$ 170.00

Primary Technology CAE System for
CAD Design of High-Voltage Switchgear

primtech is the CAE system for use with primary technology for the design, construction, documentation and management of switchgear (substations).

High-voltage equipment, subsidiary constructions, cable ducts, cables, pipes, terminals on to roads and fences – these are all simply selected from a comprehensive, extensible library, and placed, as intelligent 3-D-objects, on a voltage-dependent grid.

The primtech evaluation functions and the automatic generation of CAD drawings relieves the designer of routine tasks, and helps to avoid expensive, time-consuming errors.

Benchmark tests have shown that primtech users are more than 15 times faster in some phases of the design of a switchgear project than when other, conventional CAD software tools for designing substations are used.

Users all round the world are enthusiastic about the functionality, which has grown over years and which offers project managers the quick overview they need to make the right decisions.


Product Data Model

A high-voltage switchgear is saved in primtech as an integrated product data model, consisting of detailed 3-D geometry and of metadata. In accordance with the single-source principle, each item of information is present precisely once. Connectors are available for product-specific data relating to the substation displayed in the CAD system – the SAP/R3 connector, for example.

PLM – Product Lifecycle Management

primtech offers comprehensive support throughout the entire life-cycle of an installation, from the approvals planning stage, through the preparations for implementation and on to full operation and additions to the existing plant. Design variants can be managed and evaluated.

Project and Model Management for Transformer Stations in Primary Technology

Substation switchgear

All the data relating to substation equipment that is required during the entire life-cycle is managed in the primtech project management system.


Project data is saved on the server in the checked-in area. Models are copied for editing into the local checked-out area, and are locked on the server against editing by other users. It is possible to see which models are checked out for editing by which users at any time.

Concurrent Engineering

Simultaneous editing of the CAD project files for a substation is optimally supported through the representation of the equipment structure and through the CheckIn/Out technology.

Replication, Distributed Sites

If it is not possible to maintain the data on a central server, primtech offers replication mechanisms for distributed systems. You can therefore carry out design work on a substation at different times around the world.

User Management

The user management system permits highly granular rights assignment. Unauthorized access to your data is thus prevented.


Each project associated with high-voltage switchgear is stored in the database with features such as its location, snow depth or voltage level. In this way you can obtain a quick overview of the design solutions applied to similar switchgear at any time. You can simply copy, cut and repeatedly insert fields that are identical or needed repeatedly.

Plant Standards

Through the primary technology plant standards area you are able to manage standard fields or fully typified partial equipment for reuse. This means that you can very simply apply your standards for high-voltage switchgear as a basis for design when planning new installations.

Substation switchgear

Large Installations

primtech manages the CAD data for the whole of your substation in a single structure of individual files under the control of the database. Handling this data is therefore transparent and extremely simple at all times. Even very large installations can therefore be worked on with high efficiency.

Database Technology

The core is a high-performance Oracle or MS-SQL server database that manages and interlinks all the information securely.

CAD Component Library for High-Voltage Switchgear

The component library manages component data and CAD models, and makes intelligent assembly functions available for design work in the CAD system.

High-Voltage Library Elements

primtech contains about 2000 symbols specifically for the design of high-voltage substations. This includes components such as:

  • Power switches
  • Transformers
  • Isolators
  • Insulators, chains
  • High-voltage cables
  • High-voltage pipes
  • Earthing components
  • Foundations
  • Steel construction
  • Clamps

The library can be freely extended.Component Library of primtech

Components With and Without Geometry

Both graphical and non-graphical component information can be saved. Terminals are described by, for instance, the type of connection, type of outlet or by manufacturer information, and may be added simply as a data record and not as a geometry. Components such as power switches, insulators or steel construction elements are saved as geometries together with a data record.

Components from Outside/Company Identification

The company that created the symbol is saved along with every library component. Changes to a symbol can only be carried out by the company that created it. In this way the consistency of the data and the geometries is always ensured, even when exchanging data with other companies.

Connecting Points

Components saved in the library have connecting points by means of which the components are assembled together. Intelligent snap functions mean that positioning components of a high-voltage switchgear in the 3-D CAD system is very easy.

