What Is a Commercial Power System?

Commercial Power System

What Is a Commercial Power System?

The power that comes into a building flows through wires to the circuit breaker panel (shown here). When the main service breaker is on, the current is supplied to other devices like lighting or appliances.

Different occupancy types may be more or less sensitive to power quality issues. Regardless, all buildings need an adequate grounding and electrical distribution system.


Unlike home power systems, commercial power systems have to comply with regulations that require emergency lighting and the ability to supply power to electrical fire pumps. These systems are often larger and more complex than residential systems. Depending on the occupancy, they may have to meet different standards for surge current handling capability and voltage limiting capacity. These systems also need to provide a grounding system that can withstand high levels of current.

The main function of a commercial power system is to supply electricity from the source to the loads. The source can be either AC or DC power. The electricity can vary with time (AC Commercial Power System power) or it can be kept at a constant level (DC power).

In order for an appliance to work properly, the current into it on the live line must equal the current out of it on the neutral line. This is why fuses are inadequate as the sole safety device in most power systems; they allow current flows well above what could cause lethal harm to an individual. For this reason, residual-current devices (RCDs) are installed on most circuits, particularly in homes and small offices.

Conductors transmit the power from the source to the loads. These can be anything that consumes electric power, from lamps to large air conditioners. The voltage and current ratings of these components are based on a variety of factors including cost, power losses in transmission, the tensile strength of the wire used, etc.


The installation of a commercial power system involves laying down the wiring infrastructure. This means connecting the different parts of the building together with wires that are safeguarded by conduits and raceways. In residential structures, electrical wires are usually hidden behind walls and ceilings but in a commercial structure, they are exposed for easier access. They also need to be able to support heavier loads so a stronger and more durable wiring system is needed.

A qualified industrial electrician can help you choose the best power system for your business. They will take into consideration the size of the business, what kind of operations will be conducted in the building and how much power will be required. They will then install the power system and connect it to the electric grid.

Once the power is connected to the grid, it will travel through a service entrance and then into your commercial building. It will then be transmitted into a panel board, which is typically located in the basement or garage of homes and sometimes in utility closets for small businesses. The panel board will have a main service breaker and then various branches that carry power to different devices like outlets or lights.

In a commercial property inspection, per ComSOP, the inspector must not remove the dead front of the panel to see how many positive or line bus bars it has but can examine the interior for any type of fuses or circuit breakers. This will enable them to determine if the building is using single or three-phase power.


The maintenance of a commercial power system involves inspections, testing, replacement and adjustments of industrial items. The definition of maintenance varies with each technological industry but typically includes all actions that help retain or restore an item to its functional status.

Electrical systems require redundancy in order to ensure availability. In residential and even automotive electric systems this is usually accomplished through fuses which are tripped when a problem occurs. Commercial facilities, however, tend to use more complex circuitry which requires monitoring for various conditions in the facility. The most common of these conditions are hot spots which can be caused by loose connections, harmonics and undervoltage. Infrared thermography can be used to locate these hot areas of the system.

In most cases, the most effective method of keeping equipment in good condition is to use preventative maintenance. With this model, the equipment is inspected on a regular basis and any issues are addressed before they can cause a failure or damage secondary systems.

This method typically reduces the cost of repairs by not requiring human employees to be on hand for emergency repairs. It also decreases Commercial Power System the duration of any unscheduled downtime. Another option is to perform a power quality inspection and survey. These should be performed by a qualified power quality contractor. The results of the survey will identify the types of problems and the severity levels of those problems. From this information, targeted mitigation techniques can be developed.


When a breaker in a commercial power system keeps tripping, it can cause problems that require attention. The problem could be as simple as an overload, but it can also signal a serious issue such as a ground fault or short circuit. The best way to troubleshoot is to shut off the power and consult a professional electrician. Frequently tripping breakers are usually a sign of an electrical fire hazard and should be taken seriously.

During a troubleshooting session, it is helpful to be able to access equipment or facility manuals and drawings. This information can be invaluable in locating the source of the problem. It is also a good idea to take the opportunity to examine wiring, printed circuit boards, relay coils and other components for signs of overheating. In addition, the presence of burned insulation should be a red flag that something is wrong.

The power and grounding systems in any commercial building are vital to employee safety, proper operation of surge protection devices, minimizing the potential for excessive currents on neutral conductors and providing a common reference plane for electronic equipment. Omazaki Consultant can help you identify areas of concern and recommend mitigation equipment. We can also provide electrical troubleshooting and testing services to locate the root cause of a trip, shutdown or malfunction.

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