Short Circuit Study

Pioneer Power Group creates a model of our customers’ electrical distribution systems that contains all sources of fault current (such as the utility grid, generators, and motors) along with all system impedances (such as conductors and transformers). With this model, we are able to determine the available fault currents at each key equipment location within a power system.​

This information is critical as a piece of equipment subjected to short circuit currents above its ratings could experience catastrophic failures during fault conditions – i.e. if a short were to occur between phases or from a phase to ground.

All short circuit results are presented in tabular form. An Equipment Evaluation table is also provided that compares the ratings of each piece of equipment to the available fault currents in the distribution system. If Pioneer determines that any equipment is overdutied, we immediately notify our customers so that cost saving corrective action can be taken sooner in the process of a project.

“Pioneer Power Group came highly recommended to me by a friend at an electrical distributor in PA that I had come to know. From the moment of my first conversation and contact with them, I could tell that this was going to be a special business partnership. The professionalism and help we have received from all of the team members at Pioneer Power Group has been above reproach. The quality of their work and people are exceptional. As a valued business partner, they make us a better business. I would highly recommend Pioneer Power Group to anyone requiring engineering assistance.”

Power System Short Circuit Study

Pioneer Power Group is one of the largest engineering teams focused solely on power system studies. We perform electrical analysis on power systems to ensure that they comply with safety standards set in electrical codes such as NFPA 70E, IEEE, OSHA, and NEC. Potential electrical safety issues are preventable through short circuit studies and electrical equipment evaluation. Our studies incorporate fault current analysis and identification of overdutied electrical equipment.

At Pioneer Power Group, we make short circuit studies easy for our customers. Upon receiving a one-line diagram of the system, our engineers put together a data request form outlining all of the information needed to complete the study. This data is used to build a comprehensive and accurate model of the system in SKM PowerTools. We analyze several different scenarios to determine worst-case fault currents. With the results, we put together a formal report detailing our methods, results, analysis, and recommendations.

Our studies are 40% cheaper than our competitors and are done right the first time, which makes them both cost and time effective. We also provide unbeatable turnaround times. Facilities, design engineers, and construction crews use our studies to make corrections to existing and new equipment.

Why Do You Need to Have a Short Circuit Study Performed?
Short Circuit Studies determine the fault current available at various locations throughout the electrical system. In addition, the report will tell you if the electrical equipment is properly rated for the fault current it would experience if a short circuit occurs. If equipment is deemed to be “properly rated,” its interrupting rating must be greater than the fault current it is seeing. We recommend having a short circuit study done after the electrical equipment has been approved, but before it has been shipped to the site. We have seen instances where the equipment is underrated for the fault current it is seeing, and the contractor and design engineer have a chance to make adjustments and changes before any serious problems occur. Our experience has shown us that replacing equipment and fixing issues before the equipment ships saves a significant amount of time and money.
If you have underrated equipment, the consequences could be disastrous if you do not perform a short circuit study. If protective devices are underrated for the fault current it’s seeing, there is a possibility it won’t trip properly or function correctly when there is a short circuit. The result of this would be a higher-level arc flash hazard, and potentially loss of power. Equipment that is underrated needs to be replaced earlier than needed, as well as being damaged more often which results in more money unnecessarily spent.

Electrical Equipment Evaluations

Pioneer Power Group’s short circuit studies prevent projects from experiencing a massive failure that results from a short circuit occurring in the electrical systems. Short circuit studies are necessary to determine if the equipment in the system is properly rated to handle potential worst-case fault currents. Proper equipment ratings will increase system longevity and reliability, reducing costs associated with fixing and replacing overdutied equipment. If this equipment is not replaced, it’s a matter of “when” not “if” your electrical equipment will be destroyed or damaged, resulting in a significant spend that could have been prevented.

Fault Current Analysis

The models built by Pioneer Power Group calculate worst-case maximum fault currents and specify whether the electrical equipment in the system are capable of withstanding high levels of faults without being damaged. When our analysis shows that equipment is not properly rated, we give recommendations for improving system integrity. The fault currents calculated in our short circuit studies are also used in our arc flash studies to evaluate the risks and hazards associated with working on live equipment.

For more information on short circuit studies or any of our other services, contact us today!