OpenSource Solutions for Computer Aided Engineering Blog

OpenSource Solutions for Computer Aided Engineering

The OpenSource Solutions for Computer Aided Engineering Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about OpenSource Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) resources available for modern personal computers. There are a myriad of solutions available in the marketplace for a number of different engineering and scientific applications, but it is not always easy to find the most appropriate solution for a particular circumstance, because many of the packages emanate from University research departments or Government development projects that do not have access to sufficient resources to publicize their products adequately. While the primary focus will be on numerical analysis solutions (FEA, CFD, Signal Processing, SPICE electronic simulation, etc.), we will occasional touch on other aspects of CAE such as Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD), 3D modeling, data acquisition (Test and Measurement, etc.), and other such technologies that can add value to the engineering process.

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6 comments

Electrical Transient Analysis

Posted January 03, 2011 12:00 AM by cwarner7_11

During some research I was doing regarding some rather unusual effects of lightning strikes, I came across an interesting package for analyzing electrical transients called ATP-EMTP, which stands for "Alternative Transients Program- ElectroMagnetic Transients Program". This is a bit of a diversion away from the OpenSource community, since, although the program is available at no cost, there are some minor restrictions to the license.

From the web site:

"ATP is a universal program system for digital simulation of transient phenomena of electromagnetic as well as electromechanical nature...The birth of ATP dates to early in 1984, some of the original developers did not approve of proposed commercialization of BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) EMTP by DCG (the EMTP Development Coordination Group) and EPRI (the Electric Power Research Institute)...

"ATP is not in public domain. It is, however, available free of all charge to anyone in the world who has not participated voluntarily in the sale or attempted sale of any electromagnetic transients program. ATP licensing is mandatory...After the licensing agreement has been approved, that party is eligible to use ATP program. "

In other words, it is free, but not OpenSource. This program is of primary interest to those who deal with electrical power generation and distribution systems. This program can be used to simulate complex networks and control systems of arbitrary structure. Among the applications they list for the program:

* Lightning overvoltage studies(the area that caught my attention)

* Switching transients and faults

* Statistical and systematic overvoltage studies

* Very fast transients in GIS and groundings

* Machine modeling

* Transient stability, motor startup

* Transformer and shunt reactor/capacitor switching

* Power electronic applications

* Circuit breaker duty (electric arc), current chopping

* Harmonic analysis, network resonances

Among other applications.

There is a very active support group for this package, and extensive documentation, which makes it usable even for a novice such as me. The package is available for multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, MAC).

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#1

Re: Electrical Transient Analysis

01/04/2011 10:24 AM

Agreed. I found it much easier to simulate resonant inverter circuits using ATP-EMTP than the Spice products at the time (circa 1993). Functional blocks made the chore of creating a controller much easier.

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#2

Re: Electrical Transient Analysis

02/05/2011 12:13 PM

Hi, I appreciate your reply to my blog Can't I download this software without having to get the license first? It says I need to mail a form to get the license.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Electrical Transient Analysis

02/05/2011 12:37 PM

You just have to fill out the form online

http://www.emtp.org/

the intent is to make sure you understand that this program is for your own use, not to resell it as your own software package

& to give proper credit, if you post your results

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Electrical Transient Analysis

02/05/2011 12:49 PM

Thanks for helping out, Garthh. The licensing routine is actually quite simple, and originated with an internal political battle at EPRI, where some wanted to commercialize the EMTP package. The ATP group broke away to keep the package in the public domain. The licensing process also ties you in to a very sophisticated, knowledgeable and very active support group, including some highly-credentialed university staff, that are quite helpful, not only with beginner issues, but with more advanced issues as well.

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#5

Re: Electrical Transient Analysis

02/05/2011 1:37 PM

I filled the form, but it's still prompting me to mail it. Can't I skip this and go straight to download?

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Electrical Transient Analysis

02/05/2011 3:06 PM

When I registered for the software, submitting the form resulted in an e-mail with the address and the password for accessing the downloads- it is possible that they have changed the procedure. I do not remember having mailed a copy of the document to the user group. I do see that there is a slight difference in the layout of the form page for the European users- try American or Asian users and see if the "Send Data" button at the end of the page doesn't get you an e-mail response.

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