General Specifications
pc-GAR is a NERC-developed application that lets users take advantage of the wealth of information in the Generating Availability Data System (GADS). pc-GAR is an easy-to-use program for querying the GADS database and producing reports and table presentations based on the results right in your own office! pc-GAR employs the latest Windows-based technology such as pull-down menus and dialogue boxes to help you specify data selection and analysis parameters. With pc-GAR, you can examine the operational histories of your generating units, compare these histories against similar groups of units, examine component and cause code availability, and much more.

Power generators will have access to detailed data on their units' operations as well as summary information on groups of units. Other power generators and manufacturers can access their own unit-specific data, but not others. Architect-engineers, consultants, regulators, and all other nonutility representatives will have access to summary information for groups of units only.

pc-GAR Applications

Power Generator Version (GADS contributors only):
  • access to information on your own individual units
  • locating similarly equipped generating units
  • comparing the performance of manufacturers
  • conducting general trend analyses
Manufacturer's Version:
  • access to unit information where your equipment is installed (unique versions of software for each manufacturer)
  • ability to compare yourself with all other manufacturers
  • locating similarly equipped generating units using design parameters
  • conducting general trend analyses
Non-manufacturer's Version (also non-Regional Entity Members):
  • global analyses only
  • no access to unit/utility/Regional/manufacturer data
  • locating similarly equipped generating units using design parameters
  • conducting general trend analyses
Power Generators/operators who do not report data to GADS will not have access to pc-GAR or any GADS reports. This ruling was established by the NERC Planning Committee in November 2000.

What data may be used for defining my sorting criteria?

The user can select multiple parameters from the following general categories:

Unit Design/Equipment Configuration Information
Depending on unit type selected, this could vary from dozens of selections. For example, with fossil-steam units, the user can select MW size, number of pulverizers installed/needed for full load, turbine manufacturer etc.

Unit Performance Measures
Some 39 parameters are available for all unit types. These include Service Hours per year, number of forced outages, unit age, etc. These measures can be used as filters (limit minimum and maximum values) to better benchmark your units.

Unit Operating Statistics
There are 13 parameters available for all unit types. These include Equivalent Availability Factor, Equivalent Forced Outage Rate - Demand, Service Factor, and any more. Like Unit Performance Measures, Unit Operating Statistics can be used as filters (limit minimum and maximum values) to better benchmark your units.

Cause Codes
More than 2,000 codes can be selected for analyzing averages and distributions for improving equipment performance.

Fuel Parameters
Fuel characteristics collected by GADS can be analyzed in pc-GAR.

NOTE: Any combination of the above parameters can be used.

Minimum Software/Hardware Requirements
  • 7 megabytes of hard disk space for the pc-GAR programs
  • 700 megabytes of hard disk space for data storage
  • Pentium 3 or better processor (IBM compatible)
  • 64 megabytes RAM
  • 3.5 inch floppy disk drive
  • Quad- or higher speed CD-ROM drive
  • Windows 95b or later 9x operating system, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000 sp1.
Preferred Software/Hardware Requirements:
  • Pentium 800, equivalent or better processor.
  • 128 MB RAM.
  • 1 GB free disk space.
  • Win2000 operating system.
Output Formats

Depending on the report selected, the user may choose the following output formats:
  • monitor (with option to print)
  • printer
  • comma separated variable (CSV) (suitable for Excel, Lotus 123, etc.)
Frequently Asked Questions

Is there ongoing support?
Programming problems will be corrected as found and all users holding current licenses will be updated. Licensed users may call NERC for support in applying the program and notifying NERC of any problems. Extensive help screens support the user at all times.

Is there a User's Guide?
The pc-GAR User's Guide details all aspects of the program and includes many useful examples.

Can pc-GAR be used by multiple users?
Yes, the GADS data on the CD-ROM can be loaded on a LAN system. The pc-GAR program can be loaded on remote terminals and the data can be accessed from the LAN. NERC requires one copy of the software per site location. The reason is to coordinate upgrades and questions through one system administrator at each site.