Industry: Utilities
Miluo Western 220kV Substation
Product: OpenBuildings Designer, ContextCapture, LumenRT, MicroStation, Navigator, OpenBridge, OpenPlant, ProjectWise, Promis.e, ProSteel, ProStructures, Bentley Raceway and Cable Management, STAAD, Bentley Substation, SYNCRHO
Country: China

Digitization of 275/33kV Gas insulated Switchgear Substation at Sibiyu Sarawak
Product: OpenBuildings Designer, MicroStation, Navigator, ProjectWise, Promis.e, Bentley Raceway and Cable Management, Bentley Substation
Country: Malaysia

October 21, 2019

Adopting Digital Twins for Substations Help Large Utilities Improve Design Performance

Electric utilities are leveraging digital twins to manage substations over their lifecycles and are empowering multidiscipline teams to collaborate with other stakeholders. As a result, they are gaining accuracy in their modeling, streamlining design and construction, and increasing safety and reliability. To illustrate, here is how China-based POWERCHINA Hubei Electric Engineering Co., Ltd. and Southeast Asia-based Pestech are going digital in their substation design.

POWERCHINA Hubei was the lead designer on the Miluo Western 220-kilovolt substation project, which began operating in May. The substation will significantly improve the grid structure in the state of Miluo and enhance the reliability of power supplied to 150,000 residents. POWERCHINA Hubei adopted digital twins on this project to improve construction coordination and were able to deliver it 30 days ahead of schedule, saving CNY 1.5 million.

The landscape surrounding this site is complex, with large residential houses that affect the layout of the substation facility. The compressed area meant that the spatial location of each asset type – underground works, the building structure and facilities, hydraulic pipeline networks, cable trench, and ground grid – required close collaboration among the contributing disciplines. With only 10 months to complete construction, the team had to also closely coordinate with each participating construction organization to complete the project safely and on time.

To plan the project, POWERCHINA Hubei used ContextCapture to create the digital context. The inclusion of landscape, vegetation, rivers and lakes, roads, and houses surrounding the project location helped to support substation site planning and selection, as well as corridor planning. Moreover, the team optimized design and collaboration using Bentley Substation and OpenBuildings to address the challenges of the compact urban location.

POWERCHINA Hubei used SYNCHRO for 4D construction sequencing and to organize and share construction information, visualize and track progress, and manage change. At completion, the team provided 3D models to the owner to build virtual reality scenes to enhance operations and maintenance. POWERCHINA Hubei completedthe project within nine months, one month ahead of schedule.

“The pilot program implemented standards during construction that helped to improve design quality,” said Wei Wang, executive assistant, senior engineering, POWERCHINA Hubei Electric Engineering Co., Ltd. “The program set a great example for using digital twins to support future state grid projects.”

PESTECH, an integrated Malaysian electric utility providing power transmission infrastructure and assets, power generation, rail electrification, and power products and embedded system software, used digital twins for the design and delivery of a 275/33kV Gas insulated switchgear substation at Sibiyu Sarawak. The project, expected to be complete in January 2021, consists of supplying, erecting, and commissioning two 120 MVA 132/33-kilovolt transformer bays, four 132-kilovolt overhead line bays, one bus coupler bay, and a 33-kilovolt switchgear with ancillary equipment.

Using Bentley’s open modeling applications enabled the team to increase productivity significantly and to keep pace with refurbishment and expansion. The multidiscipline team used Bentley Substation and Promis.e to support primary and secondary design and Bentley Raceway and Cable Management to design the cable ladders, trays, underground trenches, and cabling routes. The team also used OpenBuildings Designer for the control building design, which was then referenced in the substation model.

PESTECH leveraged digital twins to deliver its integrated switchgear substation design 50% faster, saving RM 175,000 on the project, primarily from reduced labor costs. Automated construction deliverables produced directly from the intelligent substation model reduced the time and cost of producing and updating construction drawings, bills of material, wire list reports, wire label reports, and cost estimates. 

“Bentley Substation offers an unmatched, streamlined, intelligent modeling approach to substation design,” said Afiq Rosli, design engineer with Pestech. “Unlike CAD-centric designs, Bentley Substation’s intelligent modeling maximizes design automation to dramatically reduce manual drafting, errors, and rework. The result is the ability to produce design drawings up to 50% faster.”

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Bentley Public Relations

Christine Byrne
Media Relations Senior Manager

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