3D view of primtech modeling

ERP Coupling

By coupling the library to your ERP system (e.g. SAP) you can optimize the consistency of your processes. A standardized XML interface allows the material data to be kept consistent at all times between the CAD and ERP systems.

Detailing Levels / Alternative Representations

Multiple geometries can be saved for each library component, and it is possible to swap between these at any time during editing. You can, for instance, display different switched conditions of your equipment at the push of the button, or you can work with simple geometries during design work and switch over to more detailed geometries prior to preparing a drawing.


The component library is based on an Oracle or MS-SQL database, ensuring optimum performance even when the quantity of data is very large.

CAD Functions for the Planning and Design of Substations

primtech is based on the use of AutoCAD, the worldwide standard for CAD design and for the exchange of CAD data, as its graphic editor. In addition to the specialized primtech CAD functions and primtech CAD objects, practically all AutoCAD functions are also available. Intelligent primtech-AutoCAD objects, developed specifically for the switchgear sector, make the design of a substation extremely easy with primtech.

Field Grids

Field grids, saved in the system according to voltage, serve as positioning aids for electrical equipment, and ensure that the distances between individual devices are not less than the voltage-dependent minimum clearances.

Cable/Pipe Connections

Cable and pipe connections can be put together under the guidance of a dialog, and automatically generated in the 3-D model. In addition to the cable, cable connections also include chains, springs and terminals, and the sag can be specified. Particular support is given to the three-phase design of an installation.

3D view of cable/pipe connections

Cable Ducts

primtech supports the generation both of cast and of segmented cable ducts. Both the length and the volume of the cable ducts are available to assist the assessment of parts lists.

Earth Cable Network

Earth cable networks can easily be generated and assessed, including all their components such as terminals, earth cables, earthing details and so on.


Convenient functions allow roads and paths, including crossings, to be generated quickly. The creation of fences with mesh wire or rigid fence segments is also supported. This can all be evaluated for your parts list.

Substation switchgear

Lightning Protection

The lightning protection tool generates surface objects in AutoCAD, and these are screened against lightning stroke by the relevant lightning protection equipment. This allows both lightning protector rods and cables to be investigated.

Steel construction

Steel construction tool is supported by a comprehensive 3-D library including components such as steel lattice towers or supporting constructions for bus bars. A comprehensive library of profiles is also available, with which you can generate fully customized steel girders.


The saved materials, and the consistent 3-D design of a switchgear installation, allows you to see a photo-realistic representation quickly and easily.

Item Numbers

You can assign the item numbers individually, or assign them for an entire drawing with a single command.

Lightning Protection Calculation

primtech features a powerful lightning protection calculation implementing conventional lightning protection calculation methods. Using lightning protection rods and wires as lightning arresters, it visually illustrates the required results in form of the lightning protection volumes and areas.

The Calculation Method

primtech supports lightning calculations according to the DIN VDE 0101 Standard as well as the rolling-sphere method derived from IEC 62305-1 Standard. In the rolling-sphere method, all 4 protection classes can be calculated also using spheres of various radii.

Optimal Support in the Engineering

Due to the rapid calculation of the 3-D protection volumes – which is spanned by the lightning protection facility – primtech ideally supports the engineering process for High Voltage Switchgear. It enables the quick calculation of different lightning protection classes or the variation of lightning arresters (e.g. adjusting height of rods) which can then both be easily visually compared and evaluated

  Lightning protection area

Lightning protection area using rolling sphere method but of an insufficient lightning protection class.

Rods and Wires

The primtech lightning protection calculation can accommodate lightning protection rods and wires as lightning arresters. The protection calculation of large complete substations, such as the 21-bay substation below with 46 lightning rods, is just as feasible as the combined calculation of lightning arresters comprising of rods and wires.

Lightning protection area
Lightning protection area spanned by lightning protection wires and complemented by lightning protection rods

Exporting the Protected Areas

3-D lightning protection volumes are inappropriate for illustrating the protected zones in plans. To this end, primtech shows protected areas horizontally at the heights to be protected and vertically along sectional planes of your choice.

