AutoCAD MEP 2012 Tutorial – Adding Electrical Equipment and Panels

When creating electrical and lighting plans in
AutoCAD MEP, you begin by adding electrical
equipment. This is equipment made up of items referred to as targets and sources – items that
distribute and receive power in a model.
Electrical equipment is defined as a multi-view
part that includes items such as switchboards and motor
control centers. These parts include
connections for adding conduit. Panels are
another form of electrical equipment, but these items can also
have circuits and electrical loads assigned to
them, and may also be assigned to other
panels, so their load is transferred to the upper panels. Lights and
power devices are connected to panels, and the
load assigned to these devices is passed up to
the panel, so it’s best to locate your panels early in
the job. Let’s see how this works. Make sure
you have the Livgren project for chapter 4 open.
From the constructs tab, open the Electrical Base – 1st
floor. When using Project Navigator, all physical
objects are created in a construct, so this is the
right file to be working in. The architectural plan is already
loaded into this construct. We want to add a
transformer and panels to the plan, and a
generator to the outside of the building. To place electrical
equipment, make sure you have the Electrical
workspace set current. Once the workspace is current, you have two places to locate
equipment commands. The first is the HOME
tab and the Build Panel. The equipment tool is a
flyout, which includes common components, such as a
generator, junction box, motor control center and
switchboard. The other location is the tool
palette – make sure you can see the palette, and then go
to the Equipment tab. Select the Emergency
Power Generator – Gas tool to place a generator.
The MVPART palette will appear – this is a floating
palette, and can be pinned into place, or set to
autohide. Leave it pinned. The tool from the
palette is set to jump directly to the category for
generators. Select the Emergency Power
Generator – gas. This is important – check the elevation – this is the only thing you really need
to know about working in 3D – this sets the
height or Z elevation of the part, based on the
insertion point of the part. Set this to 0″, so it is placed on the
ground. For the part size name, select the 25kw
Gas Emergency Power Generator. If the dialog
is pinned, left click once in the model space area
to place the part. Select a point on the east side
of the building, outside of the storage room. The
MEP compass will appear, showing the increment
angles that can be used to place the part. Pick
a point as shown, and then set the rotation to
180 degrees. While the dialog is still open, make
sure the Part tab is selected. Scroll down in the
list until you find the Power Transformers. Select
the Dry Type 225-300kVA dry type – pick the 225kVa
part size, and check the elevation – it should
still be set to 0 from the generator. Select a
point in the electrical room, and then rotate the unit 270
degrees. The next item we want to place is a
panel – this serves as a power source to other
power and lighting devices. In order to set information for
the panel, the properties palette cannot be
hidden – so select it if auto hide is turned on for
the palette. Pick the panel tool. Immediately go to
Properties – check the style. When the style is
picked, you open a master drawing – this
contains panel styles, which set the block image and behavior of a
panel. Pick the surface category, and then pick
the SURFACE SOLID – 42 slots. Select OK to continue. Panels can be placed and rotated just
like an MVPART – but since we’re using
AutoCAD Architecture backgrounds, you can
also use the ALIGN TO OBJECT option. On the properties
palette, change Align to Objects to YES. Notice
how the panel aligns to the wall – now we can

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