Pacific Gas and Electric’s (PG&E’s) Substation Engineering Services department is responsible for more than 1,000 substations throughout a service territory that spans two-thirds of California. The department undertook a USD 2.5 million initiative to accelerate substation design, improve quality and accuracy, and reduce engineering and construction costs by integrating intelligent 3D and 2D design.
Bentley Substation replaced error-prone manual processes with the use of 3D symbols linked to an integrated database of components. The 3D model allows different views of the design to be quickly accurately created. The software also uses device families to help design schematic components without the repetitive, manual drafting of symbols, text, and device tables.
A basic substation site layout now takes a half day instead of three days to complete. Bills of materials are generated in minutes instead of up to 30 hours. Nearly error-free schematics are generated in one-third the time. By gaining 40% efficiency during design, PG&E expects total annual savings of USD 5.7 million, with a return on investment in less than two years.
Bentley’s extensive training programs helped the Engineering Services department become proficient on Bentley Substation quickly. With Bentley Substation, PG&E can collect and capture the knowledge of experienced subject matter experts and store that knowledge in project databases. A comprehensive design library was compiled by converting vendor PDFs from 2D objects into 3D symbols. More than 2,000 intelligent substation parts have been added to the catalogs.