The Silicon Review
At the age of 17 with $500 in his pocket, Farrokh Shokooh moved from Tehran to Baton Rouge, where he earned his PhD in Power Engineering from LSU. In charge of selecting an electrical engineering software while working at Fluor Co., he recognized the industry’s need for a comprehensive software to help engineers accurately and efficiently model and analyze power systems. Then and there, the vision and dream of ETAP (Electrical Transient Analyzer Program) was born. Shortly after, in 1986, Farrokh founded Operation Technology, Inc. (ETAP).
From the very first release, ETAP was developed on a robust and well-thought-out basis. A single-platform foundation with one database has made it possible for ETAP to continuously expand by adding new capabilities based on market trends and customer demands.
During its initial days, the main challenges faced by the company were sourcing talent and financing. Although the ETAP product started competing against established and known electrical engineering software, it is now leading the industry. Moving from DOS to Windows in the 1990’s provided ETAP with the opportunity to innovate technologies in which the software expanded from off-line analysis to real-time solutions for modeling, design, analysis, monitoring, real-time predictive simulation, optimization, automation, and control of power systems.
For over 30 years, ETAP has been powering success and has grown to be the most comprehensive electrical engineering platform on the market for generation, transmission, distribution, industrial, transportation, and low voltage systems.
ETAP plays a significant role in the “Power Ecosystem” by offering an intelligent model-based platform and synergistic networking with its technology partners. This collaboration contributes to increased productivity and improved safety and reliability to the end-users and the industry at large. The company is continuously enhancing its software to address the specific needs of the industry in some of the world’s most mission-critical projects.
Today, thousands of companies in more than 100 countries rely on ETAP on a daily basis, including electrical design firms, nuclear generation plants, power utilities, industrial facilities, government agencies, and educational institutes. The latest customer survey reflects an overall satisfaction rate of 99%.
As an enterprise product, ETAP offers a fully-integrated and interactive suite of software and hardware products that span from modeling to operation of power systems. Some of the solutions offered by ETAP include:
Design & Modeling – A core set of schematic and design tools, including engineering libraries that allow the user to build, configure, customize, and manage system virtual models for visualization of electrical networks.
Arc Flash Analysis – Software solution to identify and analyze high-risk arc flash areas in the electrical power system by simulating and evaluating various mitigation methods to reduce arc flash hazards, from low to high voltage AC and DC systems.
Star™ / StarZ™ – System protection & coordination software which offers insight into troubleshooting false tripping, mis-operation, and mis-coordination of protective devices such as current relays, impedance relays, circuit breakers, fuses, etc.
ETAP Real-Time™ –
Model-driven Power Management System (PMS), electrical SCADA, Microgrid controller, and Energy Management System (EMS) including energy accounting, predictive analysis, sequence of events playback, load forecasting, automation, control, and more.
ADMS™ – Advanced Distribution Management System (DMS+OMS) combining planning and operation solutions to manage, control, visualize, and optimize distribution networks using geospatial (GIS) diagrams.
ILS™ – Intelligent Load Shedding system for industrial and utility systems from simple demand response to machine learning based on high speed load shedding.
eTraX™ – Software solutions for modeling, analyzing, managing, and simulating AC and DC electric railway systems and train operations.
Expert Engineering Services
Dynamic Modeling & Tuning – Phasor and electromagnetic transient analysis of power networks; Dynamic parameter tuning (generator, motor, renewable source, energy storage load, exciter, governor, PSS) to match test measurements; Development and dynamic verification of User-defined Dynamic Models (UDM).
Integration & Automation – Installing and upgrading ETAP real-time power management systems to monitor, simulate, automate, and control electric power systems.
GIS Integration – Assist customers with data conversion and development of ETAP intelligent geospatial electrical models from GIS data migrated from field survey, GIS databases, Google, Bing, open source maps, etc. Superimposing electrical one-line diagrams with the corresponding geographical maps of transmission and distribution systems, thereby providing an interactive tool for accessing, analyzing, and managing geo-linked information.
Analytical Services – Support clients worldwide with specification, analysis criteria, evaluation of electrical systems, full-spectrum analysis, engineering training, conceptual design, and improving operation efficiency in order to protect facilities against hazards and risks.
Data Exchange & Conversion – Conducting database conversions and data synchronization between third-party databases and legacy software to ETAP for network models and real-time operations.
With over 500,000 man-hours of R&D, the upcoming ETAP 17 release brings design, analysis, and automation innovations to a new level of advancement by accelerating system modeling, ensuring design integrity, and delivering intelligent predictive analysis.
Bases of ETAP’s Success Story
Passion – This is the main driving force behind ETAP’s success. Passion powers creative and innovative thinking. Thinking Powers Success.
Mission – ETAP is committed to provide state-of-the-art products and superior engineering services by combining advanced technologies with the highest standard in quality to achieve overall customer satisfaction.
Employees – ETAP has been built brick by brick, adding the best talent as the company grew year after year. It has been able to attract highly-educated and experienced engineers, scientists, software developers and other professionals, many of whom have been with ETAP for 30+ years.
ETAP strongly promotes forward-thinking ideas coupled with a clear understanding of the company’s core values. Roles, responsibilities, and procedures are well-defined so that employees are able to concentrate on competing with themselves in their growth path, while learning and participating in conferences, seminars, and committees that govern industry standards.
Behind ETAP’s achievements stands the work of a small army of 500 people who make sure the company, as a corporate entity, runs as a well-oiled machine. ETAP empowers employees to think outside the box and use their best engineering and professional judgment.
Customers – ETAP’s product development is driven by its customers. Many enhancements are incorporated based on customer suggestions. The company has created long-term relationships with its customers; most of them use ETAP as their standard software. Engineers, operators, and managers in thousands of companies worldwide put their trust in ETAP.
It is both challenging and rewarding to bring to life a new product that matches customers’ expectations. This requires persistence, patience, and immense focus.
Quality Assurance Program – Since 1991, ETAP’s lifecycle has fully complied with stringent procedures set forth in standards such as US Code of Federal Regulation (10CFR50 Appendix B), IEEE, ANSI, ASME, and ISO 9001. ETAP is committed to the process and requirements stated in its Quality Assurance program.
Meet the man behind ETAP’s success
Farrokh Shokooh of ETAP. Farrokh is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a registered Professional Electrical Engineer in the states of California and Texas.
ETAP’s culture is summarized by its 7 C’s.