testing and commissioning procedure for electrical systems

| December 10, 2020

1. Figure 1: Testing agents are shown communicating with remote chiller operations during commissioning of new medium-voltage switchgear to verify proper operations. While some data centers will also pursue LEED certification, the commissioning process is much more extensive and includes many of the testing requirements identified here. Power cables generate heat, and heat affects resistivity and current-carrying capacity. The client decided to spend extra money in redundant backup systems. • preoperational testing: All testing required for system components prior to energizing or operating the major system component. We specialize in commissioning, start up, and maintenance testing for Utility, Industrial, Transit, Data Centers, and Commercial Facilities. ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005, “The Commissioning Process,” breaks down the process into the following phases: Although this guideline was developed for the commissioning of HVAC systems, it is a very comprehensive description of the commissioning process, and the phases it outlines can be used as the basis for commissioning on-site electrical systems. Some of the codes or standards that provide requirements or recommendations for commissioning include: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-rated facilities require fundamental commissioning. For electrical systems, this includes lighting, controls, daylight-harvesting controls, and any sustainable green power systems, like solar photovoltaic systems. Fundamental commissioning activities performed by the CxA include: LEED-rated facilities also offer additional credits for Enhanced Commissioning, which can provide additional points. It should be noted that enhanced commissioning is done by a third party independent of the design and construction teams. The third-party professional will: Both the IECC and ASHRAE 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings mandate the commissioning of lighting systems. ASHRAE 90.1 now requires lighting and controls functional testing, design documentation, submittals, operation manuals, complete narrative, and daylighting documentation. The functional testing can’t be performed by the design or construction team members. Courtesy: SmithGroup. Information also is critical for future renovations and expansions, as consulting engineers can determine the ability to add new loads to existing systems. The inspection and testing performed on an electrical power system and its components before the initial energization is key to lifecycle reliability. In addition to below precise method of statement, you can find many electrical and ELV system testing and commissioning method … Smaller facilities may not have any discrete systems. The monthly testing must be done for 30 minutes under partial load (30%) or to achieved rated minimum exhaust-gas temperatures. Search Products And Discover New Innovations In Your Industry!! Figure 3: Parallelling generators on switchgear requires careful testing and simulation of possible operating scenarios to confirm control sequences. Common challenges for the busy engineer and budget-constrained owner is the time and cost for the travel to the factory—and deciding who from the team should attend. Depending on the awarded manufacturer, the factory may even be located outside of the country where the engineer or project resides. In these cases, the option of “virtual factory witness testing” is a possibility using video conferencing. This allows engineers, owners, and contractors to participate remotely in witness testing and preinstallation inspections. ), as well as converter stations. This phase also can be broken down into three steps for commissioning: 1. Due to the complexity of the electrical systems, the manufacturer developed a simulator for testing. Halfway through the migration, a snake crawled across two phases of a 25 kV utility service switch and caused a fault that interrupted service to the facility. List of air flows, water flows, sound levels, system capacities and efficiency measurements to be performed, and a description of specific test procedures, parameters, formulas and test instrument type to be used for the measurements have been provided. Data centers are another type of mission critical facility with some of the more rigorous requirements for commissioning electrical power systems. Electric Power Systems is a NETA Certified, Independent Electrical Testing & Engineering Organization. Load banks may be permanently installed or configured for temporary rental unit for regular testing. This will reduce hazards and make the diagnostic and testing of subsystems easier in case there is a problem in the installation. Begins with planning and includes design, construction, start-up, acceptance and training, and can be applied throughout the life of the building. Review contractor submittals applicable to systems being commissioned. NECA 90-2015 Standard for Commissioning Building Electrical Systems is now available from the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).This standard describes installation procedures for commissioning common newly installed or retrofitted building electrical systems and equipment. For example, the owner preferred to have two sources of power to this facility, but only one medium-voltage source was available in the area. Supervisory control and data acquisition systems. Anne Bradley, Julia Janaro and Megan Chorley, By Brian Rener, PE, LEED AP, SmithGroup, ChicagoÂ, National Electrical Manufacturers Association, IEEE 400-2012: IEEE Guide for Field Testing and Evaluation of the Insulation of Shielded Power Cable Systems Rated 5 kV and Above, ANSI/NETA ATS-2017: Standard for Acceptance Testing Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems, NFPA 110: Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Healthcare Facility Commissioning Guidelines, ASHRAE 