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Commissioning & Startup

The Pinnacle of Design

Strategic procedures and a systematic approach to minimizing complications and costs during the start-up phase of the electrical system and its components.

Whether designing a new power distribution system, installing new equipment to an existing system for an expansion or renovation or making changes to the present system – a systematic commissioning process is necessary. 


Ideally, our goal is to assist our clients with a turnkey solution “beginning with the end in mind” focused on system safety, operational efficiency, reliability and reducing risk of any unplanned electrical failure and interruption, while effectively and safely transferring the completed project from the commissioning team to the owner. 

  • Acceptance testing

  • Protective relaying settings

  • Substation commissioning

  • Energization support

  • Predictive and preventative maintenance

  • Thermal scanning

  • Field engineering

  • Arc flash safety training

  • Electrical equipment refurbishment and repair

  • Electrical system upgrades

  • Troubleshooting of electrical equipment or systems

Commissioning electrical equipment ideally begins in the planning process

and pre-design of the electrical project.

Commissioning requires focus and precision of responsibilities, among the team members.  Proactive, efficient preplanning, coordination, team work and communication among the teams.

✔ Electrical test plans minimize project costs to allow the team to schedule and include into the Master construction schedule.  Once equipment is energized, like electrical equipment for construction use, it is very difficult to test at later time.      


✔ Anticipating and writing detailed functional test procedures for coordinating the electrical and mechanical systems under all conditions. 

Typical Commissioning Goals

Reduce risk of unplanned electrical failure while effectively & safely transferring the completed project to the owner.


  • Assure the power distribution system is: properly designed; all electrical components are installed, coordinated, tested and upon being energized will be operating in accordance to the original design intent and their operational requirements

  • Use best practices for quality control throughout project and through the delivery to achieve the Owner’s project requirements

  • Proactive, efficient pre-planning, coordination, team work and communication among teams

  • Commissioning requires focus, precision of responsibilities on hand, among the team members

Key Commissioning Considerations


During the power distribution system commissioning stage ensure the electrical components are installed, coordinated, tested and operating in accordance to the original design intent.  Consider the following:

  • Required equipment and settings 

  • Complex designs of paralleling switchgear and customized sequence of operation, prepare a detailed functional performance test procedure

  • Evaluation of resistive (full loading to the generator) versus reactive load bank for generator testing including high total harmonic distortion, leading power factor loads, high inrush, or other large challenging loads that require extra attention when drafting commissioning procedures 

  • When an electrical building load can be applied to the generator if using load banks during generator testing    

  • Generator requirements and neutral bonding

  • Equipment labeling – verification of labels on drawings, sequences of operations and field labels

  • Device overcurrent/coordination study settings match overcurrent device   

  • For crucial power systems, when ground fault alarming should be considered in lieu of ground fault trip protection

Typical Commissioning Phases

Commissioning Activities:



Procure Equipment





Start Up



Commissioning planning for electrical equipment and redesign of the electrical project continues through the project completion and when the electrical equipment is energized.

The plan should provide the structure and framework for how the commissioning project will be conducted and managed – construction through installation and energization of the electrical equipment.


An organized approach to establishing the commissioning team, budgets, plans, schedules, testing, and inspection plans, developing commissioning specifications, determining special testing needs and lastly but not least, establishing re-commissioning plans.



Whether we design the power distribution system or we conduct a design review for a system designed by others, we will assist to define the performance and operational requirements for the commissioned systems.

  • Perform economic analysis of engineering alternatives

  • Conduct engineering calculations to assure safety and performance of equipment and systems

  • List critical information, possibly, not contained in the design documents.

  • Prepare preliminary and detailed design and budget estimates

  • Develop the test requirements, sequences of operation, accessibility for maintenance and operations, and essential system equipment design

  • Develop construction equipment specifications

  • Prepare reports and feasibility studies

  • Verify that the test requirements are clearly defined and that the system design is clearly documented

  • Equipment submittal review

  • Verify specific equipment configurations and settings

  • Develop system sequences of operation



Procurement and purchasing the new equipment needs information for informed buying decisions, to obtain the best possible costs, equipment quality, favorable terms, discounts, shipping and receiving/delivery information.



Commissioning during the construction phase typically includes the proper setup for electrical devices such as relays and breakers to ensure that all components are functioning correctly.



Is the electrical piece of equipment ready to be energized and will it accomplish what it was designed to do?


Commissioning is an inspection and testing procedure, for energizing and installing electrical equipment, to certify that the electrical equipment is ready to be energized, will operate correctly, and that it complies with the original design intent, specifications, the analysis, and drawings.



Once the electrical equipment is installed, one of the final phases of the commissioning process, is an important step in confirming the system will be operational, safe, and reliable and above all ensuring overall client satisfaction.


The analysis phase is intended to verify the start-up and integrity of the energized electrical equipment and system for the first time after the changes and/or installation of the new equipment

Relay Programming & Commissioning

Experience with SEL, GE, ABB, Basler & Beckworth

Relay Protection and Control Logic Settings

Breakers & Relays
  • Develop settings files

  • Program relays and settings

  • Field programming and setting file creation and collection

  • Integrate to relay protection and control scheme

  • Relay and switchgear commissioning 

  • Develop detailed commissioning and  startup plan

Programming & Settings

The Current Solutions team can get involved in any phase of the project, design through construction, whether a new building or a building that has already been commissioned.


However, should we get involved after the system is designed, we can assist with commissioning services to assist with compliance with the original electrical engineering design intent and project specifications.

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