An commercial electrician performing an electrical load analysis in Charlotte

What is a Commercial Energy Analysis?

A commercial energy analysis, AKA an electrical load analysis, is like a pre-flight checklist where trained, professional airline mechanic checks every part of the plane to ensure flight-worthy. In addition, these checklists determine where possible problem areas are developing that may need to be addressed soon.

A commercial energy analysis studies your building’s energy requirements and how that energy is used to see what improvements can be made to improve your energy efficiency, resulting in energy savings. For the same reasons that you want a trained and qualified airliner mechanic to be reviewing your plane’s operations, you want to make sure that your commercial energy analysis is performed by an accredited professional from organizations such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), or the Building Performance Institute (BPI).

An commercial electrician performing an electrical load analysis in Charlotte

You can find DIY commercial energy audit instructions online, but why would you do it? It may save you some money in the short term, but why? A certified pro has all the knowledge, training, and specialized tools necessary to conduct comprehensive and accurate testing of your building’s energy equipment.

Level 1 Commercial Energy Analysis

ASHRAE has identified and categorized three levels of commercial energy audits that can be performed for your company. The Level I audit is a high-level energy survey that consists of a review of the company’s utility bills and a brief visual inspection of energy-consuming equipment within the company buildings. The objective of a Level I Energy Audit is to deliver a simple overview of the energy-saving changes for the building using low-cost or no-cost measures. The suggested actions may include educating employees on energy conservation, making minor upgrades to lighting or thermostat controls, or recommending a more comprehensive commercial energy analysis (a Level II or Level III energy analysis).

Level II Commercial Energy Analysis

The Level II Commercial Energy Analysis digs in deeper within the company’s facilities and equipment, looking at its use, when it is used, how it is used, and more. Typically this also includes comprehensive interviews of owners and managers as well as the equipment operators, maintenance staff, and other front-line workers to learn how the building operates, identify problem areas, and solidify the goals of the analysis.

The energy analysis auditor studies the business’s electricity and natural gas consumption to see where opportunities for savings exist. Additionally, the auditor will review utility rates for electricity and natural gas to see if switching to another energy plan or provider would be cheaper.

In addition, the commercial energy analysis auditor closely examines all equipment within the business that uses energy. This includes heating, cooling, lighting, air circulation, and other specialty systems. The auditor looks at the equipment’s age, size, condition, technology, and how it operates.

Level II Commercial Energy Analyses often include an in-depth infrared scan to see where heat escapes from the building(s) to determine if better insulation or other infrastructure upgrades are needed. Once the audit has been completed, the auditor typically delivers a comprehensive report to the company’s management and staff about the findings. This includes recommendations for new energy efficiency measures, system control changes, operation, procedural changes, and potential capital upgrades. These recommendations also include implementation costs and how long it will take the company to recoup its new equipment/processes investment before it’s paid back.

Level III Commercial Energy Analysis

A Level III Commercial Energy Analysis is sometimes known as an investment-grade energy analysis because it provides more details about the performance, costs, and benefits of implementing the recommendations described in the Level II analysis. Level III analyses typically use a computer model to simulate how a building reacts to changes in its energy systems or modifications to its structure. This is possible due to more detailed data collection over weeks or even months to track equipment operation such as pumps and motors, temperature, humidity, lighting, and more. The goal is to construct the computer model to react just like the actual buildings act so that simulated changes within the model will work with the real building and deliver accurate data.

Another significant component of a Level III analysis is the use of benchmarking to compare the energy use of your building with other buildings that have similar characteristics. This often involves using Portfolio Manager, a benchmarking tool used by the federal government’s Energy Star program. This program rates your company’s buildings on a scale of 1 to 100. A building scores a rating of 50; for example, it’s typical of similar facilities in terms of energy efficiency. A rating of 25 means your building requires significant improvements and measures to bring it up to the standards of other similar structures out there.

A commercial energy analysis will lead to savings in your monthly energy bills, no matter which level of analysis you choose.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Provide Best-in-Class Commercial Energy Analysis in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors understands how to deliver cost-effective, productive electrical solutions for modern commercial companies to keep them competitive in the ever-changing, complex, online world. We provide comprehensive commercial energy analyses in addition to all other commercial electrical services you need. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Industrial electrical services Birmingham

How to Secure Your Industrial Control Systems

Cyberattacks appear in headline news daily, and industrial control systems are high-value targets because they are vulnerable and can cause great turmoil if disrupted. Because of this, many hackers have shifted their attention to industrial control systems over traditional IT systems.