CAD-Plan showing the horizontal lightning protected areaCAD-Plan showing the horizontal lightning protected area

CAD-Plan showing the vertical lightning protected areaCAD-Plan showing the vertical lightning protected area

Development of High Voltage Substations

The lightning protection calculation is designed and optimized for Air Insulated Substations (Switchyard). This allows for rapid and consistent protection calculations even for large substations (see the 21-bay Switchyard below). Furthermore, the protection calculations can be applied to buildings, illustrated by the example below of a Gas Insulated Substation (GIS).

Air Insulated Substation21-bay Air Insulated Substation (AIS) with 3-D lightning protection area

GIS-Building with 3-D protection areaGIS-Building with 3-D protection area

Clearance Calculation in Air Insulated Substations

The construction of Air Insulated Substations (AIS) entails special requirements for the maintenance of minimum distances between the different phases in live parts as well as between live and earthed/grounded parts. There are further requirements for the clearance between live parts and surrounding fences or vehicles driving through the substation. All relevant clearances in high voltage substations can be calculated easily and quickly using primtech.

Clearance Calculation

Air Insulated Substation 3D model with the 3 phases colored in red, green and blue

Intelligent 3D Substation Model

In order to calculate clearances in a substation according to IEC 60071-2, there are two fundamental prerequisites that have to be fulfilled:
a) A 3D CAD-model of the substation.
b) Information about each geometry – specifying if it is a live or earthed/grounded part, an insulator or a special object e.g. fence or street.
Both requirements are completely fulfilled by primtech.

Clearance CalculationTop view diagram of live phases in an Air Insulated Substation

The Phase Checker

On the basis of the intelligent primtech 3D-models, the Phase Checker classifies all geometries into the following:

  • live parts
  • earth parts
  • insulators
  • fences
  • streets

All live parts are then classified, through automatic phase tracking, into phase 1, 2 or 3. As a side note, you can also use the phase checker to see if all electrical conductors are correctly connected.


Clearance Calculation

All the required minimum distances throughout the whole substation can now be automatically determined based on the 3D model processed by the Phase Checker. The parts of the substation to be checked for sufficient clearance by be chosen individually and flexibly. primtech then visually highlight the areas which do not fulfill the minimum distance requirements to each other. The following clearances can be calculates:

Clearance Calculation

Warning for insufficient Phase to Earth (left) and Phase to Fence (right) clearance

  • Phase to Phase
  • Phase to Earth
  • Phases to Streets
  • Phases to Fences
  • Phases to Ground Level
  • Insulators to Ground Level

Clearance Calculation

Insufficient Phase to Phase clearance

Clash Detection

In addition to the clearance calculation, primtech can check the 3D model for collisions.

primtech - Sag Calculation

The primtech sag calculation tool calculates the temperature dependent forces – sag table for flexible conductor and conductor bundles. It also outputs an installation table.

primtech � Sag Calculation

Additional Loads

Additional points of interest, e.g. above streets, can be set freely (as table columns). Strings and connected conductors are detected as additional loads and only need to be specified. Additional loads e.g. weights or pantograph contacts can be set freely along the bundles.

Weather Conditions

Mass dependent, temperature dependent forces and additional loads – caused by the weather e.g. wind, ice as well as wind on ice – can be taken into consideration in the sag calculation.

primtech � Sag Calculation

The weather conditions can be set in primtech quickly and easily for both the whole substation, as well as the parts of the substation. Since all the available values are read directly from the primtech information model and the conductor connections are grouped automatically, the need for you to input parameters is reduced to a minimum.

Sag Table

This table contains the calculated temperature dependent sag values for the desired points on the wire and loads as well as the respective occurring conductor tensile forces. The table further displays horizontal and vertical forces on the anchor points.

Installation Table

The installation table, which is needed for the installation of the conductor, is also created by primtech. In the installation table, additional loads are not taken into consideration so that the installer can read the respective sag or tensile forces depending on the temperature.

Excel Output

The results and tables are displayed quickly and clearly after each calculation. You can then output the results to an Excel table.

