• POWERCHINA Hubei Electric Engineering Corporation Limited

    Cha'anling-Xiaojiazhou 220-kV Electric Transmission Line Project

    Xianning, Hubei, China

Project Summary


The Cha’anling-Xiaojiazhou 220-kilovolt transmission line will connect the Cha’anling substation with the newly built Xiaojiazhou substation, improving the structure of the power grid in the Xianning District of Hubei, China. Spanning a densely populated urban area amid complex terrain, the line also needs to cross two highways, limiting the line route. POWERCHINA Hubei Electric Engineering Corporation Limited (HEEC) needed integrated 3D modeling technology to implement a comprehensive digital design strategy to optimize design of the CNY 33.2 million project.


HEEC used unmanned aerial vehicles and ContextCapture to capture more than 3,000 images of the 5.5-square-kilometer project area and generate reality meshes for the four areas routing the transmission line. The project team used OpenBuildings™ Designer and MicroStation® for 3D modeling of the towers, electric power fittings, and insulator strings. HEEC imported the models into STAAD for stress analysis under extreme weather conditions to ensure optimal conductivity. Integrating ProjectWise and Navigator provided the connected data environment (CDE) necessary to coordinate the multiple engineering disciplines.


Bentley’s integrated 3D BIM and reality modeling solution optimized design, reducing the total length of the transmission line by 500 meters, the average tower weight by 1.2 percent, and the total project costs by CNY 6.2 million. Reality modeling was instrumental to HEEC avoiding demolition of six houses and reducing the environmental impact. Working in a CDE using Bentley’s interoperable applications optimized multidiscipline collaboration to save 75 resource days.


Using aerial drones and ContextCapture to generate reality meshes of the four areas routing the transmission line reduced field survey workload by approximately 15 resource days and saved two days of field review time. OpenBuildings Designer and STAAD reduced the amount of steel needed and the width of the new tower by 0.7 meters compared to the old towers. ProjectWise and Navigator optimized design coordination, enabling insulator strings designed by electrical engineers and the tower designed by structural engineers to be integrated for verification of electrical distances. The interoperability of Bentley software allowed HEEC to import the models into a third-party GIS platform to complete auxiliary design work. 

Project Playbook: OpenBuildings Designer, Bentley Substation, ContextCapture, LumenRT, MicroStation, Navigator, ProjectWise, STAAD 

  • HEEC leveraged Bentley BIM and reality modeling applications to optimize design and modeling of the Cha'anling-Xiaojiazhou 220-kilovolt electric transmission line in Hubei, China.
  • Working in a collaborative 3D digital environment reduced design time by 12 percent and verification time by 16 percent.
  • Using OpenBuildings Designer and STAAD to design the new substation tower reduced the average weight of the tower by 1.2 percent compared to the old tower.
  • Bentley’s integrated digital design solution allowed HEEC to overcome complex site challenges, avoiding demolition of six houses and minimizing impact to the surrounding environment.
  • “Construction of this project will improve the power grid structure in the Cha’anling area and enhance power consumption quality for 350,000 customers in Jaiyu county.”

    Liang Zhang Engineer POWERCHINA Hubei Electric Engineering Corporation Limited
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