ETAP Panel

In our June 28th newsletter, we initially discussed ETAP's panel. What's in a Panel? Today, we continue our analysis of ETAP's panel. 

Let's start with the end in mind

ETAP claims that its software is "intelligent' and "automated". We have analyzed the above panel, posted on their website at Our analysis indicates that ETAP's claims are not correct...its software is netither "intelligent" nor "automated". The following analysis looks at the particular circuits pictured in ETAP's website posting.

Circuits - 1,3,5

Homerun: CKT - 1, 3, 5:  30 kVA@480V >> 36.13 Amps >> Trip Amp =

36.13 Amp x 1.25 = 45.15 Amp

Select OCPD>50 Amp (NEC 240.6 Standard Amps Ratings)

               Comment: ETAP  incorrectly shows incorrect 20 Amp

Select conductor #6 AWG

Comment:  ETAP does not provide complete specifications /  values for the branch circuit. In contrast to PowerCalc, the ETAP panel is missing: ground conductor, conduit sizes, voltage drop, circuit amps, and number of conductors. PowerCalc has built-in / pre-populated tables and data bases that automatically calculate all branch circuit values.

Circuit - 11

CKT - 11: Laundry Room requires a 20 Amp Single Pole Circuit (NEC 210.52(F) Laundry Area)

                       Comment: ETAP incorrectly shows 15 Amp.

Circuits - 2,4,6 Feeding Panel - 3

Total kVA = 29,030,@ 480 V, 3 phase>>34.96 Amp

OCPD = 34.96 x 1.25 = 43.75 > use 45 Amp Circuit Breaker

                    Comment: ETAP's Panel shows incorrect 20 - 3P Circuit Breaker

Conductor size  - 6 AWG

Comment: ETAP does not provide complete specifications for the branch circuit  -- It is missing: phase & ground conductors,  conduit size, voltage drop, and number of conductors. In contrast, PowerCalc calculates the complete specifications for the Panel  3 feeders and also includes: 4 # 6 AWG, #10 G-1" Condt.

Circuit - 8 Feeding Panel 2

Total VA = 20,310 @ 277 V, Single Phase, Single Pole

                    Comment: ETAP is incorrect - there is no such panel in the United States. For  compliance with the National Electrical Code (NEC) in the United                          States,  this panel must be rated for 480 V, 3 phase, 3 poles, or, single phase, 2 poles.

Here are the calculations supporting this comment:

1.  Calculations

 Amp = 20,310 / 277 V = 73 Amp

Circuit Break Trip Amp = 73 x 1.25 = 91.65 Amp, use 100 Amp

                 Comment: ETAP shows incorrect 25 Amp & does not show conductor size  


2. More Observataions / Comments

                  Comment: ETAP does not provide complete specifications of the branch circuit. It is  missing: ground conductor, conduit sizes, voltage drop, and                          number of conductors. In some instances, it is also missing the conductor sizes.

Panel #1 is rated at 400 Amp while the entire connected load (83.2 kVA) is about 100 Amp.

                  Comment: ETAP does not provide complete specifications for the panel feeder. It is missing: conductor sizes, ground size, conduit sizes, and                                  voltage drop. it also does not indicate whether the panel is a Main Circuit Breaker (MCB), or, Main Lugs Only (MLO).. 

Take a Close Look

So, take a close look at  ETAP's panel yourself to examine its "low voltage" applications in detail. As mentioned in our first article on the ETAP Panel, just because ETAP uses a panel for their design, does not mean that their software and panel can effectively and accurately design the power distribution system inside the facility for compliance with the NEC.  What's in a Panel? 

In our next and final article on the ETAP panel, we will take a close and comparative look at ETAP's panel and PowerCalc's panel.  This comparison will include PowerCalc's automatically generated 1 Line Diagram. Then, we will move on to other electrical engineering software packages that are on the market. 

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And remember, we have a free live / real time demonstration on the first Friday of each month: FREE Demo, Friday, August 6th at 12 pm EST . And here is a video of a recent demo Video of PowerCalc Demonstration Hope you will join us!

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