Hi everybody, here’s an article we received from a professional who’ve been designing electrical systems for industrial, commercial, and residential (LV and MV) since 5 years. He wanted to share 4 tips with us so we gladly published his material.
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Designing electrical system particularly for industrial plant can be difficult to start and the process often require a complex understanding not only about engineering knowledge but also some of the soft skills.
Here I will explain the general principle for designing industrial electrical power system as a guidance to get the job done.
1) Find all client’s wants, needs, and desires
This is the most important principle not only for a designer but also everyone who work in service industry. Remember, the client is your focus.
What I usually do to obtain my clients needs is by interviewing him. Before I do the interview, I read literatures or any references related to the project so maybe I can give him some suggestions related to his requirement. If possible, after the interview I do survey to look the location of the project, allow me to visualize what the options I have to fulfill the client requirement during engineering design process.
2) Obtain the correct data
False data is always cost you. If you don’t get the correct data you may end up designing the electrical system again from scratch. How do we know whether we have the correct data or not? Well, my advice in this case is by reading the literatures and references and always double checking the data.
The literatures give you the knowledge to identify whether the data you obtained is correct or not. Double checking the data means you will sure that the data is valid. Always double checked the data you got with the actual condition.
I have experienced a problem when I designed a power system for factory modification project. From the data I got, the LV system in the factory used 3 phase 3 wire system. But actual system installed is 5 wires system. What happen if I was not double checking my data? It would be totally disastrous. I had to design the system from scratch, the project might be late, and it would cost the company.
3) Design the system without considering the cost
Always design the electrical system perfectly regardless the cost. Yes, if your design is perfect, the cost will be expensive which may give a headache for your client. What I mean perfect in here is perfect without ignore safety concern and local regulation.
Identify the specification which related to safety and local regulation. Hence, if your client find your design is expensive, you can lower the specification of non critical equipment without sacrificing safety. This will be safe for you and also for your client.
4) Practice makes perfect
Gaining experience by taking all the project opportunity offered to you, by freelancing, by volunteering or doing some internship particularly if you are student. By doing lot of electrical project, you can sharpen your sense of engineering.
Sense of engineering will help your intuition to decide whether your design is proper or not even before you do self evaluation to your design. Experience will also help you to sense whether the data you obtained is correct or not, allowing you to prevent error in your design.