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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:44 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:07 pm
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wbd wrote:
Curious to know why you are switching? I have heard good things about SKM and I think between SKM and EasyPower, those seem to be the most popular.


Primarily because SKM has too many crashes and I have had a rough time with getting a hold of their tech support lately. I am not familiar with Easy Power but I did see ETAP with a colleague of mine who showed me features that I could use.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:02 am 
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You ought to take serious look at EasyPower. I have been using it for 8 years and found their tech support extremely responsive, the best I have ever dealt with from any software developer.


They may have a demo program you can get and try.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:59 pm
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Location: Milwaukee WI
Using SKM

My company is using SKM. We are an OEM, and many of our contractors use SKM.

I have been to the 1 week SKM training, it was challenging.

Some smarty comments about engineering software:

1) Most, almost all engineering software looks really good when demonstrated by a competent sales engineer.

2) I do not consider I know an engineering software package until I've found, and maybe worked around some of the quirks.

3) Engineers tend to favor the first software package they have learned for a particular application; many of us do not have the time, motivation or retention to learn several similar packages.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:35 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:49 am
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Arc Flash Program

I'm using both SKM and ETAP. I'm an ETAP Newbie, still trying to be efficient with the module. I'm still trying to figure out what is the easiest way to export the arc flash result in ETAP out to a spreadsheet so that the result can be analysed in Access Database.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:38 am
Posts: 53
Location: Westminster, MD
SKM fan here...

I'm a big SKM fan, having bought my first package in 1992. Yes, DOS based.
And I agree with an earlier post that it tends to crash, but it's so much improved over years past, that for me it's not an issue.
Also, when it does crash in its current form, I've never lost component information, only one-lines. It's then easy to recover the one-line by starting a new one with a single component and then expanding it for the rest of the system.
I don't agree with an earlier post - that their tech support is at all deficient.
I think those guys bend over backwards to accommodate. At least that's been my experience over the past 19 years. Especially in the modeling of devices that aren't in the library. And they'll even give you engineering advice, qualified by the statement that they don't provide that, but willing to give an off-the-record opinion.
I've used Easy power, and consistent with an earlier post that engineers probably like the first package they learned, I didn't get comfortable with it. Although it had some features that were favorable, like short-circuiting individual buses which isn't as easy in SKM, but still do-able.
I do recommend taking a training class from them because it really shows you the capabilities in a short period, that you wouldn't necessarily discover on your own.
And no, I'm not at all affiliated with SKM, just a loyal user!
John Mayan


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:07 pm
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There are several ways of doing this. ETAP 7.0.0 added the arc flash result analyzer. Results can be directly exported to MS Excel from this tool. It allows for customizing the data that needs to be exported to Excel. There is also a spreadsheet in MS Excel which is generated automatically (by enabling the feature from the program options/preferences editor). This report is pre-formatted, but contains most of the important information.

As can be see there are several ways of sending data to MS Excel.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:40 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:11 am
Posts: 17
Location: Oregon, USA
ArcAdvisor on-line short circuit analysis

A Canadian outfit of some kind, ArcAdvisor, offers a very inexpensive on-line alternative for short circuit analysis software. $50 / yr. registration.

The idea is you don't buy software, you just do all the work on-line. I don't really understand what's up with that, but the cost is minimal.

I have considered trying it out, but I am a novice in this field, (short circuit and arc flash analysis) so I have very little basis for evaluation. I am the electrician working for a smaller mill undergoing very tight economic circumstances. I am not an engineering professional, and this is probably the only arc flash study I will do in my lifetime. But I still want to do the best job at it I can.

Would anyone care to offer any specific opinions on this particular option?
Besides the real obvious "you get what you pay for" general observations, that is.

I am just wondering if anyone has had personal experience or heard first hand stories on this on-line alternative. I would be interested in knowing why it is either 'good', 'middling' or 'poor'.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:20 am
Posts: 47
Location: Texas
If all they give you is a short circuit study, you will still have many steps to take to arrive at arc flash calculation results. The short circuit current will be adjusted for the lower value of arcing current due to the resistance of the arc. Clearing time must be determined at this current. The heat generated during the arc event must then be calculated. It will be a big chore to do manually, even for a small plant. Ask if the web site stores your work, or if you must input everything in one sitting to get your calculated results. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:27 am 
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Indeed, ArcAd's Online Short Circuit Calculator has a provision to save one-line diagram before you leave the page or start working on a new project. The ArcAd short circuit calculator performs more than just tedious calculations. ArcAd's short circuit online calculator features input data analysis and hard coded error propagation rules ensuring that the results are not more precise than justified by the accuracy of input data. Many other programs do not take into account room for error, which can distort final values. A lack of understanding of basic error analysis has led some very bright scientists and engineers to make some incredible blunders.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:59 pm
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
I'm a plant project engineer and took the SKM one week course last year. Our heavy duty modeling work is contracted out, but we purchased the software so we can make small modifications to the model and explore different scenarios, particularly on motor starting problems. SKM is fairly powerful but the interface leaves something to be desired. The engineering firm that does most of our substation design prefers Easypower because once an engineer learns it, the program is intuitive enough that after being away from the software for a few months they can pick it up again without having to re-learn the interface. I cannot say the same for SKM. I can navigate it clumsily after taking the training and working with it for a few months, but it is not as easy as Easypower.

Since our preferred consultants use Easypower I downloaded the trial version (with limited functionality) and used it for a few weeks. I liked it so I talked to the salesman and got a fully functional demo version (where I could save and print) and tried the demo for a few weeks. Even though I have more experience with SKM I prefer Easypower and would go that route if I had to buy a new software package today. We need to revise our plantwide power system model, and if we choose a consultant that prefers Easypower to do all of that modeling work I will probably bite the bullet and shell out another $20k for another package, even though we just bought SKM 3 years ago.

