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 Post subject: Software choice: Easypower vs. SKM
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:49 am
Posts: 2
We are looking at arc flash S/W and have it narrowed down to Easypower and SKM. Does anyone have experience with either of these?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:46 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:42 am
Posts: 7
I have used both SKM and EasyPower. There are also 2 other programs that I know of - ETAP and EDSA. I used SKM for many years at a former job and it was quite good but I now use EasyPower and found that it has a lot of other functions like automatic coordination and design.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:37 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:49 am
Posts: 2
Support of Easypower

Any issues dealing with the support staff for Easypower? Have you had to utilize their call center?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:59 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:55 am
Posts: 4
Location: New York State
Software Support - EasyPower

We have called ESA's support a few times. Turned out to be pretty simple problems and they were very helpful. Once we had an oddball time current curve and they even set us up with the data. Seems like a pretty helpful group.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:16 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:21 am
Posts: 35
Location: Ellijay, GA
Easypower vs SKM

I personally have only used EasyPower, and I found it quite user friendly. Their support people are great too, and they even have a policy of not bidding on an arc flash project if one of their customers is also bidding on it. Not useful to those of you who aren't service providers, but I was pleased to learn of it.

Additionally, EasyPower can be enabled with nearly automatic coordination functions, and also will allow you to manipulate device curves to determine what change they will have on incident energies. And they claim that if you find a device who's curve isn't installed in their library, they will update it for free. Hope I helped.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:31 pm
Posts: 2
Location: New York
Just signed up to this forum. Looks great.
I have been using SKM for almost 20 years and like the differnt options. I also use Eaypower and belive it to be extremly useful and user friendly.

The few times I have needed to contact the Eaypower tech support they have been very helpful. The drawing conversion to dxf files in Easypower is much easier than SKM.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:46 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:00 pm
Posts: 10
Our company has used SKM as long as I can remember. I don't know if there is anything better but we have been very happy with what we have.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:31 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:36 am
Posts: 4
Power System Software

Has anyone used the others like ETAP and EDSA?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:54 am
Posts: 201
Location: St. Louis, MO
I've used both ETAP and SKM.
I've heard that SKM can be more accurate, but have not compared the two side by side.
I generally found ETAP to have a more user friendly interface, and their incorporation of macros into projects makes it very easy to model and run many scenarios side by side and see the results easily.
I also like ETAP's use of an Access compatible database to store the model information. This makes it easy to view the raw data, see what may be missing, and compare things side by side without clicking through every component in the model.

ETAP's libraries used to be available online, although I don't know if this is currently the case. To gain access to a new component or library from SKM, you must call or email them, and then they generally only send you the component requested, not a whole updated library.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:10 pm
Posts: 263
Location: NW USA
We use ETAP, and have been very satisfied with their response and support. As a subscriber, they periodically send us a disk with updated device libraries. Not pertinent to my applications, I believe ETAP is the only, or was the first, to offer nuclear certification.

One feature we have found useful that may not be available in the others is that ETAP can simulate a sequence of events with a time log in milliseconds; predicting what devices should operate in a fault condition. By managing the impedance to mimic actual fault conditions we have been successful in detecting why devices tripped in what at first appeared to be out of order. We have not used this feature for Arc Flash Analysis but it is handy in trouble shooting.

OTI the sellers of ETAP promise to not consult unless invited by one of their subscribers, so it is unlikely you will be surprised to see them with your customers, if you are a consultant.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:27 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Texas
KL2112 wrote:
Has anyone used the others like ETAP and EDSA?


I've used SKM, starting with the DOS and old Microsoft Windows interface and always managed to get good results.

We then converted to EDSA. EDSA seemed to have superior features but has been fraught with software bugs and errors more so than SKM. The most alluring feature was the certified software curves for devices. I think they have worked most of these problems out and have the largest number of software and engineer types on staff, so I believe that they have the numerical superiority to develop the software. I believe that it is the only software that is nuclear certified.

I am very leary about "automatic" coordination features and despite of the software companies disclaimer the use of thse softwares by unqualified personell..


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:10 am
Posts: 48
Location: Mid-West
Edsa

I can only speak to EDSA I have been using it for the last three years and have found it to be acceptable software, with many features, good tech. support and a forum on their website for questions etc.. However I cannot speak to the others as I have never used them. As far as nuclear certification EDSA was the first to obtain this, followed by ETAB, Only because the firm I work for has been using EDSA since its inception basically because it is Nuclear Certified.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:23 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Software of Choice

I have used SKM and ETAP. I believe that in general ETAP is the best software on the market for doing industrial systems studies. They provide great case management, great features and their founders are very technically smart. On the other hand, SKM has the best library of the two, and the best program for doing arc flash studies that I know of. They have put a lot of effort into these 2 items - so if I were focused on arc flash consulting, etc. I would go with SKM. Their staff is very knowledgable about arc flash as wel.

