Braunschweiger Netz GmbH (BS|NETZ) is not only locally responsible for thousands of kilometers of electricity, gas, district heating and water networks, associated equipment and their further development. Its engineering team also helps other network operators in the German-speaking area in taking their plant documentation to a new level digitally. After all, substations and smaller switching stations are usually decades old, with the data about them often being far from the as-built status – a showstopper for the grid expansion urgently needed for the energy transition.
BS|NETZ is developing its own engineering and third-party orders with AUCOTEC's data-centric Engineering Base (EB) platform. The main reason is EB's ability to build and maintain a consistent, central data model that also complies with international standards across disciplines, from primary technology, i.e. large appliances in the field, to the last terminal in the control cabinet as well as automation.
From documents to data
Michael Wedde, Group Manager "Digital Plant" at BS|NETZ: "In the past, it was all about pure documentation work – the most digital thing was PDFs. With EB, we map our substations in the digital world in an object-oriented way. This creates a digital twin that makes it possible to link the same objects in different disciplines and systems such as 2D and 3D engineering or ERP. "We only carry out changes at one point, but one which can be reached from all discipline-specific sides. This one 'source of truth' saves an incredible amount of coordination and corrections. Double entries and transmission errors are a thing of the past," says Wedde.
With his team, he has already planned distribution stations for all voltage levels, but also the control technology of the gas and water network facilities. "EB offers us the best perspective, also for future requirements," says the digital expert. Many functions would be "not feasible with classic CAE systems". For example, EBs QA tools, whose automated checks and comparisons significantly accelerate engineering despite the increasing flow of data.
Added value increased
It is no wonder therefore that other operators are also using this know-how to accelerate their network expansion. "Many of the customer's challenges coincide with ours, which creates trust," says the group leader. For example, the expertise in creating structured catalog devices that fit seamlessly into the plant model, as well as in setting up typical projects, which provide highly efficient reusability with the help of EB's Typical Manager, has met with a great response. "However, we are open to all contract work surrounding EB," emphasizes Michael Wedde and adds: "We really appreciate being able to increase the added value of EB and our team even more in this way.“