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.
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.