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, ANSI NETA MTS 2015: Standard for Maintenance Testing Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems, Weekly merger and acquisition update: December 4, 2020, Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: November 27 to December 3, 2020, Best practices in science, technology office design, Multi-family housing design trends driven by COVID-19, Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed articles, November 2020, Ask an expert: Justin Garner provides input on COVID-19, Virtual reality challenges, solutions for A/E firms. Understand the differences between electrical testing and commissioning. Many share a common perception that commissioning is the final stage of a project, performed when a facility is complete or nearly complete. PTW should be signed by all parties with valid dates and times related to the specific activity and equipment. The consulting engineer should consider the project type, client, building codes, and desired outcomes when specifying electrical testing. Big electromechanical companies are having their own testing and commissioning teams that can perform the electrical tests dpending upon the client agreement and approval. Develop or approve construction checklists. Level 3: Pre-functional testing (PFT): This level involves the inspection of the initial install equipment to verify that all equipment is installed properly and that installation meets specified standards and requirements. The most common tests are functional tests and demonstrations for the owner and staff. Electrical monitoring systems are making even greater strides with leading-edge systems that are “aware” of occupant use and traffic, adjusting light levels to constant illumination levels and energy use. More sophisticated power-quality monitoring can help owners avoid damage to equipment or to identify sources of poor power quality either inside the facility or from the utility. Common alarms from various systems can be collected and presented for instant remote decision-making and action plans. Develop or approve system’s manual updates and delivery. Contractor field tests: Field testing by the installing electrical contractor is a common specification requirement. Some of the more common contractor field tests include medium-voltage cable testing, load balancing, phase rotation, and infrared (IR) scanning of terminations and connections. Problems did occur in each phase of testing (defective breakers, interaction of systems during a failure, coordination issues with inrush, etc.). A review of shop drawings submittals for all major electrical equipment provides the design team and the commissioning agent with the opportunity to confirm that the manufacturers are providing the equipment as specified and that the systems meet the design intent. In the design phase, the owner’s requirements are translated into construction documents. Individual equipment test 2. • prestartup testing: All testing required prior to rotating the generating unit under power (hydraulic or electrical) which is unique to the unit and not associated with system testing. The purpose of this method statement for electrical testing and commissioning is to explain step by step method to implement the correct practices for the precommissioning, testing & commissioning of “LV Switchgear “through the guidelines.. Manufacturer factory tests: Electrical equipment manufacturers test their equipment in the factory according to established standards, frequently handled by organizations like UL or National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Because the commissioning agent was involved in the pre-design discussions, he was aware of the owner’s expectations. Handy Calibrator (If required). Additional work may include relay- and protective-device settings. Testing and Commissioning Procedure for Electrical Installation in Government Buildings of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Incorporating Corrigendum No. This standard is intended to verify the safe and proper operation of PV systems, and to serve as a guide for designers, installers and service personnel. This is where the entire facility as a whole is tested. Proper commissioning and start-up testing also provide a valuable baseline or benchmark that can be used to … 3. By the end of this online training course, participants will be able to: Design, install, commission, test, operate, control and maintain HV/MV substations in a professional manner In the past, the primary focus of commissioning has been on HVAC systems, but because of the need for increased electrical system reliability and complexity, owners are now starting to realize the importance and benefits of commissioning on-site electrical systems. Before starting the commissioning process, the commissioning engineer has to study the application and the customer requirement. Electrical Wiring Continuity Testing. The purpose of this procedure is to define the step by step method to implement the correct practices for the precommissioning & commissioning of “Lighting Control System”through the guidelines contained herein so as to ensure that the job execution complies with the project requirements and serves the intended function to satisfactory level. With the proliferation of the internet of things (IoT) and standardized building automation protocols, such as BACnet and Modbus, it is easier to integrate electrical power monitoring systems (EPMS) into a facility wide maintenance and test system. Common power-use meters can help track and record loading and energy use, alerting owners to potential capacity issues or even low-load inefficiencies. Energy-performance verification is an important part of post-occupancy and may even be required in certain projects—such as data centers, where it is used to track power-usage effectiveness (PUE)—and for LEED or ASHRAE compliance where fuel sources and end uses are metered independently. Because the