Industrial electrical services Birmingham

Why Industrial Control Systems Are Vulnerable

There are many reasons why industrial control systems are particularly vulnerable to hacker attacks:

  • Industrial control systems now rely more on connectivity than ever before for basic operations and keep things running smoothly.
  • Because these systems often are comprised of equipment from many different vendors, each part within the system has different security measures in place, meaning that one software vulnerability can allow hackers into the entire industrial control system.
  • Industrial control systems do not have the same security oversight as traditional IT systems.
  • Equipment within these systems often includes software that cannot be updated or patched.
  • Industrial control systems equipment is typically used by manufacturing personnel, who don’t often have IT experience, especially with cybersecurity

Industrial control systems consist of operational technology such as sensors, programmable logic controllers, actuators, and even robots that manage, monitor, and maintain the systems—the more interconnected the systems, the greater the damage that can be done overall.

Damage that Hackers Can Do Through Industrial Control Systems

So you might think hackers can’t do any damage if they can access the conveyor belt system used in shipping and receiving, but you would be completely wrong. Here are some of the ways hackers can do damage to your company by hacking industrial control systems:

  • Access primary IT systems or more critical systems by moving into these systems laterally.
  • Steal trade secrets and intellectual property.
  • Obtain confidential information such as customer lists, marketing plans, policies and procedures, etc.
  • Secretly monitor internal traffic and other data such as email.
  • Take control of manufacturing, operations, or infrastructure equipment and cause damage, sabotage operations, or even hold it hostage.

Tips for Keeping Your Industrial Control System Safe

So what can you do to protect yourself from this damage? Take these actions:

  • Create security policies for the industrial control system equipment specifically and ensure that everyone follows them.
  • When purchasing new equipment for your industrial control system, be sure that it has a means to update the software and/or hardware for the system so that newly discovered vulnerabilities can be addressed.
  • Assign an individual or team that works with IT to maintain the control system equipment and make sure that hackers cannot get into the system through industrial control system equipment.
  • Hire an industrial control system specialist who understands the importance of security and designs these systems to maximize operational security.

The moral of the story is that don’t allow the security of industrial control system equipment to be forgotten or fall through the cracks. Create awareness of security vulnerabilities and ensure the key individuals know how to address them. Don’t put your whole organization at risk by allowing a security breach to occur via your industrial control systems.

Hire the Best Industrial Control System Specialists in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors do not only install electrical equipment for commercial and industrial customers all over the Southeastern United States but also can help you install and configure industrial control systems for your operations securely. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

An ICS technician performing industrial electrical services in Atlanta

More Information About Industrial Control Systems

Industrial control systems (ICS) describe how hardware and software are integrated with network connectivity to support work processes in today’s industrial settings. In the past, most industrial equipment and components used in industrial processes such as the operation of transportation systems, power stations, water and wastewater plants, transport industries, and many other critical functions were dumb, meaning that they worked as isolated systems, protected from the outside. Now, a lot of industrial equipment and components of today’s ICSs connect directly or indirectly to the internet.

An ICS technician performing industrial electrical services in Atlanta

The Benefits of Modern Industrial Control Systems

This improved connectivity, often via wireless networking, and enhanced sensor technology, automates many complex work processes, resulting in increased productivity, reduced costs, and improved reliability.

The Drawbacks of Modern Industrial Control Systems

The trade-off for these new benefits for ICS is that it makes these systems vulnerable to attack by foreign powers, competitors, and hackers. Because many important industrial functions are automated, all industrial companies must take steps to protect their equipment operations from being changed or sabotaged. Here are some of those steps:

  • Install the latest hardware and software updates immediately when available.
  • Limit system access so that only individuals that need it to perform their job duties.
  • Use multi-factor authentication to make it more difficult for outside intruders to gain access.
  • Monitor network traffic looking for abnormal spikes or ebbs and review where the traffic comes from.
  • Review access logs routinely, looking for anomalies.

