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Esri Utility Network -
Can You Trace by Phase?

In my previous post, I covered how the Esri Utility Network provides us standard electric tracing functionality, like upstream, downstream, and protective device tracing. In response to that article, several readers asked whether or not they can trace by phase in the Utility Network.

The answer is, yes you can, through configuration. Trace by phase is critical to utilities, as all our customers today maintain trace by phase as a key attribute in their geometric networks.

Configuring Trace by Phase in the Utility Network

Per Esri, phase is not explicitly included in the Utility Network. However, Esri has provided a powerful configuration engine within the Utility Network that lets us achieve this. 

This engine allows us to configure attributes including phase within our data model. We can then use this attribute as a "network attribute."

This "network attribute" is a special attribute, indexed within the network topology and then able to be utilized in our tracing and analysis.

To demonstrate how to configure trace by phase, I have first configured a "NormalPhases" attribute. We'll use this attribute as a network attribute in the electric domain Utility Network.

With our NormalPhases attribute, I can now filter any of the aforementioned traces, like downstream or upstream.

For more on how to perform electric tracing in the Utility Network, check out my article from last month.

As I've done similarly in my past demonstrations, here I have wrapped the out-of-the-box Esri geoprocessing trace tasks with pre-configured input parameters, including the type of trace and specific phase we want to trace. This was accomplished using ModelBuilder within ArcGIS Pro.

To demonstrate the concept of trace by phase, I first created my own data. This data included a three-phase (ABC) trunk, three single phase taps (A, B, and C) and a three-phase overhead transformer. You can see these in the image below, to help visualize how the phase can be split by these devices:

Utility Network Phased Data trace by phase

In the above image, I even created a case where the three-phase line splits into individual, single-phase conductors — A, B, and C — before rejoining again as an ABC three-phase conductor. You can see it up close here: 

Utility Network Phase Split

And now, to test our tracing!

Downstream Trace by Phase in the Utility Network

My first trace was an A-phase trace that went from the breaker in the substation on the far left to the bottom, three-phase transformer.

As you can see from the screenshot, this traced correctly and highlighted in neon blue: You can see the phase-A tap/transformer, the single phase-A lines, and only the phase-A transformer feed on the bottom three-phase transformer:

Utility Network Trace by Phase A trace by phase

So far, so good!

Upstream Trace by Phase in the Utility Network

The next trace is an upstream phase-C trace from the phase-C service point on the bottom of the sample data:

Utility Network Upstream Trace by Phase C trace by phase

This trace also operates as expected. See it following the upstream phase-C connectivity back to the substation — but excluding the single phase-C tap that is not on the path to the substation.

While seemingly simple and straightforward, this is the first time Esri has provided this functionality directly within the core ArcGIS product. Doing so will enable us to manage our electric connectivity correctly using all out-of-the-box tools. That's pretty neat! 

Want to see more? Here is a quick video of the trace by phase using the Utility Network in ArcGIS Pro:

Want to try this yourself? Team up with SSP via our Esri Utility Network Jumpstart to get up and running on the beta version of Utility Network as soon as it's released!

Author Information

  • Skye Perry

    Skye Perry

    Skye Perry is a Principal Consultant for SSP Innovations and has provided technical architecture, development, and management solutions for GIS-centered implementations since 2000. Skye's roots tie back to Convergent Group, Miner & Miner, and Enspiria Solutions where he has focused on implementing Esri GIS customizations and system integrations. Today Skye is still involved on a number of SSP's project implementations and supports technical marketing in addition to leading the company.

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