Sidwawa Substation

Zutari uses intelligent 3D modelling to upgrade the Sidwawa Substation, Eastern Cape, South Africa

In 2015, Zutari was tasked with removing old equipment from the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality’s Sidwawa substation and installing new, upscaled equipment to increase the reliability of sustainable electricity supply to customers and improve the capacity of the substation. The footprint of the equipment was not compatible with the changes made to the legislation regarding fire risks and equipment safety.

The proximity of the oil-filled equipment to the other high-voltage equipment posed a high risk of fire damage to all equipment in the event of an oil spill, however, the construction of firewalls presented an electrical clearance risk for the overhead lines due to the required height of the firewalls.

Zutari used innovative, intelligent 3D modelling to create process documents that give more detail on direct distances from the structures to the overhead lines. The 3D model was a realistic visual aid in adjusting the layout of the equipment to compensate for inadequate electrical clearances. The 3D images allowed the equipment arrangements to be changed around until the standards on electrical clearances were met, and it mitigated and limited risks to an oil spill.

Significant gains in productivity were also achieved from the intelligent data links that were embedded in the equipment properties and 3D modelling helped to overcome the prevalent challenges when working in confined spaces and safety zones. Engineers could minimise safety risks within the visual model before any potential damages occurred.

Zutari was named as a 2015 South African Innovation Awards finalist by MyWorld of Tomorrow, in partnership with Business Connexion and Business Day, for the project. To qualify for the award, companies were required to showcase how their project or solution has a positive impact on the environment, how it positively affects the business and its people, and how the innovation used increases efficiency and reduces costs.

Engineers could minimise safety risks within the visual model before any potential damages occurred.

*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.
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