.
How to get it
The data required as outline is a lot to swallow in one go, however at your facility and elsewhere most of this information is can likely be found on existing drawings, cable schedules, operations/maintenance manuals, lockout tagout procedures, maintenance databases, relay testing reports, etc. the first step after knowing what is needed, is to start brainstorming where this information can be found already, and then verifying the accuracy of this information.
In the content library we have developed data gathering sheets that you can use to help organize your thoughts, and start filling out this information.
Use existing information
Existing data from old reports, single line diagrams
Have a central location/database to put all the information
It is important to have a central location for all this data, the data sheets in the SparkyResource library is one way, a equipment database, or spreadsheets all work. If you are completing the study in house, adding the information directly in the model is another great way. ETAP and other modeling software have methods to track the validity of the equipment information, or you can circle and note in the model where the information is complete, or what is missing.
Plan out how you are going to get it
Plan it out, have a digital camera to keep track of everything that you look at. I like to take a picture of the equipment number label, and then the nameplate. There is a column in our data collection sheets where you can add the image numbers to keep track of them later.
If you are consultant going to a site to gather data, make sure that you or your site contact coordinates with maintenance, and have someone from that department go around the site with you. They typically know the site and the equipment better than anyone else.
When you have a grasp on the information that you need, and what is missing, a plan can be put together to start gathering the rest of it in the field. Gathering data on live equipment can be a risky procedure, and be sure to consult your facilities electrical safety program on the best method to start. If your facility doesn’t have an electrical safety program in place, and the power system study is supposed to help with the development of it, then working in an de-energized state is the most prudent way to go.
Take note of the current status of all switches, breakers etc. before you get in there, this is important to determine the “normal” operating situation for the model.
Get out into the field.
This can make it difficult to gather the information and open MCC buckets, etc, however it doesn’t have to be all gathered at one time. Plan around existing outage and maintenance schedules to gather the information while the equipment is down already. If there is an unscheduled outage, before the equipment is re-energized consult with the operator to wait until the data is gathered, coordinate with the various teams in the field to gather the data in a piecemeal way as they are going about hteir normal work.
Make sure everyone is safe and not taking unnecessary risks
If you are using outside resources, they may have their own safety program in place, and be able to help expedite the process. It is very important to remember that opening equipment to develop a safety program is not the best way to get the information. If at all possible de-energize. It will take 5min or so per bucket. A scheduled shutdown will never take as long as one that is un-scheduled, especially if it causes an fault or arc flash event. That equipment will be unavailable longer, not to mention the possible injury to workers.
The quality of the infromation that you are gathering is critical to the development of the model. This is something we talked about in the first post of this series Data Collection For Power Series
“the results from the power system model are only as good as the data that is used to create it”
This is also talked about in the EasyPower Webinar – Garbage in Garbage Out. It is useful to check this out before starting the actual collection process.
The last post in the series we will be talking about what is the data that you need to start putting together. It is important to hang around and check out that post. Be sure to be kept up on the posts by following us on Twitter and like our page on Facebook. And if you liked this article be sure to share with the buttons below and sign up for our newsletter (the form is below) where you will get these posts in your inbox and special offers.