OpenUtilities Substation Help

Drawing Elements

This topic explains the OpenUtilities Substation concept of drawing elements (modes, lines, wires, etc.) used in a drawing.

Drawing Modes

A drawing mode is a state that the software is in that enables you to create a particular type of drawing such as a schematic or a panel layout. The drawing mode will determine both the appearance and the behavior of the software. By changing the drawing mode as you work on a drawing, it is possible to have more than one type of drawing on the same page.

  • Schematic Drawing - A logical diagram that shows how individual devices are connected together.
  • Panel Layout Drawing - A physical layout of the actual devices. This drawing is used to show what the devices really look like and where they will actually be mounted. This drawing is typically drawn to scale.
  • Wiring Diagram - A drawing that shows each device and identifies all the wire connections that are necessary to properly wire the devices.
  • Hydraulic Drawing - Used to show electrical and mechanical hydraulic devices and how they are connected together with pipes, etc.
  • Pneumatic Drawing - Used to show electrical and mechanical pneumatic devices and how they are connected together with tubes, etc.
  • Single Line Drawing - Similar to a schematic in that it shows how individual devices are logically connected together; however, it does not show each and every individual wire connection. Instead of showing each conductor of a cable and what each conductor is connected to, you simply draw one line between the two devices, which represents all the conductors.
  • Graphical Plan - A graphical representation of a terminal strip showing connections.
  • 3D Layout - For 3D layouts in the OpenUtilities Substation product. Generally, it is not used in Promis.e.

You select the current drawing mode from the Modes ribbon group:

You can designate a mode as primary which means an ID assigned in that mode will replace a different ID assigned to the same device in another mode. The primary mode is defined in the Project Options Drawing Standards dialog.

You can use the Mode Manager to edit the characteristics of existing modes and to create new modes.

Lines vs. Wires

OpenUtilities Substation schematic drawings can have two types of lines:

  • Wires - Lines that have logical properties (wires are sometimes referred to as logical lines). Wires must be used to connect the symbols in schematic drawings. Wires will break automatically at symbol connection points. Wires allow the software to recognize the connections between symbols and perform other functions such as automatic wire numbering.
  • Drawing Lines - Simple graphic lines with no logical properties. They should only be used for borders or for drawing the graphical portion when you create a new symbol. They should not be used to represent wires.


Use the Wiring ribbon group to draw wires, pipes or other elements that connect the symbols on a drawing. Wires are necessary for OpenUtilities Substation to recognize the from/to connections between the symbols. When wires are drawn over symbols (or when symbols are placed on a wire), the line is broken automatically at the symbol connection points. When two wires are connected, the connection points are drawn automatically.

Important: You must draw wires using the Wiring functions in order for the software to recognize connections and perform other automatic functions. Drawing lines will not work for this purpose.

Wire/Device Connections

A number of functions in the software require information on how devices are connected together in the schematics. These functions include the wire list report, the terminal plan, the shortest distance wire routing function, wiring diagrams and others.

To obtain this information, the searches along wires using a set of priorities to determine what is connected to what. On most wires, only a from and to need to be determined; but in some cases there may be many devices all connected to the same potential. The software searches these wires in the following manner:

  1. Search for Diagonal Connections

    Each diagonal connection has three sides, each of which can go to a single device or to a group of devices. If there are additional diagonal connections within these groups, they can be further divided into more groups. In the following figure, there are two diagonal connections. The lefthand diagonal goes to three groups (1, 2, and 3). Group 2 can be divided into two more groups (4, 5). The following steps can then be applied to each group.

  2. Search for Wire Links

    Within each group from the previous step, find any wire links that exist and divide devices into groups according to which side of the wire link connection they are on. These groups are then sorted in the following priority:

    1. In ANSI-IEEE drawings, top priority is given to the group with the highest Y position value (including wires). If two groups have the same maximum Y value, priority will be given to the one with the smallest X value. In other words, the search goes top to bottom, left to right.
    2. In IEC drawings, top priority is given to the group with the lowest X position value (including wires). If two groups have the same minimum X value, priority will be given to the one with the highest maximum Y value. In other words, the search goes left to right, top to bottom.

    In the following figure, group 2 would have priority in this ANSI-IEEE drawing because it extends higher on the page.

  3. Sort Connections within Each Group

    The software will search for connections in each group. The order of connections in each group is determined by the ANSI-IEEE or IEC X/Y position rules given in step 2.

  4. List Connections in Group Priority Order

    The wire list starts from first group's first connection point and end with last group's last connection point. For example, the following (ANSI-IEEE) figures show the application of the connection search priority steps.

    As mentioned above, the software will first check your circuit for diagonal wire symbols. In the example below, we have a diagonal wire symbol. This breaks our evaluation into 3 groups. The order in which these groups are evaluated is a combination of the Top to Bottom, Left to Right rule and the diagonal wire symbol that was chosen.

    The software will evaluate Group 1 and then Group 2 and finally Group 3.

    Note: All of the group evaluations follow the rules defined in the Connection Search Priorities.
    Group 1

    The software starts at the top-most symbol and moves in the direction indicated by the arrows.

    Group 2

    The software starts at the top-most symbol of this group and moves in the direction indicated by the arrows; notice it evaluated all the symbols on the left before going through the wire link. Once on the other side of the wire link symbol, the software starts once again with the top-most symbol.

    Group 3

    This group is very similar to group 2 except there are two symbols on the upper-most plane, notice the software goes top to bottom, left to right.