New Interactive Display Wall To Enhance Nodak Service

Steve Breidenbach,
Engineering Manager

Nodak Electric Cooperative is continuously looking for ways to better serve our members. That’s why we have replaced our outdated dispatch mapping display with a new, innovative and interactive live wall system.

Nodak has always used some form of mapping display in its everyday work. These maps show future project zones, crew locations and storm outage areas. For many years, the information had been displayed on a large paper map taped together on a metal backing. Magnets were used to indicate crew locations and Post-it notes identified the positions of downed poles or other line issues. Nodak recognizes that technology is constantly changing and improving, and the cooperative chose to be proactive and forward-thinking when choosing the next stage of this important resource.

Old paper mapping system

By researching and monitoring dispatch control centers around the country, the team discovered what was available to best fit the needs of the cooperative and benefit the membership. The new 9-by-20-foot live wall is made up of 16 ultra-thin LED display panels. The system allows dispatch to quickly assess an outage and dispatch crews while providing up-to-date information about the outage situation. In addition, the system will monitor the entire grid in real time.

Safety is top priority. Nodak’s goal was to design a system to accommodate its Outage Management System (OMS) and Automated Vehicle Locating (AVL) system. The OMS helps predict outage areas and highlights outage areas on a map. The AVL system applies the location of each vehicle. The live wall system allows Nodak to display both of those programs on the same map with the ability to add electronic notes, which are displayed graphically.

New interactive digital display

For efficient maintenance, Nodak developed apps for the line crews to use in the field through their iPads. Crews receive information for outages, maintenance, pole inspections and repairs. When changing out equipment in the field, new and accurate information is sent with a push of a button and the information is automatically updated for dispatch.