KLH Engineers

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering

When thinking of electrical engineering, the thought that flashes through your mind is “that’s how the light turns on!” While it’s true, electrical engineering is much more. It is the design of electrical power systems ranging from large scale settings such as how power comes from a utility company to why the lights come on when you flip a light switch. Electrical engineers are in charge of designing power systems to ensure that buildings receive proper electrical distribution and all aspects of the building are properly powered. This includes lighting and associated lighting control, critical operations equipment, emergency backup power, power to receptacles, HVAC, computers, and water heaters. All are designed with future growth and flexibility of the space in mind.

Electrical Engineering Services

On-Site Generation

On-Site Generation

On-site power generation can take a number of forms, but fall into two major categories. The first is an on-site generator that may be used during an emergency or during normal operation to reduce utility costs. To properly design these systems a discussion must be had with the owner to understand the desired use and needs.

The other category is renewable energy. With the nation's ever increasing power demands and decreasing resources, renewable sources are a favorable option. Some jurisdictions are already mandating preparations for future solar installations. Solar power and other renewable energy sources can be used to reduce the long term energy costs of the building, and can also qualify the owner for tax incentives. If enough power is generated, power may even be sold back to the utility company for use on the power grid.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) systems can be utilized for emergency backup of systems such as data centers and servers. These battery powered systems charge during normal power and provide instantaneous or near instantaneous switchover to the on board batteries and inverters. UPS systems may be utilized when there is no other emergency power source or can be used in conjunction with an emergency generator for much longer run times without normal power.

Power Factor Correction

Power Factor Correction

Some facilities that utilize a lot of motors or pumps may see the need for power factor correction. These inductive motor loads can shift the overall power factor of the building, leading to an inefficient electrical system which essentially wastes power. Power factor correction techniques can be designed and implemented to correct this power factor and improve the building's electrical efficiency. 

Critical Operation Power System (COPS) Design

Critical Operation Power System (COPS) Design

Critical operations power systems (COPS) are required in facilities where matters of national security, economy, or public health and safety are handled. These systems must be treated with an extra degree of caution, including a risk assessment, maintenance, surge protection, fire resistance and many other requirements.

Short Circuit Analysis & Coordination Study

Short Circuit Analysis & Coordination Study

Short circuit analysis is required for the safe operation and maintenance of an electrical system. This analysis includes coordinating with the utility company and upstream overcurrent protection to ensure that in the case of an electrical fault, equipment is properly braced. An electrical fault is essentially a short circuit that can be caused by a number of conditions: an electrician dropping a tool while working on a live piece of equipment, accidental drill through conduit, poor conductor insulation wear, and a multitude of other scenarios that can result in a potentially deadly situation. Without proper bracing, electrical equipment can be severely damaged to a dangerous degree. In larger systems, this coordination also extends to ensuring that only the circuit breakers closest to the fault trip. To show the importance of this study, loss of power to an entire wing of a hospital could be caused by a fault on a 20 amp branch circuit.

Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

Working on live electrical equipment is inherently dangerous, but is often times necessary. This exposes workers to the potentially dangerous scenario of an arc flash. It is essential that all workers be properly trained and equipped to work on the hazard level of equipment that needs maintenance. An arc flash hazard analysis evaluates all of the applicable dangers of working on a particular piece of equipment and provides a rating that indicates the level of personal protection equipment and training required to work on the equipment.

Energy Code Compliance

Energy Code Compliance

There have always been energy code requirements for buildings, specifically regarding building lighting systems. In recent years, switching to more efficient lighting sources is no longer enough to satisfy these requirements. Additional lighting controls, such as photocells, occupancy sensors and time clocks are required to make sure that lights are not on when they don't need to be. These requirements continue to grow stricter, and consequently the systems become more complicated and require professional design. These requirements are different throughout the United States, and KLH has the tools and experience to handle even the most difficult and unique code requirements in jurisdictions such as New York, California and Florida.

Life Safety Systems (Fire alarm and evacuation systems)

Life Safety Systems (Fire alarm and evacuation systems)

If you're lucky, you'll never hear your fire alarm devices go off unless they're being tested. If there is a fire (or other emergency), however, the life safety systems need to work flawlessly to get people safely out of the building or to an area of refuge. These systems are designed to alert people in and around the building of an emergency. In locations of large assemblies, additional requirements include the ability to transmit an audible message with emergency instructions to the people inside.

Emergency Power Systems

Emergency Power Systems

Special systems are designed for buildings that cannot risk being without power. These are emergency power systems that include critical, life safety, standby and other emergency power types for buildings ranging from critical operation facilities to warehouses. These systems can range from individual battery packs for emergency lights, larger battery inverter systems, to on-site generators to power whole building systems such as elevators, freezers and life safety equipment.

Medium & Low Voltage Distribution

Medium & Low Voltage Distribution

Once electrical power is brought into the building, it needs to be distributed throughout. In a small building, this may be one electrical room where all of the electrical equipment is housed. In larger multi story buildings, this is a network of electric rooms, distribution boards, and branch circuit panels spread throughout the building. Many buildings have several voltage systems and each of these needs to be carefully coordinated to adequately serve loads in the building. All power consuming devices must be considered during design phase to adequately account for serving them.

Utility Coordination

Utility Coordination

Utility coordination includes getting power to the building. Whether that's overhead, underground, or part of a network around campus, it all starts with utility coordination. Utility coordination is important for a number of reasons; locations of utility transformers need to be carefully coordinated with other elements of the building, not to mention other utilities entering the building. Correct utility coordination also ensures that electrical equipment is properly braced to handle the worst case scenario: an electrical fault. It is also important to coordinate with the utility company to ensure that the proper amount of power is delivered to the building to handle the required loads.