Troubleshooting a Commercial Power System

Troubleshooting a Commercial Power System

In commercial power systems, conductors carry electricity from a utility company to buildings. They are then split into branch circuits that serve individual devices such as lights and outlets.

A breaker panel’s rating and design plate is often found somewhere on the dead front (nameplate). This will give you important information about the system, such as its voltage and ratings.


A commercial power system is a network of electrical components deployed to supply, transfer and use electric power. It can be divided into three parts: the power generation facilities, the transmission system and the distribution system.

The distribution systems can be of several types. The raceway and conductor method is the most common and consists of a flexible or rigid nonmetallic conduit or tubing combined with an equipment ground conductor to complete the circuit. A busway is another type of distribution system that consists of a metal enclosure with one or more insulated conductors. Busways can be used in dry or wet locations and are especially popular in commercial electrical applications.

Loads are the devices that consume electrical power in the power system. They must be properly rated for their current, voltage and frequency requirements in order to function correctly. Loads can also be adversely affected by power quality issues such as voltage sags, dips and swells, harmonic distortion, flicker, high frequency noise and phase imbalance.

Backup power supplies are the source of energy for the power system to maintain an uninterrupted supply of regulated voltage during loss of main input power. They can be rotary or static units and are sized based on the criticality of the loads they will serve. If redundancy is required, a hybrid solution may be the most suitable.


A commercial power system is a network of electrical components deployed to supply, transfer, and use electric power. It can be categorized into three parts: generating centers, transmission networks, and distribution systems. A commercial power system is an essential component of a large business, including offices, hospitals, and warehouses. It is used to supply a steady flow of electricity, prevent voltage drop, and protect against damage caused by fire or flooding.

When constructing a new commercial structure, an electrician will first install a temporary power line that provides electricity to the construction site. This is a safety measure that ensures that contractors are using proper tools and working in a safe environment. It also helps them avoid damaging the building’s wiring or creating a hazardous work zone.

Once the building is complete, a qualified industrial electrician will connect the power system to the main distribution panel and its devices. The wires will then be connected to a load center circuit breaker box that leads back to Commercial Power System the electric meter. This panel will contain a series of circuit breakers that control the flow of electricity to smaller areas in the building, such as individual branch circuits for appliances and convenience outlets.

These circuits can be single or three-phase. A single-phase system consists of two wires while a three-phase system has three wires. A single-phase Commercial Power System distribution system can be detected by examining the panel’s dead front. This will reveal that the panel has three positive or line bus bars and a neutral bar.


Electrical systems, like most equipment, start deteriorating from the time they are installed. Factors such as system overload, harsh working conditions and damage speed up the deterioration leading to malfunctions and failure. The best way to prevent these problems is through regular inspections, testing and maintenance.

Electrical equipment maintenance programs (EMPs) are designed to keep commercial power systems in top condition by establishing a schedule of evaluation, inspection and repairs. These programs reduce operational interruptions, improve safety and lengthen equipment life spans.

An EMP should include the inspection and testing of electrical receptacles, ground fault circuit interrupters, code-required working clearances and lighting equipment. Health facilities documents also recommend periodic maintenance of the emergency and standby generators, paralleling switchgear and transfer switches.

A comprehensive power quality survey is a must for all health care facilities. Using infrared thermography, the survey can identify hot spots in your facility. This allows you to focus on the problem areas that require mitigation techniques. Power quality surveys also help you determine the types and severity of power quality problems in your facility. This information will help you select the best type of mitigation equipment and determine an estimated cost for the project. Other important studies include load flow, short-circuit fault analysis and arc flash study. These can be conducted by qualified professionals and are essential to the proper operation of your power system.


The electrical power system in commercial properties must be properly troubleshooted if it is not performing as designed. There are several factors that can contribute to poor power quality such as surges, brownouts and sags. The first step in troubleshooting is to check for signs of overheating and inspect equipment, wiring, printed circuit boards and relay coils. If it is safe to do so, the breaker panel should also be checked for excessive current flow and shorting circuits.

A common problem with commercial breaker panels is frequent tripping. When the breaker trips it means that too much electricity is being used and this causes the circuit to overheat, which can cause fires in the property. This is why it is important to always shut off the power when a breaker trips. This will prevent the fire from spreading. If the breaker keeps tripping, it is time to call a professional electrician to take a closer look at your electrical system.

Fuses were traditionally the quintessential protective device for power systems but are now almost always replaced by miniature circuit breakers installed in fuse boxes. These are easier to reset and if of the thermomagnetic type, can respond more quickly to some types of fault. Residual current devices (RCD) are also now being commonly installed on appliance and lighting circuits.

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