electrical system was commissioned, it operated as designed and the owner never lost power to the critical load. Although Level 1 can minimize issues found in Level 2, changes often occur after factory testing and shipping have caused damage or because shipped items have missing parts. Obtain the permit to work PTW for starting the electrical testing and commissioning T&C activity. More details about test procedures are provided in Section 22.9. Verify the delivery and effectiveness of operator and occupant training. By Brian Rener, PE, LEED AP, SmithGroup, Chicago March 14, 2019 Figure 3: Parallelling generators on switchgear requires careful testing and simulation of possible operating scenarios to confirm control sequences. Once the new primary systems were installed, they had to be tested and commissioned around a live data center. Outstanding punch points should be resolved before routine operation. Design review prior to 50% construction documents. Electrical engineers should coordinate with their civil or structural engineering team members to include these electrical tests. Develop or approve the summary commissioning report. Search Products And Discover New Innovations In Your Industry!! Commissioning is a process, and in order to maximize commissioning success, it must begin in the pre-design phase of a project and continue through construction until that final verification is executed. In this phase, the on-site commissioning plan is finalized. Level 5: Integrated systems testing (IST): This is often referred to as the “pull-the-plug” tests. The utility power source(s) can be shut off, and the entire system (multiple paths, generators, uninterruptible power supplies)  is observed to confirm it functions as intended under loss of power. Soils vary greatly by region. Soil conditions also vary over seasonal time frames, rain, drought, and the application of landscaping materials and chemicals. NEC Article 250 discusses the need to achieve a maximum earth ground of 25 ohms. 6. Introduction. Having knowledge of key design decisions helped the commissioning agent to develop the validation testing procedures. During the construction phase, all parties reviewed equipment submittals, and all critical electrical equipment was factory witness tested. In addition, the arc flash analysis and coordination study were reviewed, and all protection device trip settings were verified. Electrical Commissioning - This 12-Hour live online instructor-led Electrical Testing and Commissioning Training course covers practices and procedures that are essential to the safe start up of any electrical system for the first time, regardless of its size, type or industry. Level 4: Functional performance testing: After basic start-up, the CxA will review functional performance testing. 2.2 Types of PV Systems 12 3 System Documentation 14 4 Commissioning PV Systems 16 4.1 Final Installation Checkout 16 4.2 Visual Inspection 16 4.2.1 Labels and Markings 18 5 System Testing and Measurements 19 5.1 Continuity Testing 20 5.2 Polarity Testing 23 5.3 Voltage and Current Testing 24 5.3.1 Open-Circuit Voltage Testing 25 The commissioning agent (CxA) or commissioning provider (CxP) is a critical part of the design and construction team and should be engaged early in the design and construction process. 2. Emergency systems including generators, fuel systems, alarms, and automatic transfer switches (also seeÂ. Figure 4: Infrared testing on a panel board will identify issues in terminations, connection, and overloading that result in excess heat. Commissioning is an important and integral part of the Contractor’s Quality Control program. The commissioning process (often referred to as “acceptance testing”) includes achieving, verifying, testing, accepting, and documenting that the performance of mechanical systems meets design intent and the owner and occupant needs. The owner’s pre-design requirement was for a data center facility that had a concurrently maintainable infrastructure with fault-tolerant critical systems. It also discusses field testing of all the major components of an electrical system such as motors, generators, switchgear, protection and control, UPS and battery systems. When placing power cables underground, it’s important to perform heating calculations; and the thermal characteristics of the soil should be tested and known. The best time to require electrical conductivity and thermal characteristic tests is during geotechnical testing. This Testing and Commissioning (T & C) Procedure aims to lay down the minimum testing and commissioning requirements to be carried out on electrical installation in Government Buildings of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The standard manufacturer’s factory testing procedures typically do not fully test the function of the equipment, especially interfaces with building controls, mechanical, and fire/life safety systems. Witness at least a portion of the electrical system’s functional testing. This stage generally starts with a visual … Rectify by checking the device continuity for short circuit if the required continuity is not achieved. Electrical testing has become a key component in all modern electrical equipment and installations. It has expanded beyond the key foundations for equipment safety to include performance, operations, and energy requirements for electrical facilities. FAT report (If required). All of these problems were corrected and retested until the system operated per the design intent. Anne Bradley, Julia Janaro and Megan Chorley, By Kenneth Kutsmeda, PE, KlingStubbins, Philadelphia, Rapid COVID-19 detection for hospitals, retirement homes designed, Weekly merger and acquisition update: December 4, 2020, Top 5 Consulting-Specifying Engineer articles: November 27 to December 3, 2020, Best practices in science, technology office design, Multi-family housing design trends driven by COVID-19, Consulting-Specifying Engineer most-viewed articles, November 2020, Switchgear/switchboards (medium- and low-voltage), Motor controllersBus duct and tap devices. The more complex and critical the electrical system becomes and the greater the exposure to risk involved with loss of power, the more crucial it is to commission the system and verify that it will operate as designed. Beyond NETA/NFPA start-up acceptance, emergency generators require weekly inspection and monthly testing. 