By NOEL ONOJA
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has engaged an international information communication technology firm, Penuel Consulting for the management and monitoring of transmission lines around the country through the use of modern ICT tools.
Speaking at a forum in Abuja, the General Manager, Design and Construction, TCN, Mr. Mike Ezebinna, said the project was necessary in helping to check and monitor transmission lines efficiently, nationwide. “Bringing ITC to bear in managing transmission lines and power, you can sit in the office and monitor what is happening on the transmission lines, and make it faster to address issues of tower collapses.
It is very important to have the right software, it’s very important to have the data that you can use as a reference on the lines, and it makes decision making easier for you and at the end of the day, things are done faster and more efficiently because of technology system ravaging will improve.
“When you have the coordinates of each tower in the soft form, if there is a collapse you don’t need to go far, you can call it on your computer, it makes it easier for you to clear, repair or replace any damage, it is a database collection, what we are trying to do today is to find out how we can use that data,” Mike added.
Also responding, the Principal, Penuel Consulting, Mr Timmy Fadiora, told newsmen that the essence of the project between the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN and TCN is the first in Nigeria, and adding that the essence is to be able to conduct area mapping of the entire transmission lines in Nigeria and their sub stations.
He explained, “It is not just to do the area mapping, but to actually get the geo-reference, the exact location of each of those lines and their sub-stations, and the importance of it is that it is going to help the TCN to identify areas of energy losses on the lines, because when you say you generate 4000 Megawatts, MW, by the time you transmit that and distribute that to the users there will be losses in the lines, so if you know the locations and the terrain of the area it will actually help in checking these energy losses.”
“It also helps in securing the right of way is cases of encroachments, and there are two types- vegetation encroachment and building encroachment. But the one we have done will be able to identify the exact location of those encroachments and be able to mitigate those encroachments, as these encroachments bother on safety issues and reliability of the lines. Most of the power cut that we have is caused by vegetation encroachment.
With the area that we have collected for TCN, they know they exact location of those vegetation encroachments, hence they can send people there to cut down the encroachment. Another thing is the building encroachment where you have buildings very close to the transmission lines that is very dangerous when you have power line fall on those areas people living there can easily be electrocuted, so TCN have to put in a mitigation to take away those structures and enforce their right against the right of way encroachment all over the country.
“It will also help in the optimisation of the lines; they can use it to do the planning of the new lines and the post planning for existing lines. They can do a terrain modeling; they can do surface modeling because they know the exact area where you have water bodies, hills and the area terrain generally. They will know the terrain of the area from the office before deploying staffs to the field.
“And also it will help in asset management; they will know exactly how often they’re changing their conductors, what type of conductor they are changing and how they can manage their assets and inventory properly for them to quickly respond to power shortages. The essence is to help them have a quick turnaround to deploy staff for corrections because they know the exact position.
“The recommendation we are making to TCN is how they can benefit from this project, because your transmission and distribution have to match with the generation. The cost of the project is around $3 million over the next two years because we have to deploy our equipments and aircraft from the US,” Fadiora said.