Published on 09-Jul-2009
Hydro-Québec is an integrated electrical company that generates, transports and distributes almost all the electricity consumed in Québec. With more than 23,000 employees, its generating fleet comprises 56 hydroelectric generating stations, a nuclear generating station, four conventional thermal generating stations and a wind farm, representing a total installed capacity of 35.5 GW. It is one of the largest renewable energy producers in North America.
Hydro-Québec needed to perform a refurbishing feasibility study on its Manic-3 generating station and evaluate the cost and time it would take to perform the project.
Hydro-Québec used CATIA and DELMIA to virtually represent the plant and equipment, and to simulate the dismantling, moving and reassembly of equipment inside the plant.
The study reduced project time by 200 weeks and saved CAN$50M, thanks to Hydro-Québec’s ability to perform simulations virtually.
Hydro-Québec shortens refurbishing schedule by more than three years with PLM solutions from IBM and Dassault Systèmes
A leader in hydropower
Hydro-Québec is an integrated electrical company that generates, transports and distributes almost all the
electricity consumed in Québec. With more than 23,000 employees and a single shareholder (the Québec government), its generating fleet comprises 56 hydroelectric generating stations, a nuclear generating station, four conventional thermal generating stations and a wind farm, representing a total installed capacity of 35.5 GW. Over 96 percent of the power it generates is hydroelectric, making it one of the largest
renewable energy producers in North America. Hydro-Québec continually focuses on its three main
priorities: energy efficiency, complementary development of hydroelectricity and wind power (the two major renewable energy sources in Québec), and technological innovation. Additionally, the company manages a number of rehabilitation projects and rigorous programs of periodic maintenance designed to optimize existing plant output and efficiency.
Manic-3 refurbishing project
Many of the Hydro-Québec plants have been in operation for many years. Refurbishing these plants is necessary to reduce operation costs, extend plant life and optimize the energy output levels. Replacing outdated equipment and making repairs takes time and requires that a plant be taken off-line during the refurbishment. To optimize this process, Hydro‑Québec decided to perform a refurbishing feasibility study on its Manic-3 generating station in a 3D virtual environment using PLM solutions from IBM and Dassault Systèmes. In this way, it could outline all the necessary project steps, foresee eventual problems and optimize each refurbishing phase before even embarking on the actual renovation.
Hydro-Québec engineers had the original drawings of the Manic-3 dating back 30 to 40 years. However,
improvements and repairs made to the station over the years were not necessarily documented in these original drawings. The difficulty with the refurbishing project was that no up-to-date documented view of the plant existed, Hydro-Quebec had to start from their initial 2D drawings. The first phase of the study involved updating the powerplant drawings of Manic-3. Laser scanning was used to scan the physical plant and in only two days, a complete updated view of the interior was generated that engineers used to compare with the original drawings to see where modifications had been made. The result was a realistic 3D model of the plant’s interior on which to base simulations.
CATIA for virtual design and DELMIA for virtual simulation For the next phase of the study, engineers used CATIA to create a virtual model of the station and all the equipment it contained. They then used DELMIA to simulate the different refurbishing tasks. The types of analysis simulated during the refurbishing study were disassembling, moving and reassembling equipment. This required strict scheduling and the necessity to ensure the safety of the employees. The flow of tasks and their sequence had to be planned because of the limited space available. Engineers simulated the disassembly of the alternator removing its cover, removing all fixed and moving parts including the rotor and looking for the best place to set down the different parts. With DELMIA, interferences were clearly visible in a virtual simulation on screen. This helped engineers adjust the trajectory of the movement of every part and avoided encountering such issues in a real situation. Each piece of equipment is a complex assembly of different parts that can weigh up to hundreds of tons. Thanks to DELMIA, engineers were able to simulate each movement with a precision of a couple of centimeters, which is exceptional for equipment of this size.
Savings of 200 weeks and CAN$50M
The refurbishing study took six weeks to accomplish with 2 resources and IBM PLM Lab Services, from the scanning phase all the way to simulation with DELMIA. Hydro-Québec removed 200 weeks from its initial planning and confirmed the real advantage in using a tool like DELMIA to optimize study projects. As a result, Hydro-Québec plans to deploy similar virtual simulations on other refurbishing projects.
Building on a solid relationship for the future IBM PLM Lab Services has a longstanding partnership with
Hydro-Québec, a 3D leader in the Energy sector, since late 2003 providing consulting, training and project management. To further leverage the current adoption of IBM’s PLM Solutions, Hydro-Québec plans to extend this partnership to all steps of its projects, from design and engineering to construction. The Hydro-Québec Estimation Team has already started using DELMIA to calculate concrete volume estimation and to
optimize the sequences of concrete placement.