Northern Gas Networks to implement digital twin for distribution network

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Northern Gas Networks is to model its gas distribution networks with a digital twin as part of its digitalisation drive.

The migration to the ArcGIS Utility Network platform is to be delivered by global geospatial software and solutions company 1Spatial and its developer Esri UK.

ArcGIS Utility Network requires a change in the underlying data model from the current geometric model to the Utility Network model, which allows utilities to create true digital twins of their network.

Northern Gas Networks is the first utility organisation in the UK to embark on this transformation of its geospatial data. The company will be able to view, analyse and edit their digital twin with high fidelity.

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Features such as connectivity and tracing will be delivered out of the box, as well as other functionality that has previously proved challenging for utilities.

“At Northern Gas Networks we’re working hard to harness the power of digitalisation to make better use of our data and operate even more efficiently, which allows us to pass on the wider benefits to our customers,” says Matthew Little, Director of Innovation, Improvement and Information.

“As well as helping to run our network, projects like this play a vital role in modernising our data and ultimately in preparing us for the transition to a net zero economy.”

The project includes delivering a Utility Network design and architecture, conducting a comprehensive data quality audit and data cleanse and enhancement to ensure the data is fit for the new model.

The 12-month project will be delivered in distinct phases, with a synchronisation mechanism allowing Northern Gas Networks to ‘Go Live’ with each business application only when the business is ready. The iterative migration will include the configuration and refactoring of NGN’s existing business applications to be compatible with the new data model.

Northern Gas Networks supplies gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North of England.

Esri Inc has committed to long-term development and support for the ArcGIS Utility Network.