Most industrial businesses and functions generate a lot of attention from intruders and face constant attacks, so anyone who works with them—from the industrial electrical company that installs them to the operators who use them every day—need to be aware of this and cautious.

The Components of Industrial Control Systems

Industrial Control Systems use many different components and control systems. Some of the components of an ICS (outside of control systems) include:

  • Sensors – Used to measure conditions of an ICS. These can measure speed, temperature, scanning letters or numbers, movement, or any number of other stimuli as programmed.
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) – These are used as control components in ICS and programmed to manage work processes
  • Operational Technology devices – Any ICS device that monitors and controls physical devices out on the system. These include both hardware and software.
  • Master Terminal Unit (MTU) – This is the brain of the ICS, sending commands to the system, telling it exactly how to operate.
  • Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) – Controls the MTU receiving commands, executing them, and reporting back to MTU.

An excellent industrial electrical services provider must have an in-depth understanding of ICS’s and how they interact with the world around them to keep your business running smoothly and protect it from hostile attacks.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Provide Best-in-Class Industrial Control System Services in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors understands what modern industrial companies need in the ever-changing, complex, online world. We provide PLC programming services in addition to all of the industrial electrical services you need. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Industrial electrical services Atlanta

What is Industrial Electrical Maintenance?

Because most modern industrial electrical systems are well constructed and durable, facilities managers and owners of an industrial business may be lulled into a false sense of security about their electrical systems. As a result, they might overlook issues until it is too late. Unfortunately, this usually results in a costly repair or replacement of electrical components or, worse yet, brings production down.

Industrial electrical services Atlanta

For these reasons, industrial electrical maintenance is essential for uninterrupted and efficient operations for all industrial businesses.

What is Industrial Electrical Maintenance?

Because of the complexity of modern industrial equipment, industrial electricians need to be familiar with many different types of equipment and the theory and technology behind it. In addition, industrial electrical maintenance involves a general understanding of monitoring, testing, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing elements of an industrial electrical system. This includes being knowledgeable about the National Electric Code and local zoning and regulations surrounding electrical work.

Areas Industrial Electrical Maintenance Cover

In addition to the general knowledge of electrical systems, today’s industrial electricians need to be familiar with the standard technology used within industrial electrical systems such as:

  • Generators
  • Transformers
  • Hydraulics
  • Pneumatics
  • Lighting Systems
  • Surge Protection
  • Battery Backup Systems

Industrial electricians need to be familiar with computerized control systems integrated with the electrical equipment and high-tech diagnostic equipment to help identify and resolve problems before resulting in an expensive repair or downtime.

This means that industrial electricians need to use and thoroughly understand the software that drives these integrated solutions and how to use it to ensure stability and detect problems before they become serious issues. They do this by implementing preventive maintenance for these systems.

Preventative Industrial Electrical Maintenance

Downtime and data loss keep industrial business owners awake at night. Problems that are minor issues early on can become huge issues at critical moments. For example, the company’s backup generators need to be ready to fire up as soon as there is a power outage. If those generators have not been inspected or tested, they might not start at a crucial moment. Preventative industrial maintenance can help avoid these issues. Some of these issues include:

  • Overloaded or old wiring
  • Inadequate lubrication for industrial equipment
  • Excess vibration
  • Worn out parts

Industrial electricians need to be experts at many different types of equipment and have a clear understanding of the system’s vulnerable areas and how to prevent problems before they occur.

Hire the Best Industrial Electrical Contractors in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors’ industrial electricians are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. We can handle any industrial electrical project you need to be completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

A PLC programming company in Chattanooga on the job

What Types of Operations Does a PLC Programming Company Support?

A PLC programming company offers services that use programmable logic controllers to support the operations for most automated or semi-automated industrial equipment. Programming is the most important part of the operation because it is essential for maintaining and expanding the system’s operations to maximize the program’s ROI. But what are some of these operations? To find out, read on.


Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) features control systems comprised of computers, networked data communications, and GUIs to supervise the machines and processes. These systems also include sensors and PLCs that interface with the plant itself or the machinery within it. SCADA PLCs provide control for discrete, batch, and process applications.

A PLC programming company in Chattanooga on the job

These are ideal for severe industrial environments such as those with extreme temperatures, damp and humid conditions, and areas that have a lot of vibration where human controllers cannot deliver the exact performance necessary for success.

