Knowledge Base

How do I prevent contours from bleeding into the ocean (or other regions on the diagram)?

Use stack levels.  Create a filled, solid object in the background stack level to provide a boundary for the contour.

PowerWorld diagrams have four different stack levels: top, middle, background and base.  Objects in higher stack levels have display priority when multiple objects fall in the same location on a diagram.  That is, if two display objects overlap or occupy the same location on a diagram, the object in the higher stack level will be the one that is displayed in the overlap region.  This occurs because when the diagrams are drawn on the screen, the base stack level is drawn first, followed by contours, then background, middle, and finally top.

The top and middle levels contain objects associated with the power system data (such as breakers, pie charts, buses, generators, etc…)  Borders default to the background stack level.  Contours appear between the background and base levels.  Borders are typically visible on contoured diagrams because their default stack level (background) is drawn after the contour is drawn.  If a border object is assigned to the base stack level, then it will be hidden by contouring.

Create a solid (closed) drawing object, apply a fill color, then assign it to the Background stack level.

  • To do this using existing PowerWorld library borders, split and merge the borders to create a single object comprising the boundary of the area from which you wish to exclude the contour.  Click here for information on splitting and merging borders.  (Note:  the object must be a closed object in order to apply a fill color.  You will have to add additional line segments after merging the desired borders to accomplish this.)
  • Select the newly created object by left-clicking on the object.
  • Select Format >> Line/Fill from the main menu then specify the desired fill color. (Note:  You must specify a fill color in order to hide the contour)
  • Click the Levels/Layers tab on the Format dialog then select Background for the Stack Level option.
  • Finally, since the newly created object was created from existing borders, it is assigned to the “Borders” layer.  You may wish to reassign these objects to a new layer to make your diagrams easier to handle.  On the Levels/Layers tab of the Format dialog, click the Add New button in the Layers Section.  Enter a name for the new layer (such as “Contour Boundary”) in the Add New Layer dialog, then click OK.
  • Click OK on the Format dialog to close the dialog and apply your changes.

Final note:  If you wish to have a contour fully contained within a region, you will have to create a non-filled solid object inside of a filled, background level object – rather like the hole in a washer.  The contour will be visible in the non-filled portion, but hidden by the filled portion

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July 3, 2012