Have you ever heard of an Electrical Coordination Study? We have noticed that many people are not aware of all of the different ways a building can lose electrical power. I hope that you will find this article informative and will consider commissioning a study for your facility.
Mark Fratto, P.E., LEED AP
Circuit breakers and fuses are designed to disconnect electrical power from wiring or equipment that has failed. This prevents dangerous conditions including fire and electrocution from occurring.
Ideally, only the circuit breaker serving the failed device should be activated. This way the power is only turned off to that device. However, in some cases a larger circuit breaker may sense the problem and turn off power to large areas of the building that do not have light or power and building occupants are at risk.
In a hospital, the emergency generator may turn on and supply emergency power to these areas. However, we have observed some failures that prevent power to these areas even with the generator running.
To determine if larger circuit breakers or fuses are at risk of tripping in response to smaller problems, an electrical coordination study should be performed. We highly recommend that you have a coordination study done to prevent large scale power outages in your facility.
For more information regarding this issue, please contact us at (817) 461-2337.