Power systems used in commercial or industrial buildings are critical to the needs of those who work in and benefit from these establishments. To ensure the proper function of a power system in both normal and unusual circumstances, building owners may request a power system study, also referred to as a power system analysis. These studies can be valuable tools for the overall operation and improvement of any facility.
What is a Power System Analysis?
Before we can delve into the importance of a power system analysis or evaluation, we need to define what a power system analysis is in the first place. A power system analysis involves multiple studies that analyze how a power system responds to various events over time. These engineering investigations are all compiled into one final, overarching report for a full power system analysis.
Typically, a power system analysis will be classified as either transient, dynamic, or static. A transient study looks at an incredibly short time period, usually around 1 to 2 seconds. In a dynamic study, results may be gathered over a few seconds to a minute. A static study reviews the system for a longer period of time.
It’s important to note that, typically, a full power system analysis doesn’t happen all at once. Some aspects of a power system study may only need to be performed every 5 years or so, while other tests might need to be performed more often. You can speak with a professional to determine which components of a power system analysis could benefit your facility.
Goals of a Power System Analysis
A power system analysis can have several goals, and as such, an analysis will have several different studies within it in order to formulate a relevant report. Some of the possible studies include Short Circuit Analysis, Load Flow, Power Quality, Incident Energy, Protection Coordination Study, and others.
Power system analyses are meant to evaluate the system’s performance in both normal and abnormal circumstances. The engineers responsible for the analysis will consider various scenarios and determine how the system would behave under different fault conditions, providing a more complete picture of the strengths and weakness of the system.
Power system studies can also be used to plan for expansion. Once a facility understands how its power system operates, they can be better prepared for the increased demands that expansion can bring. Management will be able to consider replacing parts of their power system to allow for more demanding conditions.
In the end, the goal of a power system analysis is to provide the facility with an all-inclusive troubleshooting guide. The results of a power system analysis should give the facility all the information they need to troubleshoot problems with the system, improve its overall operation, and guide better maintenance decisions.
Who Benefits from a Power System Analysis?
It might be obvious to think that a power system analysis is beneficial to just the maintenance staff of the company in question. However, the reach of a power system analysis is much wider than it may seem at first glance. Everyone who works in or benefits from your facility can be greatly benefitted from a proper power system analysis.
It’s true that maintenance staff do benefit greatly from a power system analysis. The study can help crew members determine where their preventative maintenance budgets should be focused and which areas are better left untouched for now. Power systems analyses can also reveal any equipment that is too stressed, allowing for maintenance staff to replace these pieces.
A power system analysis can also be beneficial to the management of the facility. The report will help management identify points of risk and act accordingly and integrate new information into the facility’s safety programs. Operations staff can benefit in much the same way; they can help staff members stay safe and prepared in the case of an outage. Finally, the results of a power system analysis can help improve the decisions made for a capital project.
Why is a Power System Analysis Important?
One of the biggest reasons why facilities should undergo a power system analysis is for safety purposes. The engineers who perform these analyses are highly trained and are able to determine which system components may present a risk. If they do find anything out of the ordinary, they are able to give educated recommendations for solving the issue, leading to a safer and more reliable workplace for all.
Additionally, power systems analyses are valuable tools that can help a facility save money. By taking preventative action to ensure the safety of a facility, management can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The facility managers will be able to avoid costly repairs that may come from a faulty piece of equipment. It’s always better to be proactive and incur these minimal costs instead of having to replace whole components of the power system or parts of the facility in general. Not to mention, the results of a power system analysis can help management determine what types of personal protective equipment (PPE) to invest in for their employees.
Power System Analysis Software
There are several types of power system analysis software that might be used for your procedure. Companies select their software of choice based on factors like budget and experience.
Perhaps the most well-known power system analysis software is ETAP. ETAP is considered the global leader for power system analysis software with more than 50,000 software licenses in more than 100 countries. Other common providers include Easy Power, EA Technology, and SKM.
Complete a Power System Analysis with MTA
Mark Thomas & Associates Electrical Engineers (MTA) is proud to serve commercial and industrial facilities all throughout Southern California. Our experienced technicians are able to perform key components of your facility’s power system analysis, including Arc Flash Analysis, Short Circuit Analysis, Coordination Studies, and more, as well as a full Power System Evaluation. We are accredited by NETA and always uphold the highest degree of safety.
Contact us today to schedule your service!