Efficient engineering

21 November 2016

Long term user of EPLAN’s CAE software, energy company ESB International is reaping the benefits of the tool including the ability to develop standardised design templates

ESBI invests in, builds, owns and operates power assets internationally and in Ireland

ESB International (ESBI) is a major player in the global energy sector. Since its establishment in Dublin 40 years ago, it has completed projects in 120 countries and has delivered energy systems all around the world. It currently has strategic operation and maintenance contracts totalling over 2,800MW.

Back in 1999, ESBI realised it needed a new CAE package to better suit its growing requirements especially with all the additional reports and documentation it was generating due to increased work. The company invited tenders from several suppliers and following an evaluation it selected EPLAN.

At present, ESBI has 37 software licences of EPLAN Electric P8, an electrical engineering design software program, with the main application being for the secondary system design of transmission and distribution substations, operating anywhere between 10kV and 400kV.

“One of the main benefits of using EPLAN is that it allows ESBI to develop standardised design templates for various aspects of the substations,” says Tony Ward, EPLAN’s strategic account manager. “Not only does this save engineering time, as it isn’t necessary to ‘reinvent the wheel’ for each substation, it also means that the substations incorporate the same design elements.”

ESBI relies on EPLAN Electric P8 for its electrical documentations

Standard templates

Jan Bednařík, specialist for the control and protection systems in the substation design section at ESBI, adds, “As a company who operates across the world with 750 staff, standardisation and simplification are necessary so we can produce engineering to the quality standard ESBI demands everywhere we operate.

“In our team, we use EPLAN to make standard templates for other designers to use. We find this to be an excellent way of working and it has served us well over the years.

Another important benefit we get from the EPLAN software is that it generates documentation at the push of a button, eliminating the risk of costly errors.”

Standardised design templates can be developed for various aspects of the substations

Tailoring the tool

To further tailor the software to meet ESBI’s needs, EPLAN created an interface that integrates with the company’s Meridian Document Management System.

This special interface allows documentation generated by the EPLAN software to be transferred directly into the document management system, which enables better and faster communication between departments, as well as enhanced traceability and simpler archiving.

With a support contract with EPLAN, ESBI’s engineers also benefit from 24/7 access to EPLAN’ technical helpdesk, automatic updates to the latest versions of the software, and access to the EPLAN Data Portal. “It’s good to know the support is there when it’s needed and that we do not have to budget separately to pay for upgrades,” continues Bednařík.

“We have, without doubt, benefitted greatly from our long collaboration with EPLAN. We are probably the most experienced EPLAN user in the power sector, and it shows in our bottom line.”

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