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Engineers have forever been the bridge to life-changing and remarkable inventions. Owing to their efforts they’ve continuously made concepts and ideas come to life. And as the creators that engineers are, having a detailed design is crucial to having a solid foundation for any project that’s to be embarked on.

In order to have a feasible project, a detailed design coupled with correct simulation is key. Thankfully, we’re in a time of fast-paced technology and as such, there’s a vast array of software available for power electric engineers. But with numerous options comes confusion. Choosing one of the numerous software available then becomes an overwhelming task. Even after an extremely strenuous selection process, you can end up picking software that is difficult to learn or use, too expensive or extremely slow. But fret not as within this article holds the knowledge to the best power analysis software.

PSS/E

Power system simulation for engineering (PSS/E) consists of programs that allow you to study power system generation, transmission networks and their performance. With it you can make calculations on power flow, optimal power flow, balanced and unbalanced faults, network equivalent construction, dynamic simulations, one line diagrams etc. You can also perform the above mentioned in steady-state analysis and dynamic simulations using PSS/E. To make learning the software quite easy, there are manuals and online resources available on the internet. By industrial standards, PSS/E is one of the best software for power analysis that is for simulation and design. Whether your project consists of expanding transmission lines, constructing new ones or optimizing its performance using FACTS devices, PSS/E allows for correct simulation, design andanalysis. PSS/E presently comes in two versions which are;

• PSS/EXPLORE: If you are a student or a lecturer, then this version is for you. This version is absolutely free for you to download and install. It provides practical understanding to the theory taught in class and presents students with problems network planning engineers face and allows them to work analytically to proffer a solution. Though it includes all the tools of the commercially available software, it is limited to 50 bus networks.

• PSS/E UNIVERSITY EDITION: This version has no bus network limit and can be purchased for a special university price. This version is for graduate-level studies and non-externally funded research. You can purchase the PSS/E software license and activation key electronically from Siemens PSS/E online stores.

MATLAB/SIMULINK

Simulink always comes with the Matlab software, and their combination provides a Graphic User Interface that allows you to drag and drop various elements from different libraries to build your model. With a toolbox called Simscape contained in it, Simulink has different libraries and tools that help in analysis, modeling and simulation of power systems. You can also display your various results on graphs, numbers display or even export it to Matlab. Simscape also has various sub-libraries like Flexible AC Transmission System, three-phase machines, microgrid simulators, renewable energy systems etc. One major function of Matlab to power engineers is that it is an open source research tool, therefore it allows Matlab based power system analysis toolboxes to run on it. Examples of these toolboxes are PSAT, EST, VST, PST, MATPOWER etc. Unfortunately, there is no toolbox for fault analysis, grounding systems, harmonic analysis, protection analysis etc. The licensed product, a trial version and even the version for students can be gotten from Math works.

POWERFACTORY/DigSILENT

There are some that believe this software is better than PSS/E. As it can be used for practically all that PSS/E can be used for and even for more sophisticated and advanced applications. Not only is it very easy to use, but it also has the single user edition, multi-user edition and team edition.

AUTOCAD ELECTRICAL

Thinking of how to present your calculations result into design of electrical equipment like a circuit breaker or even a power layout to a client? Then Autocad electrical is for you. It can be used to design transmission grid schematics, wiring diagrams, lighting, substation grid schematics etc. You can use its free trial, get its educational or general version from Autodesk for a fee.

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