At the end of the day it doesn't matter which one of the big 3 you use. They are all fairly small companies and quality/responsiveness of support may vary around vacation schedules and personnel changes, but I know people that are very impressed with all 3 companies. Along with "first conclusion bias" causing people to prefer the first software package they learn, there is a strong economic incentive to stay with your first package when a 2000 bus license for short circuit, load flow, coordination, arc flash, and motor starting runs $20k per seat.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:33 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:49 am
Posts: 5
Location: Earth
SKM is by the far the best I have used.

Easy Power seemed, well easy, but lacked some of the features I like and I'm not as confident with their calcs, but they are still accurate enough to be industry approved.

EDSA is horrible, horrible program that needs to be put out of it's misery.
My top three complaints with EDSA:

- Will not install if you have have Windows Alert when installing something new thing on. I mean it will install, but it won't tell you it is ignoring critical files.
- EDSA will sometimes start uninstalling itself if you try to print. And yes, I mean printing from any program while EDSA is open. Don't worry, it doesn't actually install itself, it just makes you cancel the uninstall repeatedly, or it crashes.
- EDSA can give extremely unreliable data if you do not fully understand their multiple steps and procedures. Something that other programs automate.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:43 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:00 pm
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Location: Virginia
I have used SKM quite a bit and it is good. I have also used EDSA and it is a bit difficult to use. I have not used ETAP but know a few people that do.

I have been using EasyPower for the past 8 years and I'm curious about the comment regaring their calculations. I'm pretty sure their people were part of the IEEE group that came up with some of the equations so not sure why you would not question their calcs. In fact, I think all the S/W uses the same equations with maybe a few variations. I think EasyPower is a really good program but that is just my opinon.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:59 pm
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Arc wrote:
Easy Power seemed, well easy, but lacked some of the features I like and I'm not as confident with their calcs, but they are still accurate enough to be industry approved.


I'm also questioning why you're not confident in their calcs. Arc flash calcs are per NFPA 70E or IEEE 1584, the rest of the studies are defined in other IEEE standards. I know one of the power system analysis subject matter experts for a large OEM's engineering services group and he conducted a thorough quality analysis on Easypower and SKM to make sure all of the calculations were accurate before this OEM would allow the software to be used on their engineering work - part of the Six Sigma process I suppose. This particular OEM has qualified both Easypower and SKM as being accurate for all of the studies, not just arc flash. They are in the process of qualifying ETAP now because some of their clients are requesting ETAP be used for their study work.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:23 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:06 am
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I use Arc Flash Analytic V5.0 (AFA V5.0) located at www . arcadvisor . com website. It is easy to use and I didn't need to have a maintenance contract for thousands of dollars to get support for the software that costs thousands of dollars to purchase it in the first place. AFA V5.0 software uses the same formulas that the other programs use, creates sharp warning labels and is free to try.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:19 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:00 pm
Posts: 39
I am surprised that people are using SKM, Would always prefer ETAP unless client really wants me to do in SKM


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:03 am
Posts: 67
Location: Netherlands
Superman Engineer wrote:
I am surprised that people are using SKM, Would always prefer ETAP unless client really wants me to do in SKM


It's not the best software to get started with, but once you're past the initial learning curve it helps your productivity a lot. I like the customization options in SKM, the downside is that there's just so much to customize and the defaults are a bit lacking. After a few years of nearly daily use I think I changed just about everything (datablocks, layout for onelines, TCCs).

My only complaint is that there isn't enough to customize. I have custom made programs to enter protective device data like thermal curves from TCCs, generating labels and converting the (awful looking) output reports to neat Word tables. All in all a pretty large time investment, but I've cut my time to get from a complete model to exporting everything to a report / labels to about a day (even for 500+ bus systems), with very pretty looking reports as a result.

This does not seem really a great recommendation for SKM, but from what I've seen in other software formatting the output to a report is limited too, so for the same results I'd have to spend the same amount of effort. I dread the day my customers start insisting on other software really.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:23 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:12 am
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I use both SKM and ETAP depending on what the client wants me to use. I would by far recommend using ETAP over all of the other software.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Location: Toronto
carloppo wrote:
I use Arc Flash Analytic V5.0 (AFA V5.0) located at www . arcadvisor . com website. It is easy to use and I didn't need to have a maintenance contract for thousands of dollars to get support for the software that costs thousands of dollars to purchase it in the first place. AFA V5.0 software uses the same formulas that the other programs use, creates sharp warning labels and is free to try.


FYI, the Arc Flash Analytic software program is now available for download on the Apple Store for iPhones, iPods and iPads. You can now collect information, take photos of your equipment, run detailed arc flash analysis using the IEEE 1584 equations and the Lee method, create warning labels, send detailed reports and more from your smartphone during field walk-downs or from the convenience of your office. More information about Arc Flash Analytic arc flash analysis and labeling software for iOS operating systems is available on this page:
http://www.arcadvisor.com/arcflash/iafa.html
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:19 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:26 am
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This would be a great question to put to a vote! After all, it IS the first Tuesday in November!! I've used SKM for close to 10 years. In that time, we've completed a couple projects in ETAP - and hated every minute! Having said that, what you cut your teeth is what you come to know and love! I've talked with folks who've started with something other than SKM, dislike SKM.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:55 am 

Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 12:12 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Tennessee
Used Easypower for 7 years. VERY good technical support. I like the program but haven't used others.


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