Introduction to ETAP for Power System Modeling & Simulations

Modeling & Simulation softwares hold great value for Power System Designers. Engineers have to use these softwares all the time to analyze and test their designed before actual implementation. Softwares are used for various analyses e.g, cost-benefit analyses, feasibility analysis, protection coordination etc before deploying the system. Electrical Engineers use industry standard softwares to test their proposed designs. For high performance computations and estimations, Matlab/Simulink is used. For a basic introduction to Matlab for Power Engineers, you may want to have a tutorial on the topic of Matlab/Simulink for Electrical Power Engineers.

This tutorial series is based on ETAP usage fro Power System Modeling, Design and Analysis. In this tutorial, we’ll be introducing basic user interface of ETAP, its functionality and different features that are useful in Power System modeling and analysis.

Electrical Transient Analyzer Program (ETAP)

ETAP is a full spectrum analytical engineering software developed by Operation Technology Inc. (OTI). The software specializing in the analysis, simulation, monitoring, control, optimization, and automation of electrical power systems. ETAP software offers the most comprehensive and integrated suite of power system enterprise solution that spans from modeling to operation.

ETAP Features Overview
ETAP Features Overview

The ETAP Software provides a good interface for performing rigorous analysis on electrical power systems and is one of the best in Electrical Transient analysis softwares. It’s integration to Microsoft Excel is also one of its many amazing features.

The ETAP Software provides an easy to use, user friendly environment along with a comprehensive user manual that helps user through any problem encountered during simulation. The Basic interface of ETAP is shown in figure below.

ETAP GUI based User Interface
Fig. 1: ETAP GUI based User Interface


ETAP Toolbars

ETAP software is intelligently divided into different toolbars according to their functionality. User can easily access each toolbar while creating one line diagram of a power system model. Besides toolbars, there are different options available to perform analyses on the system model through study cases, configurations, edit toolbars. Each one of them is described in this tutorial.

Mode Toolbar

Mode toolbar is located on top of GUI jus tbelow the file menu. Different Analysis Modes can be selected from this Mode Toolbar according to the requiremnt of the project. In ETAP 16, a complete set of analyses has been provided through the mode toolbar as given in the list below:

ETAP Mode Toolbars for various Power System Analyses
Fig. 2: ETAP Mode Toolbars for various Power System Analyses

There are total 13 study modes in ETAP as depicted in Fig. 2. Each one of them is briefly described in the order from left to right:

  1. Load Flow: Used to perform load flow (or power flow) on power system modeled in one line diagram.
  2. Unbalanced Load Flow
  3. ANSI Short Circuit Analysis
  4. Motor Starting Analysis
  5. Harmonic Analysis
  6. Transient Analysis
  7. Star Protection Coordination
  8. Optimal Load Flow
  9. Reliability Analysis
  10. Optimal Capacitor Placement
  11. DC Load Flow
  12. DC Short Circuit Analysis
  13. Battery Sizing Analysis

Analysis Toolbar

When a specific analysis Mode is selected from Mode toolbar, various analysis options are available through the Analysis Toolbar. Format for Analysis Toolbar under Load Flow Mode is show here.

Analysis Toolbar for Load Flow Model
Analysis Toolbar for Load Flow Model

As depicted clearly from above toolbar, once Load Flow Mode is selected; we can select any option from its Analysis Toolbar to run the load flow calculations, display results & alters, generate and export report and even collect live data from a real power system.


This tutorial provides basic introduction to ETAP, it’s features and capabilities. In next tutorial, we’ll be building model of a small power system. We shall build its one line diagram and then we’ll analyze the system for load flow.

Leave a Reply