Scenario Calculations

primtech supports the comparison of several scenarios, e.g. for different conductor specifications, in order to optimize the design of the substation. This can be done by just copying an already defined scenario and adjusting the relevant values so as to compare the calculation results.

primtech - Short-Circuit Current - Calculation of Effects

The primtech tool – short-circuit current – calculation of effects (according to IEC 60865-1:2011) – calculates the forces resulting from given short circuit currents. The forces calculated are short-circuit tensile forces, drop forces and additionally occurring pinch forces in conductor bundles, as well as the resulting forces and bending stress in tubes (for rigid conductors). Additionally, the conductor displacement caused by swing-out and the resulting minimum distance (minimum air clearance) are output.

primtech � Short-Circuit Current - Calculation of Effects

Sag Optimization

Optionally primtech can carry out sag optimization. The optimum sag is determined in combination with the calculation of short-circuit current effects and sag calculation, where the lowest max forces occur.

Integrated Calculation

The tool – short-circuit current effects calculation – is integrated in primtech. It allows the evaluation and optimization of the design at any time during the whole substation planning process. To determine the anticipated costs for the budget planning or concepts planning, the first calculations in concept design can be carried out e.g. for the rough dimensioning of substructure or foundations. It is just as easy to determine the impacts of design changes on the tensile forces.

primtech � Short-Circuit Current - Calculation of Effects

Output in Excel

The results of the calculation can be output to an Excel table.

Interim Results

In order to make the calculations transparent, the input parameters, as well as the relevant interim results, are also output to Excel table.

What if…

Scenarios where diverse “what if…” conditions are investigated, can be carried out in primtech. This assists you during the final checks and in design optimization and well as error prevention, as with all primtech checks.

CAD Plans of your High-Voltage Switchgear

At the Push of a Button

primtech supports the convenient creation of any 2-D/3-D views or sections. The documentation for your switchgear is created almost automatically, at the push of a button.

Types of Plan

The types of plan that you want to derive from your high-voltage switchgear design can be configured freely. The most important are already stored in primtech.

  • Outline
  • ISO view
  • Layout plan
  • Site plan
  • Earthing plan
  • Terminal plan
  • Plan of foundation positions
  • Lightning Protection
  • Application plan
  • Lighting plan
  • ….

CAD/3D view of high-voltage switchgear

Always Consistent

A drawing is always referenced to the 3-D CAD switchgear installation model. If anything in your substation changes, then all the plans that reference it also change.
The data in your plans is always consistent!

Transparency in Project Management

Even without AutoCAD you can get an overview of all the drawings that have been generated, since the project management system can display all the drawings associated with your project, even without CAD support.

Title Blocks

Title blocks are managed by primtech, and are automatically filled with the data relevant to the project management, and their consistency is maintained. Consistent changes of entries across all the drawings of a project, or the integration of customer’s title blocks, can both easily be done.

2D Export

The integrated 2-D export tool allows derivations of the drawings to be exported into high-quality 2-D AutoCAD files. These files contain blocks with 2-D symbols; component information can also be stored with these in the form of AutoCAD attributes. These files can then, in turn, be exported again to any other external system, e.g. as DGN files for MicroStation, or as 2-D DXF files.

Automated PDF Generation

PDF files can also be generated automatically over an entire model.

Evaluating High-Voltage Switchgears

primtech’s evaluation model, which is integrated into the project management system, provides numbers, data and facts at the press of a button. In addition to a variety of calculation results, primtech supplies configurable parts lists in various formats.

Quantified BOM

You require neither CAD knowledge nor an AutoCAD workplace to prepare a quantified bill of materials. The full functionality is provided by the project management system.

The quantified BOM can be evaluated either over the project as a whole, or just over parts of your open-air switchgear. It can be used, for instance, to prepare a terminal list, or, if modifications are planned, to evaluate a newly designed part of the plant.

As well as the number of parts, primtech makes the volume (e.g. volume of concrete), the length (e.g. the length of cable or pipe) and the area (e.g. area to be painted) available for evaluation. Bills of material can be output either as Excel files or as MS Access databases.

