Use Cases

In previous sections it was explained how to create a new project and set up its initial configuration.

For more information, please check Pathfinder projects and Adding Data.

Every project created may vary according to the following factors:

  1. The client segment: a distribution system operator (DSO), a Transmission System Operator (TSO), energy companies, utilities, etc.

  2. The linear infrastructure type: overhead lines, underground cables, or a combination of these two, called hybrid planning, tunneling, etc.

And for each type of project, GIS data must be collected and classified under the following categories, for instance:


In the following sections, some use cases representative of real situations are presented, using different combinations of client and infrastructure types, specific types of data required for each project, resistance value settings to define planning rules, as well as the restrictions and settings of each scenario.

Transmission System Operator: High Voltage Overhead Line (HV-OH)

A TSO is in general a public company in charge of managing and monitoring the transmission of electricity from large generation plants over the high voltage grid to regional or local electricity distribution operators. In these large-scale infrastructure projects, usually overhead lines are the main technology used and the route lengths can be up to hundreds of kilometres.

To plan and design new routes, engineers and planners must consider multiple land features which have an impact on the routing process depending on their suitability of being crossed by infrastructure. These elements are represented by spatial data, or geodata, to which resistance values are assigned.

Below some land features typically considered in a project for an OH line project of a TSO: the classification of “high”, “mid” and “low” correspond typically to the resistance of those elements to be crossed by HV power lines or, conversely, the impact that HV power lines have on such elements.

  • It is forbidden to build powerlines close to urban areas, settlements or heritage areas, as the impact of constructing towers near those areas will be high. Therefore, a high resistance value is applied to these elements.

  • On the other hand, large linear infrastructure that can be included in Mobility and Transport (e.g. highways, railways) can be used to bundle power lines with existing infrastructure, so the resistance values of these layers will be lower or set in a way that the algorithm interprets them as preferred corridors to exploit.

High Voltage Overhead line project (HV-OH): scenario settings

Project Area

In Pathfinder, users can define the project area, the spatial resolution of the raster used to discretize it, the start and end points of the route. The points can be changed in each scenario if users wish to try different alternative start and end points. For more detail, check the section Project area, resolution and points.

It is possible to add Intermediate Points to force a route to go through certain relevant locations. In HV OH lines projects, intermediate points are usually used to spot substations that must be crossed or any other mandatory crossing point.


Planning principals

a) Project Data: Once the project area is set up, spatial data layers need to be added, assigned to different categories and classified as mentioned above. Also read more here: Base Datasets and Project Layers. The table below shows examples of spatial layers used in HV-OH projects and their typical categories.


b) Layer Settings:

Once the data layer are imported into categories, then buffer rings and resistance values can be applied to layers. For this task, check the section Configuring the Layers.

  • Buffer rings: In HV-OH projects, large buffer rings around buildings and urban areas are usually applied.


  • Resistance Values: depending on the relative importance of each data layer, resistance values are assigned to prevent or favour the route passing through different layers. Forbidden resistance value can be also applied in order to prevent a route to cross a specific layer:


c) Additional settings:

  • Bundling : We create buffer rings around the infrastructure we want the route to bundle with. The first buffer ring, corresponding to the lanes of the infrastructure for example will have a very high resistance value and the second buffer ring will have a very low resistance value.


d) Length optimization:

Route length is an important cost factor, so Pathfinder provides different ways to reduce it. See the section on length optimization.

In the image below, we use the length optimization factor with a value of 0.8 (red path) and 0.0 (blue path).


Disclaimer: the scenarios depicted in this manual do not represent actual customer projects or infrastructure proposals, and are presented for demonstration purposes only.

For more help, please use the help chat in the application, or contact Gilytics.