Safety Solutions

Up until recently, manufacturers needed to use hard-wired safety relays and separate circuits dedicated to safety protocols. Now, dedicated safety PLCs interface directly with safety equipment for emergency stops on production lines and light screens that stop operating if the screen is broken. These PLCs protect both the workers and the equipment from damage.

Modern Manufacturing

Manufacturing is faster and more efficient than ever, thanks to automation and the Internet of Things (IoT). PLCs act as a database in real-time to make important production decisions. The PLC transmits data, including sensor readings, performance data, and more, to be analyzed and make the manufacturing process more efficient. This data allows managers to manage raw materials, inventory, logistic decisions, and much more.

Recipe Management

Recipe management is a term used for large-scale, high-volume processes that involve mixing and processing specific ratios of materials. Industrial food production is one example of a complex process that benefits from PLC help. The PLCs make sure that ingredients are added in the proper amounts, blended, and prepared with little manager intervention. This automation saves money by reducing errors, maximizing efficiency, and reducing waste during the production process. 

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Provide Best-in-Class PLC Programming Services in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors’ pro. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Industrial electrical services Columbia, SC

5 Warning Signs of a Poor Industrial Electrical Services Provider?

There are many different industrial electrical companies out there, so how do you know which one is good for you? What are some red flags that indicate problems if you encounter them during an interaction with an industrial electrical services provider? Here are a few to look out for.

1 – Poor Communication

In industrial electrical services, poor communication leads to expensive downtime, worker injury, or even death. Therefore, an excellent industrial electrical company must provide clear information to the customer, the workers, vendors, other contractors, and each other to ensure that every industrial electrical project is completed correctly, safely, and under budget.

Industrial electrical services Columbia, SC

2 – Shows Up Late

An industrial electrical company that is OK with their workers showing up late—or not at all indicates that there will be problems when it comes to completing your project on time. Although occasionally things happen that make tardiness unavoidable, an excellent electrical services company prides itself on having work crews show up on time for every customer meeting—big or small—from the initial quote to the final clean up at the end of a project.

3 – Poor Attention to Detail

Poor attention to detail is another red flag that cannot be ignored. Because industrial equipment tends to deal with high voltages, dangerous machinery, or processes, poor attention to detail can lead to severe problems down the line. Poor attention to detail leads to expensive rework (to fix the problem right in the first place), work stoppages to make repairs or even accidents that may injure or kill a worker. A superior industrial electrical services company goes the extra mile to ensure that no small detail is overlooked when completing a project.

4 – Bad Attitude

Suppose an industrial electrician avoids answering customer questions. He ignores information that the business owners or company staff provide or gets argumentative with the customer about the type of equipment to install or electrical services to provide is a huge red flag. These traits damage the customer relationship, jeopardize the possibility of future work from that client, and possibly hurt the industrial electrical company’s reputation with the public.

5 – Inconsistent with Pricing and Safety Issues

If an electrical services company cannot provide definitive information for estimating the cost of work or addressing safety concerns, the customer’s trust quickly erodes. While project pricing may change slightly with the current economic conditions or if the scope of the project changes, the company generally has to earn the customer’s trust by providing in-depth answers and explanations for all pricing and safety issues.

Hire the Best Industrial Electrical Contractors in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors’ industrial electricans are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. We can handle any industrial electrical project you need completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

●On the job with a commercial electrical contractor in Nashville

How Is a Commercial Electrician Different from an Industrial Electrician?

While a commercial electrician and an industrial electrician sound like they do the same thing, nothing can be further from the truth. However, there are some similarities between the two.

●On the job with a commercial electrical contractor in Nashville

Similarities Between Commercial and Industrial Electricians

Both commercial and industrial electricians start with basic electrical knowledge, but there are several other similarities. Both positions require that you have:

  • Earned your high school diploma
  • Participated in an electrician apprenticeship
  • Attended  industry-specific training and classes
  • Completed 8,000 t0 10,000 hours of on-the-job training
  • Passed a certification exam

The foundation of their skill set might be in basic electrical knowledge, but the application of their extended training is what truly defines the two.