Itemized BOM

The itemized bill of material is implemented by primtech through a BOM manager. This makes it possible to maintain consistent parts numbers across multiple files, and therefore for the entire switchgear installation. Automatic assignment of item numbers within the CAD drawing is also possible, as is the specification of number ranges for different types of component.

3D view of switchgears

Company-Specific Evaluations

Due to the database-oriented system architecture of primtech, a large number of evaluations of the prepared switchgear are possible. Company-specific evaluations can be integrated at any time.

CAD / CAE Data Exchange for High-Voltage Switchgear

Data exchange plays a crucial role in the planning and design process. primtech offers functions for all common scenarios.


Because primtech uses AutoCAD, the standard DWG and DXF data formats are available for data exchange. Since the AutoCAD 2008 version, the MicroStation DGN format has also been supported.

Native 2-D Export

Your customers often only require 2-D drawings of a switchgear that is modelled in 3-D. primtech provides a tool for converting 3-D switchgear designs into a native, structured AutoCAD 2-D file for exactly this purpose.

3D view of high-voltage siwtchgears

Native 3-D Export

3-D export generates a native 3-D AutoCAD model out of primtech. Xref structures are resolved, and company-specific component information is removed. The 3-D model of your high-voltage switchgear is created in an export folder.

Export and Reimport of Plant Models

You can export a complete plant model, together with all the geometrical and meta-data. The exported model can be imported by another primtech user, and contains all the data required for further processing. After your switchgear has been modified externally, the model can be imported back into your primtech installation without difficulty.


primtech also offers comprehensive functions for fast, automated creation of your drawings in PDF and TIFF formats.

AutoCAD and primtech: A Powerful Substation Design Solution

Now companies in the field of substation design, planning, and maintenance can rely on a fast and intelligent software tool to help them gain important efficiencies. Developed by entegra and in collaboration with Autodesk, state-of-the-art primtech leverages the power of AutoCAD with integrated applications that simplify the substation design process while eliminating routine tasks.

The result is a savings in both time and money. Tailored specifically to the needs of substation designers, primtech was created for optimum efficiency and ease of use. With a few simple mouse clicks, users can select components from a comprehensive, easily extendable library that includes high voltage equipment, supporting hardware, cable ducts, and pipes. They can then be placed as intelligent 3D objects on a voltagedependent grid.

An integrated project management system keeps track of all details and automates the creation of bills of materials in MS Excel or MS Access database. Documentation and plan views are created at the push of a button. With an emphasis on ease of use, primtech gives project managers the ability to get a detailed project overview to help them make better decisions faster.

As a result of the unique capabilities of primtech, Autodesk named entegra an Autodesk Preferred Industry Partner for substation design in Europe in 2010. grid.

Preferred Industry Partner Relationship

Autodesk is committed to providing the most comprehensive design solutions in the industry. Autodesk has built strong relationships with global software innovators who are leading the way in developing tailored solutions for Autodesk’s customers. The Autodesk Preferred Industry Partner program helps customers find companies, with best in class applications and services, for their specific design software needs.

Preferred Industry Partner Products are built on Autodesk application programming interfaces (APIs) and meet rigorous functional, performance and quality guidelines. Autodesk works closely with its Preferred Industry Partners to combine the resources, ideas, and creative thinking of these trailblazing companies, keeping Autodesk products and solutions on the leading edge of performance and value.

About Autodesk

A world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, Autodesk enables customer innovation by delivering the broadest product portfolio for the digital design, visualization, and simulation of real-world project performance.

From architecture, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities to telecommunications, video games, television, and film, Autodesk customers are leading the 2D and 3D design world by improving their design processes through increased efficiency and productivity. By enhancing collaboration and communication and digitally improving the real-world performance of projects before they are built, Autodesk customers are solving their business challenges, avoiding costly rework, accelerating project cycles and time to market, and ultimately gaining competitive advantage.

About entegra

entegra, founded in 1991, is a recognized leader in substation design software to the energy distribution industry and its suppliers. The primtech solution helps customers simplify, automate and improve the design, configuration, calculation, and construction of electrical substations. As a longtime Autodesk Partner, entegra is committed to delivering unique solutions with AutoCAD, Autodesk Navisworks and Autodesk Inventor.