3. Electrical systems that meet the operational needs of the owner, Reduced downtime due to power outages caused by utility loss and/or failures within the electrical system, Coordinated electrical systems that balance protection with reliability and meet the recent code requirements and standards for critical facilities, Confidence that the electrical systems will operate correctly when required. Commissioning Procedure Commissioning is the overall performance testing of the facility and its systems such as HVAC, pumps, piping, and lighting. This constant evaluation or “testing” of space use blurs the line between the roles of electrical engineers and interior architects and planners, requiring an integrated team approach to improving the performance of both electrical systems and the spaces we work and live in. This phase also can be broken down into three steps for commissioning: The first step tests each piece of equipment separately to ensure that it functions correctly before testing the equipment as an electrical system. Systems with automated (often programmable logic) controls and interlocks should be given special attention to ensure that the design documents include sufficient operational details, such as timer presets/ranges and operational sequences for all operational modes. This perception is not true. Beyond testing individual electrical equipment components, there is a need to verify that installed electrical systems match design documents, construction submittals, and owner’s project requirements (OPR), and to document functional performance testing. Electrical commissioning may be optional or required depending on the code or certifications required by the project. For example, phased construction may require additional load bank connections and/or isolation breakers to allow for testing without affecting those portions of the facility already online. Equipment also is started for the first time to check basic functionality. Ideally, the process begins at the program phase and lasts at least one year after project-closeout. In the operation phase, installed equipment and systems are tested to verify and ensure that they perform in accordance with the design intent and owner’s operational requirements. The following is an example of how these phases were implemented to successfully commission the electrical systems for a critical data center in North Carolina. Participate and review in development of OPR and basis of design (BOD). A companion standard for post-occupancy testing is called ANSI NETA MTS 2015: Standard for Maintenance Testing Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems. Many crucial decisions made during the design phase impacted the operation of the facility and commissioning. Manufacturer field tests: More commonly specified than factory witness tests are requirements for the electrical equipment manufacturer to require factory-trained technicians to perform additional testing and adjustments in the field during or after installation. Often, larger and/or complex electrical equipment is shipped in parts, and having a factory-authorized technician onsite to test equipment after the contractor has installed it can be helpful. A visual check at VT (voltage transformer) circuits, all the links to … Commissioning of the Electrical Systems are an integral part of this Section. In the second step they would be tested as a system to verify their compatibility under load and various operating conditions, such as on generator power, where harmonics can sometimes be an issue. Courtesy: SmithGroup. Soils testing: Often overlooked by electrical engineers is the option to specify soils testing for conductivity and thermal resistivity. The commissioning agent’s role in the design phase is to review and comment on the construction documents to verify that the goals and requirements set forth in the pre-design are being met. B. Clamp meter. TESTING AND COMMISSIONING Power-Tech Engineers has extensive experience in the testing of electrical systems and equipment in electrical utility facilities, including all types of generating stations, substations (e.g. It does not include infrared scanning, power quality, switchgear, transformer, or low voltage system testing. The electrical system reacted properly and transferred the critical load to the redundant standby power system. The most common electrical integrated system test is a simulated site-wide power outage, also known as the “black start” test. Fire Alarm System Commissioning Activities I) Testing Procedure A) Continuity: Check the loop in and loop out continuity. It is vital that the O&M personnel be involved in all testing so that they can gain experience with the systems. Once on-site, any equipment defects or problems can cause delays in the construction schedule. Review building operation within 10 months after substantial completion. In this phase, the commissioning procedures and acceptance criteria are outlined, and the contractor and manufacturer’s expectations are identified. According to NETA, this document “was developed for use by those responsible for the continued operation of existing electrical systems and equipment to guide them in specifying and performing the necessary tests to ensure that these systems and apparatus perform satisfactorily, minimizing downtime and maximizing life expectancy.”