Breaking the rules brings about progress
Just over a month after the idea had been presented to the R&D team, a small group of experts were able to tackle a simplified representation of the Swiss extra-high-voltage grid. The group included a Senior Application Specialist who, as a former operator in Grid Operations, is very familiar with the conditions in the extra-high-voltage grid and undertook further training in visualization technology, as well as a qualified machine draughtsman who now works as a Digital Media Manager and has an excellent grasp of design software.
Together, they clearly visualised the entire grid to enable a better and more intuitive orientation for the specialists in the grid control room. This required some of the rules to be abandoned. For instance, the topography of Switzerland was not precisely represented. In the new representation, the lines run only horizontally, vertically or at a 45° angle. Line intersections were eliminated wherever possible, densely packed areas expanded and better use was made of areas with fewer lines. In addition, line symmetries were established, and the course of line rings was made clearer.
Another rule that the expert team broke was the colour of the 380 kV lines. These lines had previously always been red. Red is a signal colour and is no longer used when the grid is in its normal state in the new representation. This naturally makes it possible to expand the range of signal colours, with yellow and orange for example. Irregularities in the grid can now be divided into clear priority levels that can be easily identified by operators in the grid control room.