The Components of a Commercial Power System

The Components of a Commercial Power System

Commercial Power System

The Components of a Commercial Power System

The power system of a commercial building depends on the type of business conducted within. The more demanding the electrical requirements, the more complex the system.

Fuses are no longer used in most power systems because they can’t be reset and Commercial Power System are not as safe as residual current devices (RCDs). Modern electrical circuits are protected by miniature circuit breakers.


A load takes electric current and transforms it into other forms like heat, light etc. It may be resistive, inductive or capacitive. A commercial power system has many types of loads that varies in nature depending on the type of work it does. Loads are important as they provide the necessary power demand to run a building.

The most common types of loads are the resistive and inductive loads. The inductive loads have coils that store magnetic energy. These coils cause a lagging current wave behind the voltage wave in its circuit. Examples of this type of load include transformers, generators and motors. Resistive load on the other hand obstructs the flow of energy and converts it into thermal energy. These types of loads are commonly used in lighting and heaters.

A critical load is a system that has to operate at all times in order to prevent business losses or safety issues. It is a major component of the power distribution unit. This load is usually fed by a uninterruptible power supply to ensure that the power is always running in case of an emergency.


Power meters are used to measure the consumption of electrical energy in a building. They can be read manually or automatically, and may be connected to the meter breaker in order to transmit a consumption reading to the utility grid.

A meter typically has a disc that rotates with current flow, and a register that shows the total amount of electricity used. The register can be a simple cyclometer type that shows a single digit for each of the dials, or it can be a more sophisticated pointer-type. The meter is normally protected from tampering. The meter mechanisms and connections are sealed, and the meter is often secured with a lock to prevent tampering and unauthorized entry. Newer computerised meters can detect tampering such as an opened meter cover, a missing or stolen meter, extra clock settings, glued buttons, inverted installation etc.

For residential homes, rural service entrance equipment and mobile home installations the meter socket is combined with the main breaker distribution section in one system known as a meter breaker. Some meter breakers have a ring-type meter socket that requires the removal of the meter cover to remove the meter, whereas other meter breakers are a ringless design.


The switchgear is the control center for power distribution in a building. It consists of an arrangement of electrical disconnect switches, circuit breakers or fuses to protect, control & separate electrical equipment. It can also interrupt currents under different conditions like normal & abnormal.

It is designed to handle large amounts of current & power in a small space. The metal enclosure helps to limit arcing risks and reduce the likelihood of fires or explosions in the event of a fault.

The switchgear operates mechanically under normal conditions & automatically when it detects a fault in the electrical equipment. It can also de-energize equipment for maintenance & testing to address potential issues. It improves the availability of a power system by permitting more than one source to feed the same load. Moreover, it can open & close the electrical circuits under both normal & abnormal conditions. It is important to choose a reliable device that is capable of handling the high voltages of a commercial power system. Some older models of switchgear use SF6 gas for insulation, which has a negative environmental impact and contributes to climate change. Newer options are now available that are safer and environmentally friendly.

Feeders or Buses

A feeder is a set of conductors that supplies a group of loads, such as 480 VAC motors or 120 volt lights and receptacles. Conductors can be heavy wires run in trays or conduit, or they can be bus bars that Commercial Power System are contained in an enclosure. Often referred to as power buses, they are typically used in industrial settings that need to be able to supply undistorted power for critical processes.

The most basic distribution system is the radial power distribution system Figure 1. This design allows for the least initial cost, but any loss of the utility, a switch, or a feeder conductor will require that the load be offline until the problem can be repaired.

A centralized distribution system that uses circuit breakers can provide greater reliability than the radial system, but it is more expensive. A multi-converter unified power quality conditioner (GUPQC) [1-3] has been designed that uses series and shunt active power filters to mitigate the voltage and current imperfections in a three-feeder/multi-bus distribution system. This system uses a shunt compensator connected to one feeder and two series compensators connected to the other two feeders.


Electricity moves through a transformer to adjust the high voltage for consumer usage. Next, the electricity is transmitted to a building where it is monitored for proper flow and voltage drop. Wires transfer the power from the meter to a panel board in the building, which is usually located in the basement or garage of a residential or commercial location. In a small building, the panel may be in a utility closet. The panel board has a main service breaker and a series of breakers that control the flow of power to different circuits throughout the building. Each circuit serves a single device (some appliances require heavy loads) or multiple devices such as convenience outlets and lights.

If you’re looking to make the switch to solar, contact a local installer to learn more about the upfront cost and incentives such as ITCs or PBIs.

Leave a Reply