_________________
www.arcflashtables.com


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:10 pm
Posts: 2
Software

In my experience with both SKM and Easypower; Easypower has much better library support as well as technical support for their program. Back in the days of SKM 5.0 you might as well have performed your analysis by hand because the program was lacking so much in its library for protective device models. Creating models within SKM weren't too bad as long as it was just fuse curves. Relays within SKM are a total pain if you have data for custom overload curves instead of the standard default overload curves. In SKM you would have to create a clone of a library model with adjusted curves by yourself vs. easypower's drop down dialog boxes of choosing different setpoints or typing them in.

SKM's strongpoint is in its database and query functions. For very large plant's or systems you can filter for any kind of data field you could ever wish for, and most especially for any custom data fields you might have created. The data tracking system for SKM in terms of a component's source data state as estimated, verified, etc. is most ingenious as well but thanks to my yearly wishlist for Easypower tech support; ESA could be implementing this in the near future.

In summary I would say that for small to medium systems Easypower takes the cake in terms of getting the job done with reasonable equipment modelling accuracy and a friendly GUI to boot. SKM is better for extremely large places that could have some data quality control issues (plant models that are continuously being modelled and there seems to be no end to the data collection process). The coloring of your components can really help a person get control over the time estimation to the project let alone the accuracy of the completed model. I would warn anyone with SKM to diligently check your TCC curves with manufacturer data since I have found numerous omissions and modelling errors in the library. This is easily backed by the history of library revisions that SKM has released on their site as well.

Oh yeah, and as a sidenote, one of my co-workers is currently in an endeavour to use ETAP for a client of ours. He has indicated to me that after using it for 6 months that the cumbersome nature of that program (despite its powerful capabilities) is enough to put any power system zealot into a full depression.

My two cents for what it's worth.

Adieux.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:40 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:17 pm
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I am currently using Easy Power to model generation plants. It is straight forward and easy to use. The company also offer training sessions on how to use the program. Even though I didn't go through the training, I did not have problem modeling coal, gas, hydro, and wind plants. The tech support is great, they answered all my questions. One thing that I do not like about this program is relay cannot trip multiple breakers. It assumes bus isolation operating time is based on first relay operation: may not always be true. The program also gives fault contribution from motor and VFD at 1/2, 15, 30 cycle. Though asymetrical fault calculation is still base on X/R constant which is classical method. ESA gives new update within time frame of 6 months from last update.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:42 am
Posts: 16
For industrial type of network, SKM and EasyPower are indeed very user friendly.

If you are looking a software package that included the distribution and the transmission systems, CYME has integrated the NESC-2007 tables and the Heat Flux calculations in their recent revision of CYMDIST.

John


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:10 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Washington
theone wrote:
One thing that I do not like about this program is relay cannot trip multiple breakers. It assumes bus isolation operating time is based on first relay operation: may not always be true. The program also gives fault contribution from motor and VFD at 1/2, 15, 30 cycle. Though asymetrical fault calculation is still base on X/R constant which is classical method. ESA gives new update within time frame of 6 months from last update.


Relays in EasyPower do have the capability of tripping multiple breakers and asymmetrical fault current calculations have been updated since this post. A couple comments regarding the EZP / PTW comparison:

1. PTW is limited to 9 scenarios which may require duplicate files.

2. Accidental dragging of TCC curves in PTW is not undo-able which is a pain

3. Library updates can cause previously entered trip data to disappear in PTW.

4. Search function and general organization in EasyPower library is more user friendly than in SKM

5. File size in SKM is much larger than EasyPower also files are stored in a single file in EZP and in many child files in SKM.

6. SKM allows file export including condensed lib for back checking. EasyPower would require most up-to-date lib for all machines to view the same data.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:00 pm
Posts: 39
I am first time using SKM for short circuit analysis. I will able to comment on this feature after using it.
As far as ETAP is considered a very efficient modelling software and I have used its Arc Flash feature for clients. It it really a handy tool.

Moeen ud Din
Project Engineer


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:11 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Connecticut
I use Etap 7.5.2 which I find pretty good. However the newly released Etap 11 is a programming disaster. Stay away!! I downloaded EasyPower demo and really like it. Seems EasyPower really did their homework. SKM is clunky and dated.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:41 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:10 pm
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
For the last few years I have been exclusively doing power system modeling. Thus far, I have used ETAP, SKM, and EasyPower very thoroughly. I believe building a system model is pretty much the same across all platforms, with possibly SKM being slightly simpler (due to the library look up ability), but I think ETAP has the best interface and the best ability to pull results from quickly. Furthermore, ETAP can be set to use Access and Excel which makes it possible to sift the data much simpler than any other platform.

I think ultimately it depends on what you are looking to do. For consulting purposes, I would highly recommended ETAP. For facility management/engineering, I would think ETAP or EasyPower would be just as good. SKM can be difficult to use unless you use it often, and it's also very difficult to export results from into a usable format, but it is by no means an inferior platform.


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