Working as an electrical engineer can be a challenging, yet rewarding profession. However, nowadays, even this field can benefit from an easier burden thanks to specialized tools. These include cable calculation software or electrical simulation utilities.
The software solutions listed below are not only useful for electrical engineers, or professionals. On the other hand, they can be trustworthy allies for struggling students who want to explore the practical side of their soon-to-be profession.
These also spare them from having to make contact with actual, potentially hazardous, hardware equipment.
Cable-Mate, ProDesign, ElectricalOM, and ETAP Cable Sizing are some of the best cable calculation software solutions available. You can download and use them on your Windows computer if you find yourself in the situations depicted above.
ETAP Cable Sizing
ETAP Cable Sizing can be a real life-saver for electrical engineers who are in need of assistance in calculating the exact amount of cable that is required to design an effective electrical network.
The study module of ETAP Cable Sizing can calculate optimal and alternative cable sizes for phase conductors by basing its calculations on various criteria, including voltage drops, load current value, short circuits, motor minimum starting voltage and even protective device requirements.
It is also worth mentioning that ETAP Cable Sizing also applies multiplication factors to the ampacity value based on the cable application that’s currently selected.
- Calculation of cable parameters and results of said operations
- Its interface is grid-based, and optimized for filtering, searching and sorting
- Updating in bulk using library data
- Selecting in bulk using library models
- Several selection filters
- Ability to generate consolidated or individual reports
- The demo version is pretty limited
Cable-Mate’s name might be pretty suggestive already, but it’s worth mentioning that this cable calculation software solution has a lot in store for electrical engineers, students or DIY enthusiasts who are eager to learn a thing or two about how to design an electrical network in a cost-effective manner.
Cable-Mate can perform its complex calculations on a wide array of cable types, making it highly suitable for various situations.
You can perform multiple operations on cables such as multicore or single-core PVC or thermosetting, Twin & Earth, Armoured (SWA), SY-flex, YY-flex, CY-flex, Flexishield, Tri-rated, Split-Concentric, or H07RN F-flex cables, depending on your needs.
- Disconnection times check tool
- Measured R1 + R2 values check tool
- Conduit size calculator
- Trunking size calculator
- Volt drop calculator
- SWA cleat and gland size identifier
- Diversity calculator
- Panel layout creator
- Completely free
- The UI is outdated
Amtech ProDesign is a cable measurement software solution that was developed to help professional electricians and engineers develop complex solutions regarding electrical wiring without having to be anywhere near the equipment they’re designing.
Usually, a lot of time is spent creating the ideal version of an electrical network, and this can be quite a bump in the road, especially if a deadline is involved.
However, ProDesign can take care of that by letting you create accurate simulations before you get to the actual assembly part of your project.
ProDesign encompasses a broad range of devices, such as fuses, relays, and circuit-breakers, all of which are configured with parameters that are approved by the manufacturer, thus boosting further the accuracy of your projects.
Any network component, along with its specific data, can be accessed in a timely manner from within the program, by simply selecting it from the GUI (Graphic User Interface).
ProDesign also enables you to specifically select items that you want to be displayed (while skipping all the others, of course), so that your workspace can suit your needs in a better way.
- Selective item activation
- Supports a broad range of devices
- Great for electrical network simulations
- Not very beginner-friendly
ElectricalOM is a specialized cable measurement software solution designed to help advanced users such as electrical engineers design electrical networks and calculate the necessary materials and component values without having to deal with the actual, physical devices.
The tool displays the electrical network in a tree-like manner so that users can copy, paste, drag and drop circuits or other components in their projects without significant efforts.
ElectricalOM can and will perform necessary calculations and checks according to the BS7671 standards, which is harmonized with HD 384 and IEC 60364.
After you’ve successfully completed your project, this program allows you to generate various calculation reports, as well as a bill of quantities with user-defined prices, so that you can estimate the cost of the electrical network that you’re modeling before you start building it.
- Drag-and-drop controls
- Can generate calculation reports
- The price tag
Closing thoughts on cable calculation software
It’s well-known and widely accepted that working as an electrical engineer can be a rewarding, yet challenging and potentially hazardous profession, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Specialized tools like cable calculation software and electric network designers can play a huge role in lifting the burden, if only for a bit.
If you’re considering letting your computer handle some of the most difficult calculations, designing and measurement tasks, you can rely on software solutions such as ElectricalOM, Cable-Mate, ProDesign, or ETAP Cable Sizing.