Guide to Electrical system Design for Industrial Plant

Oct 28


Judith Morrison

Judith Morrison

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The modern industrial units rely heavily on an efficient flow of electricity for their production and management operations. Complex distribution systems are used for the transmission of heat from the...


The modern industrial units rely heavily on an efficient flow of electricity for their production and management operations. Complex distribution systems are used for the transmission of heat from the power plant to industries. Are you thinking of building or scale up the electrical system in an industrial plant? If yes,Guide to Electrical system Design for Industrial Plant Articles read on this article as it provides you a step-by-step guide for designing an industrial electrical system.

The primary goal of building an industrial plant electrical system is to have an energy-efficient system, continuity, safety and selection of commercial equipment in compliance with codes. Steps listed below will help in reducing possible system design delays, equipment selection and more. The final equipment cost is determined after the completion of the detailed engineering design process.

The following main steps need to be performed in the design of an industrial electrical system. 

Electrical Load Determination

The electrical design engineer receives information on the size and type of electrical energy consumed loads from mechanical and process engineers. It helps to reserve the necessary power for dedicated equipment.

  • Determine motors that drive pumps, compressors, air coolers, and more.
  • Electrical heaters for heating applications of different products
  • Heat tracing to keep liquids and fluids at desired temperature level and protect against freezing
  • Essential lighting components
  • Socket outlet and HVAC loads

Power Supply

It is necessary to describe the electrical energy demand needs for the loads mentioned above. The general aspects of power points into the industrial plant to the utilization points are determined in this phase. 

Generated Power

The electrical energy requirement is generally produced from one or more than one generator without connecting it to a public utility system. 

Import Power

In import power configuration, all the energy requirements of the industrial plant are supplied from electric utilities through incoming power lines with sufficient capacity to carry the peak load. The main functionality to consider for electrical system design are reliability, line voltage and the number of feeder connection to the industrial plant.

Combined Generated and Import Power

Generators are operated in parallel along with external utility sources to increase the power flow of electrical loads. Despite the general or partial failure in one of the power sources, generators or utilities continue to supply the electricity demand of industrial plants without shutting down.

Emergency Power Supply

During general or partial electrical failures, uninterruptable power sources – AC or DC or both are supplied to meet the energy demand of critical equipment.

Electrical Distribution System

The primary or secondary system arrangement is governed by factors including service continuity, efficiency, operating costs, flexibility, and investment cost. There are two significant distributions based on the connection of the primary supply circuit to the power sources – radial and loop system. 

  • Radial System: It is the simplest and most widely used system to operate and troubleshoot in industrial plants
  • Ring distributing system: The ring network of distributors is fed by more than one feeder. So, if one feeder is under fault, the ring distributor remains still energized by other feeders connected to it.

Selection of Equipment

The electrical components used in the electric power system of an industrial plant can be grouped as follows:

  1. The equipment used for transmission of electrical energy from generator or external utility sources to the loads
  2. The equipment used for safety, reliability, flexibility, efficiency and continuity in the plant's operations by converting electrical energy into some other form of energy such as mechanical energy, heat energy, and more

Also, there are various sub electrical systems necessary for safe plant operations such as grounding, lightning and more.

However, the industrial electrical system's design requires continuous and comprehensive analysis to evaluate performance, competency, suitability and strength of the chosen electrical system and components. 


The tips mentioned above would help you successfully design an industrial plant electrical system and select equipment. Also, the use of computer-based system design modeling techniques aids to meet electrical system design requirements depending on the electrical system size. 

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