. Hospitals are key mission critical facilities where commissioning is required. ASHE publishes the Health Facility Commissioning Program, an extensive document that includes recommendations for the CxA to be involved in all phases of the facility design including schematic, design development, and construction documents. T&C Technology LLC offers a unique Hands on, Witnessing, Supervision, Verification and Commissioning Management for Electrical Systems including, but not limited to, Continuity Test, Polarity Test, Insulation Test, Live and Dead Test (Hot and Cold Test), Dielectric Test, Earth leakage test, Earth fault loop impedance test, RCD test, Primary & Secondary Injection test, Voltage, … Once equipment is installed, Electrical Testing Solutions will perform visual, mechanical, and electrical tests to help ensure trouble-free energizing of the equipment. A standard provision of the enhanced commissioning under the LEED rating system is for the CxA to return to the facility after 10 months of operation. The purpose of electric systems commissioning is to increase the reliability of electrical power systems after installation by identifying problems and providing a set of baseline values for comparison with subsequent routine tests. The operational phase was split into multiple sections because of the phased construction. The first step tests each piece of equipment separately to ensure that it functions correctly before testing the equipment as an electrical system. receiving, distribution, etc. Once all phases of construction were completed, the entire facility was turned over for integrated systems testing, where a “black start” test was conducted with multiple failure scenarios (loss of generator, loss of primary backup system, UPS failure, etc.). Wiring diagram. Circuit breakers, relays, and switches of various types. The data center commissioning process is commonly expressed in levels. Once the operation of each individual piece of equipment in the electrical system is confirmed, the equipment will be examined as a discrete system. The construction phase is when the systems are manufactured, inspected, tested, and installed in accordance with the construction documents. IR scanning has become a very common requirement over the years. The integrated system test is the final step in the verification process. All wiring system shall be tested for continuity of circuits, short … Knowledge of and experience with the operation of the electrical equipment. Review an issue log throughout the commissioning process. Courtesy: SmithGroup. It is important for those performing commissioning (commissioning agents, or CxA) to be involved in this phase so that they can understand the design objective and operational intent of the facility. For a facility to effectively and reliably operate initially and over its lifespan, it is important to consider post-occupancy commissioning and testing. Develop or approve system test procedures. ICAPS, to record commissioning progress and capture the test results 2- Mechanical completion (When taking the systems from construction team) 3- P & ID checking (Commissioning team verify everything installed in site according to spec & drawings) This GL O MACS Start-up, Commissioning and Testing of Electrical Systems training seminar has been designed to provide a clear and perfect understanding of principles of commissioning and electrical installation.. Equipment readiness for a commercial service is proven by testing all its functions under different conditions. GSEE01) Edition: 2007: Not Available For Sale: E-version:(PDF/2234 KB) Introduction: The safe and efficient operation of modern electrical equipment and control systems requires the successful testing, start-up and commissioning of this equipment, or system, to ensure correct operation, plus; A cost-benefit comparison is usually warranted on how much of the electrical system should be specified to be tested to ANSI/NETA ATS. The consulting engineer may wish to confine the testing to certain parts of the system, such as emergency or standby systems, or may wish to limit the testing to certain voltage levels or amperage ratings. A discussion with the building owner can also help in defining the limits of NETA testing. Electrical Systems 1.0%-1.5% of electrical system cost Energy Efficiency Measures $0.23-$0.28 per square foot * Displays the individual average costs associated with Commissioning various scopes and systems with respect to the entire construction cost, system cost, or square footage. Figure 5: Generators must be tested under actual load to verify generator condition. The question then becomes: Do you test the generator under actual loads monthly or yearly or provide a generator load bank to simulate facility loads? Often, a good solution is to provide a load-bank hookup box so that a portable load bank can be brought to the site as needed for testing (see Figure 5). Commissioning Procedure When intending to start the PV system the first time, the procedure starts at the array and ends at the point of connection. It is also imperative that periodic testing and/or re-commissioning of an existing electrical system be performed to help ensure that it continues to operate per the design intent. Develop or approve an ongoing commissioning plan. During the utility power outage, one of the standby systems tripped and went offline. Commonly in pre-energized new installs, PD involves the use of very low-frequency voltage, which is raised to a minimal level at which partial discharges would appear in insulation weakness, and sensors measure where this takes place. PD testing also has the benefit of being used on new, old, and live cables. And all critical electrical equipment PE, LEED AP, SmithGroup, Chicago manufactured, inspected, tested and. Test is the option to specify soils testing for conductivity and thermal resistivity maintainability and for compliance the... In conduit, including fire, life, safety, reliability, and... 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New Innovations in Your Industry! to consider post-occupancy commissioning and testing of the are.

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