Work Experience of Commercial Electricians

Most commercial electricians work in apartment buildings, retail establishments, offices, and sometimes food service businesses. They typically perform the following tasks:

  • Running three-wire systems through conduit
  • Ensuring that the electrical components and wiring function efficiently and safely
  • Performing common electrical repairs and installation of specific equipment
  • Wiring breaker panels, transformers, and lighting systems
  • Occasionally installing HVAC systems and backup generators

Work Experience of Industrial Electricians

Industrial electricians typically perform all of the tasks that a commercial electrician handles but require additional education and training to perform specific industrial tasks. This additional training depends on the industry that the industrial electrician work in. This training determines what types of jobs and projects the electrician can work on.  This training is critical to ensure the accuracy and thorough knowledge of this field. For example, manufacturing facilities have power requirements that are far different from those encountered within commercial businesses. Some of the issues industrial electricians need to be ready to perform include:

  • Handling high-voltage electrical systems commonly associated with industrial processes
  • Installing electrical systems and components for industry-specific equipment.
  • Troubleshooting issues with controls and electronics within the industrial electrical systems
  • Inspecting on machinery and equipment in industrial structures
  • Installing power conductors to reduce interference with the control systems and other electronic devices
  • Ensuring the proper grounding of manufacturing systems and equipment
  • Maintaining and repairing electrical systems and components to reduce potential work stoppage due to electrical or equipment failure.

Another important thing that both industrial and commercial electricians have in common is that the businesses and industries that they serve rely on their dependability and competence. A mistake in wiring or installing electrical equipment can lead to costly equipment repairs or replacement or work stoppages, both of which cost the company lots of money.

Hire the Best Commercial and Industrial Electrical Contractors in the Southeastern US

Tri-State Electrical Contractors’ commercial and industrial electricans are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. We can handle any commercial or industrial electrical work you need completed quickly and competently. For more information, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Storm damage requiring industrial electrical repairs in Greensboro

What Are Some of the Common Electrical Repairs Needed After a Storm?

Storms are the arch-enemy of your electrical service. The combination of wind, rain, and (sometimes) snow and ice can be devastating to the electrical grid.

Falling Trees

The rain saturates the ground making it less stable for trees, and when combined with strong winds, they fall, taking out power lines and the occasional transformer. To lessen the impact of power loss during storms, you should look at hiring a commercial or industrial electrical company to install a backup generator to keep your business going when everything else comes to a standstill.

Storm damage requiring industrial electrical repairs in Greensboro

Lightning Strikes

Lightning is one of the most potent forces on the planet. If it strikes anywhere near your business, the resulting power surge can damage all electronic devices connected to your wiring and sometimes non-electronic appliances that are simply plugged in at the time of the strike. Therefore, all businesses should protect themselves from lightning and surges by having a commercial electrical contractor install a lightning arrester to route the electricity away from your company and into the ground. These strikes can also damage breakers in your electrical system.


Although the occasional flooded basement may occur during a severe downpour, a more common problem occurs when water seeps into your building during heavy rain and comes into contact with your wiring, it may short circuit, causing power loss or possibly starting a fire. When this happens, get a reliable commercial and industrial electrical services provider to fix the issue to keep your business safe from further damage. Unfortunately, short circuits can be difficult to track down and needs expert help to make the repairs.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Provides Electrical Repairs After Storms

Our industrial and commercial electricians know how what to look for and how to fix it after a damaging storm. Tri-State Electrical Contractor has you covered whether it is tracking down a hard-to-find short circuit or installing a new generator for your industrial or commercial business. We are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. To learn more about how Tri-State Electrical can help you with your commercial electrical project, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Backup generators installed by industrial electrical contractors in Atlanta

How Do You Size a Generator for an Industrial Company?

Figuring out the correct size when installing a generator for a commercial or industrial customer is not a one-size-fits-all type of project. You need expert help from experienced industrial/commercial electrical contractors to ensure the job is done right.

Why Do Industrial and Commercial Companies Need Backup Generators?

Power outages happen everywhere and everyone has experienced them. At home, this is an inconvenience. For commercial and industrial businesses, a power outage can cripple them. For manufacturing companies, a power outage shuts down production which costs them while the equipment and workers are not working. For restaurants and grocery stores, a long power outage can result in thousands of dollars in food spoilage, as well as losses in sales because customers cannot shop there. These generators prevent losses associated with outages, keep businesses operating, and allow important building services to continue.

