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Power Measurement

Whether or not a Power Monitoring System is installed there is always an occasional need to perform on-the-spot power measurement to evaluate particular load parameters such as:

  • Load Flow
  • Voltage Swings
  • Power Factor
  • Power Quality

Local power measurements are typically required if there is a need to:

  • Assess loading of a selected feeder(s)
  • Decide whether particular feeders can accept large load additions
  • Measure Harmonic Distortion when the power quality of the supply is in question
  • Provide Power Factor compensation for a facility or locally to release capacity
  • Calculate the projected impact of large load installation

The Portable Power Monitoring Package based on PML ION 7500 meter provides all the necessary information within moments. The power monitors are typically installed in customer specified locations for a period of 1-7 days, but other arrangements are possible. When installing the power monitor power interruption is usually not required.

Power Quality

Power Quality is often called into question but, be it simple Power Factor correction capacitors or a complex harmonic filtering system, there is a solution to fit any budget or schedule.

PowerCore's in-house expertise along with its partners can resolve commonly experienced issues such as:

  • Excessive Harmonic Distortion
  • Voltage Flicker
  • Voltage Fluctuation
  • Neutral Cable Overheating
  • Ground Loops/Grounding Problems

In addition, complex PQ Audits can be provided that will assess the entire facility power distribution system from the top down.

Typically, power quality is evaluated through a Power Monitoring System (if the facility has one) or a series of Power Quality Measurements are performed.

PowerCore Engineering can provide such customized PQ Solutions as:

  • Fixed PF Correction Capacitor Banks
  • Switched-in Capacitor Banks
  • Harmonic Filters
  • Voltage Regulators
  • K-rated Transformers
  • TVSS

To discover the options available to improve electrical power distribution system reliability and performance call PowerCore Engineering.

System Studies

Considering load additions? Expanding or modifying power distribution systems? New construction project involving electrical systems?

PowerCore Engineering provides an extensive line-up of Professional Electrical Engineering services ranging from simple short circuit and protective coordination studies to complex power system modelling and system design. Some common wide range services for existing power systems are:

  • Short Circuit Evaluation and Protective Coordination Studies (typically required for all new installations, and advisable after substantial system alterations). This study is performed to evaluate and stipulate the settings for all protective devices including breakers, protective relays, fuses, motor protectors, etc. The results of which ensure optimum system protection in case of fault, i.e. the system branch is safely and selectively isolated before any damage to the system is sustained
  • Load Flow and Voltage Stability Studies (voltage fluctuation projections, equipment loading assessments, etc.)
  • Motor Starting Studies and Simulations (most often performed before large motor installations)
  • Harmonic Analysis (PQ evaluation, capacitor impact forecast, harmonic filters design/specifications, etc.)
  • Insulation Coordination Studies (HV and MV installations)
  • Emergency Backup System Audits (power outage impact evaluations, backup system performance, generator/ATS sizing, power system tie-in considerations, etc.)

In addition, services for new power distribution systems are provided:

  • Power System Design for Industrial and Commercial Facilities (drawings, engineering specifications, ESA submittals, contractor liaisons)
  • Emergency Backup System Design (generators, Automatic Transfer Switches, power system tie-in considerations, etc.)
  • Ground Grid Design (new and existing substations)

Arc Flash Studies

An Arc Flash is the result of a rapid release of energy due to an arcing fault between one phase bus bar and another, neutral or ground. The fault typically starts with something creating a path of conduction or a failure such as a breakdown in insulation.

The cause of the short normally burns away during the initial flash and the arc fault is then sustained by the establishment of a highly-conductive plasma. The massive Arc Flash energy discharge burns the bus bars, vaporizing the copper and thus causing an explosive volumetric increase, the arc blast conservatively estimated as an expansion of 40, 000 to 1.

The arc fault current is usually much less than the available bolted fault current and below the rating of circuit breakers. Unless these devices have been selected to handle the arc fault condition, they may not trip and the full force of an Arc Flash will occur. The challenge is to sense the arc fault current and shut off the supply in a timely manner before it develops into a serious Arc Flash condition.

Although OSHA does not directly state what to do concerning Arc Flash hazards, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.32 (d)(1) Based on these assessments the employer must select and require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for his/her employees.

The NFPA70E in the US and the Canadian CSA Z462 standard deals with the Arc Flash Hazard assessment, management, and safety procedures. Among other issues these standards deal with arc hazard categorization, appropriate PPE selection, and safe work procedure.

NFA70E offers some information on calculation of the incident energy level, but without much detail. The IEEE Std. 1584 method is typically used for precise determination of incident energy levels.

Although there are several Arc-Flash software programs that are currently available on the market, PowerCore Engineering currently uses the EDSA Paladin Power System Analysis software package for system modelling and Arc Flash calculations (see more information on AC and DC Arc Flash).

PowerCore Engineering offers services in performing Arc Flash analysis including the following:

  • On-site Inspection and Electric Panel Data Acquisition
  • Single Line Diagrams (SLD) Update/Creation
  • Protective Device Coordination and Short Circuit Analysis
  • Arc Flash Study
  • Providing all Warning Labels, Annotated SLDs, Detailed Arc Flash Energy Tables
  • Performing Arc Flash Hazard Management Orientation Seminars
Additional Note

The Arc Flash Analysis is merely a first step in implementing an Arc Flash Hazard Management Program. The results of the study shall be further utilized in steps such as:

  • Implementing the results of the Arc Flash Analysis—Modifying power distribution system parameters as needed (changing settings on the protective relays/breakers, replacing fuses, etc.)
  • PPE and Training—Providing instructions and Personal Protective Equipment to all personnel that will be operating major electrical equipment
  • Modifying operating procedures (where practical)--changing in switching arrangements, adding remote tripping/closing to selected breakers, using long operating arms, etc.