Electricity is an element of our daily lives that many of us can't imagine living without. It powers almost everything we do, especially when it comes to your business. If you were to find yourself suddenly without power in your workplace, you could lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars in potential business as well as costly repairs to your power system. Luckily, many of the most common issues that could cause a power outage can be prevented by simple maintenance procedures.
If you're considering working with a professional electrical engineer, you may hear them talk about the importance of a load flow analysis. But what exactly is a load flow analysis, and why is it important for your business?
What is a Load Flow Analysis?
Let's start with the basics: The current electrical system in your workplace is designed to handle a certain amount of power. This amount of power can be referred to as a “load.” A load flow analysis helps determine how much power the various elements of your power system can handle.
Not all parts of your power system are created equal, and each can handle a different amount of electricity. If you were to have a surge, for example, some portions of your power system may react differently than others. A load flow analysis is used to determine whether your electrical system is operating properly, and when or if it could become overloaded.
Purpose of Load Flow Analysis
A load flow analysis is a preventative measure and should be a routine part of your maintenance procedure. These studies are often conducted during planning to determine the effectiveness of the various elements of your electrical system. They can also be used to evaluate your generator, or help craft an overall maintenance plan to ensure your system continues to serve you well for years to come.
Having a load flow analysis can help prevent power system overloads and decrease your risk of a short circuit or a blowout. During these tests, your electrical engineer will typically evaluate your power system under normal operating conditions as well as some more extreme circumstances.
Not only can the load flow analysis help you determine the best operation of your system as it exists now, but it can also help you plan for future business growth. An expansion of your storefront also includes an expansion of your electrical system, and a load flow analysis helps determine the safest and most effective way to do so. These tests can also be useful in designing an entirely new power system.
Benefits of Load Flow Analysis
The benefits of having a load flow analysis performed in your workplace cannot be overstated. When you know how much electricity your system can handle, you'll be less likely to accidentally push it past its limit, resulting in unexpected downtime. You can also reduce your maintenance costs by addressing minor issues long before they become major problems.
Additionally, a load flow analysis helps you optimize your existing equipment. If the electrical engineer finds a problem with any part of your system, they can recommend the best course of action for fixing it. This allows you to continue to use the same equipment instead of having to replace the entire asset and spend thousands of dollars unexpectedly.
Load Flow Analysis Methods
Now that you know a bit about what a load flow analysis is and why it's important, how does it work? Typically, load flow analyses are performed using specialized computer software. This software can simulate the typical operating conditions of your system and keep these conditions going for a lengthy period, helping to determine how long your equipment can handle that load. A load flow analysis will also show the power flowing through the various lines, any line losses that may be present, and the voltages at various buses.
Load Flow Analysis from MTAEE
If you are considering expanding your business or simply want to take charge with a preventative electrical test for your workplace, we're here to help. Mark Thomas & Associates Electrical Engineers is proud to serve a wide range of businesses big and small throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, and the West Coast. In addition to load flow analyses, we can also perform additional services such as coordination studies, system evaluations, short circuit analyses, and more.
In everything we do, our team strives to provide the most thorough tests and results to help you increase the longevity of your electrical system. We only employ the most experienced electrical engineers who will happily answer all your questions and explain their methods step by step.
To learn more about any of our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!