Okay, so here's the deal. When I first got my copy of PV Elite from COADE, and started learning, I had designers disease. I wanted something ON SCREEN right away. Had to see what the picture looked like, with no regard to setting anything up. Well, that was fun, I had my picture, but then I had to set things up, a little after the fact…
So, I started to work on that, and came up with a few things that I do either before I start the design, or maybe a little ways into the design that help things out.
Pick your Code
Okay, so first off, before you get crazy clicking on components, make sure that you have the right code selected. This isn't a HUGE deal, but it's nice to start out using Div 2 if you are doing a Div 2 vessel.
Select your Units
This one get's me every time, and I don't know why. PV Elite has several pre-defined unit styles, USE THEM. I get people calling me that they can't calculate a 2" straight flange on a vessel because it's asking for length in feet, CHANGE YOUR UNITS! It's not tricky, but people still miss it.
This is a tab at the bottom, and should be one of your FIRST stops if not your first. This is VITAL information that needs to be reviewed and setup. You can pre-select certain values, for instance the Pressures and Temp's right here, so that as you are putting the right info in, more on this in a minute. This is also where you are going to set your datum line, or in Kyle's vocab, the strike line. Vessels don't get built by measuring off the ground, quit designing them that way.
There is some debate, at least with one of my clients about this. I'm going to talk for just a second about this being a vertical vessel. Nothing fancy, just a straight up, 2 heads, a shell, and a skirt kind of vessel. He has always designed the vessel, then added the skirt, well, so be it. Your first component is whatever you want. PV Elite will let you insert components after the fact, really. It's called the insert button. Great name for it. Build your vessel, then come back, and insert in what you need.
Fill In Some Data
Once you've put your first component, take the time to fill out a few things. The first, and biggest being, THE NAME! Name your components, this isn't vital, but it sure makes life easier when you are reading over your reports. Next up, fill in the sizes and materials. PV Elite populates up. Meaning that the information you provide in the first setup, will be directly pushed to the next component you place. Taking a few seconds to set the information on the first component will save you lots of time when you start having to change them ALL! I tend to treat that first component like I was running CodeCalc. Take the time to set it up right, and you will save yourself a few minutes in the long run.
This is pretty much the start of my vessel, from here, it get's fun. You actually start BUILDING the thing.
Hope this gives you a little food for thought, and take a few extra minutes to explore the software, and find the ways for you to get faster and more efficient.