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 Post subject: Etap Software
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:20 am
Posts: 47
Location: Texas
Perhaps I was too specific in an earlier post requesting a direct comparison between EasyPower and ETAP. I have already received some favorable opinions of EasyPower. Has anyone used ETAP? What do you think of the software? Is it intuitive/user friendly? Did you go to a training class or just learn by doing?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:29 pm 
Sparks Level

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:54 am
Posts: 201
Location: St. Louis, MO
I learned electrical system modeling using ETAP, so I'm biased, but I prefer ETAP to any of the others that I've used.
I am currently using SKM, and don't like it nearly as much as ETAP. I thought that ETAP was more user friendly. It had several shortcuts that I thought made the work easier and faster. It also used a Microsoft Access compatible database to store information, which made it easy to check without either cycling through every component in a system, or using a data viewer that you have to set up to show information in a meaningful way.

The only time I've used EasyPower was 5 years ago, and the version I used was a couple of years old at the time, so that's not really a good comparison.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 18
Location: Connecticut
I looked at both Etap and SKM and picked Etap for several reasons. First, it is several thousand dollars less than SKM. Second Etap allows allot of user flexability that SKM can't. I've used Etap 6.0 for about a year and found it user friendly, good documentation and fairly good support. Although there is a learning curve. I recently upgrade to Etap 7.0 that came out a couple of months ago and to my dismay, discovered a number of bugs with the arc flash module, cable ampacity editor using AL wire and random problems with the report generating functions. I even went to the trouble to uninstall 7.0 and reinstall it several times hoping to fix the glitches. I email their support guys carefully detailing the problems. I received an email response from one of their PE's, (that grossly lacked proper use of the English language and spelling. I guess he must have missed English class 101)... saying they had not received any complaints and offering no suggestions except sending them a zip file of the study. Nice... right? Etap 7.0 was almost 5 months delayed in being released and now after only being out for a month or so, OTI has a 7.1 version being released. Ummm... maybe to fix the bugs they claim don't exsist? At this point I've gone back to using the bullet proof ver 6.0 that works great because I can't trust the 7.0 version. Nor can I spend time cross checking ver 7.0 it by using hand calculations. Etap is not alone in the rush to release. SKM, another heavy hitter in the electrical analysis world made a marketing blunder by releasing it's new upgrade early this year before the NFPA 70E-2009 was released. One thing I've found that is lacking in both Etap ver's 6.0 and 7.0 is the inability to model bus ducts for short circuit for some strange reason. Etap has an impedance function that can be used if you know the X/R of the bus duct, but it doesn't have the ability, as an option, to enter a Z% value.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:34 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:20 am
Posts: 47
Location: Texas
ETAP on Order - Thanks for the Reply

Thanks for the information. Management has approved my requisition for ETAP, so it is now on order. SKM must be feeling some pressure because their sales rep. actually offered to match ETAP's price for "equivalent software." However, I had received so many comments saying that both EasyPower and ETAP were more user friendly than SKM that I didn't give SKM a lot of serious consideration. I did attend an ETAP users group this Wednesday and observed some of the same issues that you mentioned in the response that you received from them. (I was probably less than objective. Traveling all the way across Houston during rush hour is not my best method of unwinding after work.) I am going to learn all that I can through the "dive in and try not to drown" method for 4 - 6 weeks and then attend a 3 day ETAP school put on by LAPTEC in Baton Rouge, LA.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:52 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 18
Location: Connecticut
Etap 7.0 offers some nice improvement over ver 6.0. There is allot of pressure to release new software so things get overlooked. I'm sure OTI will work out the bugs with ver 7.1. I have notice their support while still good had declined. SKM was the 800 pound gorilla on the block for along time and could charge extortion prices. The biggest recomendation I can make - no matter what canned software program you are using - is to understand how the IEEE calculations work to make sure the software results make sense. BrainFiller website has some very good information presented in a easy to understand format.


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