Apex town campus

Improving Productivity and Decreasing Cost in Electric Utility System Software

McGill Presents Recommendations to the Town of Apex

The Town of Apex uses Milsoft’s WindMil software to model, monitor, and analyze its electric utility system, which interfaces with its geographic information system (GIS). Utilization of the software involves importing organized data representing the various elements of its electric distribution system, including transformers, fuses, overhead and underground conductors, and customers. Apex’s electrical model contained more than 58,000 elements, with each element named and assigned a value to represent the various characteristics of the element, such as voltage, phase configurations, relationships to other elements.

The Challenge – Productivity and Cost

Apex was experiencing errors when opening new models in WindMil. When this occurred, Town staff had to resolve errors before effective model analysis could take place, causing a reduction in productivity and increasing cost. To help utilize this software more efficiently and effectively, Apex desired to construct commonly used items for its database, including a library of items that it would designate as standard items. McGill was hired to evaluate the current dataset being imported into the WindMil software and provide recommendations to correct errors and coordinate those changes with the Town’s GIS vendor.

The Solution – Improving Functionality

The McGill team made or recommended various improvements to the model, base data, and analysis procedures for the improved functionality and efficient use of the WindMil software to model the Town’s electric utility system. First, McGill created a general equipment database for Apex and recommended the Town update the database to include or remove equipment, as necessary, and instructed the Town on how to link all new WindMil models to the general equipment database. Additionally, McGill worked with the Town’s GIS provider to make the following changes to its .std file:

  • Mitigating missing parent errors
  • Changing phase errors to be mitigated through additional data fields
  • Adding additional data fields for the missing switch partner errors
  • Correcting data causing errors related to capacitor bank voltages
Wes fleming electrical engineering associate
Wes Fleming, Electrical Engineering Associate
Wes Fleming, Engineering Associate at McGill, explained:
“A reliable electric utility model makes all the difference when performing load flow, voltage drop, and fault current analysis. When an operator needs to locate a fault, update storm response plans, or simply plan for future growth, a reliable model improves efficiency and produces trusted results.”

McGill’s electrical engineering program excels at designing innovative, sustainable approaches to all power needs. Offering a full range of electrical engineering services, we focus on delivering plans that provide cost-effective strategies for long-term use. To schedule a time to meet with a member of our electrical team, give us a call at 844.448.4333 or send us an email at info@mcgillassociates.com. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and assisting with your electrical needs.

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