AVEVA PDMS model of the Andasol 3 plant. Image courtesy of Flagsol GmbH. While the designers work on their assigned tasks in special modules, the overall design is always visible to them. PDMS takes the results of the designers' work to set up a comprehensive plant database which can be used to automatically generate all layout and detail drawings, BOMs (MTO data) and isometrics. Based on pipe catalogues and technical specifications in the piping module, a detailed model of all piping systems can be produced. The piping model can then be used to generate assembly drawings, isometrics and BOMs. A key advantage is the ability to manage all phases of pipeline planning and integrate them into PDMS, from the rough routing of lines at project start, to basic and detailed designs and the specification of pipeline elements for manufacturing.At Andasol, a total of 1,300 pipelines were designed, measuring in all between 40 and 50 kilometres, together with supports and cabling with a total length of 30 kilometres. Thanks to shared component data and the reuse of design data in new projects, the processing effort is greatly reduced and design times are shortened. 'We have a high degree of repetition, for instance, several hundred pipelines which are generally identical but are located in different places. PDMS generates the BOMs for us, thus saving a lot of work,' says Daniel Müllenborn. Altogether, the Andasol 3 project comprised several thousands of pipeline components that had to be planned, managed and documented. Pipe supports can be planned using PDMS Piping and AVEVA Multi-Discipline Supports. AVEVA Pipe Stress Interface enables the efficient transfer of piping design to third-party stress analysis software.What is more, PDMS provides special functions for the basic and detailed design of steel and concrete constructions. For instance, the Beams and Columns function defines and maintains a fully connected nodal network of structural sections, including all joint and fitting details. Simple regular structures are created in one single step. The nodal network is coupled with the ability to define loads in the model. Finally, slabs of any shape, floors, ceilings and matching fittings can be defined and managed.A consistent approachPDMS has no limits in terms of project size or complexity. 'PDMS is very attractive to us, as all the data is in one single location, a large common database,' Daniel Müllenborn explains. Various interfaces are provided for analysis systems, design systems and third-party design applications. Many data exchange formats are supported, including DXF, DGN, SDNF and CSV. In the light of international project work, the standard interface, STEP, is becoming increasingly important.All drawings are generated directly from the PDMS database. Labels and dimension labels in the drawings are also generated straight from the database, to ensure that the documents match the design. When re-generating drawings, the latest design changes are automatically taken into consideration. Thanks to the automatic highlighting function, any modifications to earlier design versions are easily identified.Daniel Müllenborn is particularly impressed with the reliability of PDMS. He says, 'It is obvious that someone thought it through before they started programming.' Unusually, the system uses its own programming language, which offers a clear benefit in day-to-day operations. 'Every action suggested by PDMS is highly transparent and comprehensible,' states Daniel Müllenborn. He goes on to mention another benefit, 'The software can therefore be very easily customised to suit my requirements, so we enjoy maximum flexibility.'Safe cable routingSince spring 2010, Flagsol has been using the Cable Design tool, which was only developed recently. Its use offers significant benefits. Where cable routings used to be designed manually based on drawings, the optimal routing is now suggested by Cable Design. The software takes into account the ambient conditions and the type of cable, for example, power or signal cable. A positive additional benefit is that, where the cable lengths required were previously estimated and therefore generously dimensioned, today, just the right length can be identified right from the start. This leads to a significant reduction in waste.22AVEVA World Magazine 2011|Issue 2
PerspectiveFlagsol, now using several PDMS licences, is very pleased with the solution from AVEVA. 'The good thing about PDMS is that AVEVA is truly committed to safeguarding their customers' investment. If new elements are required, they will be provided in new modules,' adds Daniel Müllenborn. An example is the Stairs and Ladders module used to design platforms, stairs, staircases, ladders and similar elements. The modules feature a modern user interface, yet integrate seamlessly with PDMS.Right now, construction work on Andasol 3 is going ahead at full speed, and 2011 will see the commissioning of the third parabolic trough power plant in Spain. Meanwhile, planning for the next major project has already started. The planned solar thermal power plant in Extremadura, Spain, due to start operating in 2013, will be about the same size as Andasol. Once again, Flagsol will be relying on PDMS.Flagsol GmbH supplies the technology, and is a general contractor, for parabolic trough power plants. Solar Millennium AG (74.9%) and Ferrostaal AG (25.1%) have pooled their competencies in this joint venture in order to develop and build these large solar power plants. In Spain, Solar Millennium has developed Europe's first parabolic trough power plants, working in cooperation with partners. Parabolic trough power plants use the only technology for utilising solar energy in large power plants to have been commercially proven over many years; these plants have been commercially successful in California since 1985. The core element is the solar array with its reflectors. It consists of parabolic mirrors made from extremely transparent silver-coated glass. These concentrate the incident sunlight by a factor of 80 onto an absorber tube located in the collector's focal line. In the absorber tube, temperature-resistant synthetic oil is circulated as a heat-carrying medium in a closed circuit. After being heated to up to 400°C, the oil is routed to heat exchangers in a centrally located power generating unit. The downstream process is the same as for the steam circuit in conventional power plants: the steam generated in the heat exchanger drives a steam turbine with a current generator. The three Andasol power plants in southern Spain deliver 50MW of power each. Together they supply up to 600,000 people with eco-friendly electricity obtained from the sun.AVEVA World Magazine 2011|Issue 223 Photograph courtesy of Solar Millennium AG / Paul Langrock.'The good thing about PDMS is that AVEVA is truly committed to safeguarding their customers' investment. If new elements are required, they will be provided in new modules...'