Backup generators installed by industrial electrical contractors in Atlanta

Square Footage of Location

Using the square footage of your location is a great starting point to help calculate the backup generator size you need. There are equations within the industry used for this purpose.

  • For Retail applications such as grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, and most other retail establishments, the formula for calculating power needs is 50 kilowatts + 10 watts per square foot.
  • For most other commercial applications, the formula is 50 kilowatts + 5 watts per square foot.

Full Load Capacity of the Site

Calculating the full-load capacity of a site requires a little more legwork and research to come up with an accurate number. Here are the steps to follow to help calculate this number.

  1. Look at your service panel and take full-load current measurements during peak usage.
  2. Clamp on an ammeter for each leg of the electrical service, and add these measurements together. This will provide you with the total amps used.
  3. Divide the total amps by three for three-phase current, or by two for single-phase current.
  4. Multiply the total amps divided by phase current number by the supply voltage and multiply it again by 1000 for the Kilowatts (kW) required.
  5. Next, add the power in kilowatts used by each emergency safety standby system following articles 700, 701, 702 and 708 of the National Electric Code (NEC) to the kilowatts. This provides you with the full load kilowatts number.

The formulas to calculate this size are:

  • Total Amps × Supply Voltage / 1000 = Full Load Kilowatts
  • Full Load Kilowatts × 0.25 = Reserve Capacity
  • To determine the proper generator size at 100% power is Full Load Kilowatts + Reserve Capacity = Generator Size

Other Factors to Consider When Sizing a Generator

The square footage of a location and the full load capacity of the site are good indicators to estimate the size of the generator you might need, but here are some other factors to keep in mind:

  • Number of customers/employees onsite
  • Operating hours of the business – Does it have regularly scheduled hours each day? Different hours on different days? Or online 24/7?
  • Voltage sag – This is a temporary drop that occurs when there is a short circuit or overload of electric motors. Some industries need to meet specific tolerances so this is a factor in some installations.
  • Environment – Humidity, temperature, and the altitude of the building may impact how to size the generator.

In conclusion, sizing a backup generator for a commercial or industrial business is a complex process that can be extremely expensive if you make a mistake. At Tri-State Electrical Contractors, we have the experience to make the process smooth and trouble-free. To learn more, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.

Industrial electrician at an electrical substation installation

What is an Electrical Substation Installation?


The word substation originates from the early days of power generation and transmission before the power distribution system became a grid. When central power generation stations grew larger, smaller power generation stations were converted to distribution stations. That stations simply received and distributed the energy from the “main” power plant and didn’t use their own generators.

Most substations are owned and operated by electric utility companies, but large industrial or commercial customers often install their own substations. These customers use a great deal of power and need to manage it effectively.

Industrial electrician at an electrical substation installation

Tasks Electrical Substations Perform

A substation is a critical component of an electrical generation, transmission, and distribution system. Substations on today’s power grid can perform many different tasks based on their specific design. Here are some of them:

  • Transfer power from the transmission system to the distribution system in an area
  • Transform voltage from high to low
  • Transform voltage from low to high
  • Change the frequency of the current
  • Convert current from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and vice versa
  • Switch current to back-up lines in case of failure

Most of these substations are automated, relying on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to control and monitor the transmission of electricity and other commercial and industrial processes.

Common Electrical Substation Components

Substations designs depend on the electrical needs of an area or a specific customer and will have the appropriate equipment and infrastructure based on these needs. Most substations use the following components to manage their electrical needs:

  • Switches
  • Protection and Control Equipment
  • Transformers
  • Circuit Breakers and/or Fuses
  • Capacitors
  • Voltage regulators
  • Reactors

Electrical Substation Installation Infrastructure

Substations also require space and infrastructure to support them. Many substations are constructed in more remote areas within fenced enclosures to ensure proper clearances, access to sensitive equipment, and room for expansion in growing areas. Other substations might be constructed in special-purpose buildings to reduce transformer noise, protect the equipment from extreme temperatures, keep people out, or prevent an eyesore. In areas where land is costly, substations might be designed within high-rise buildings or underground. Substations in coastal areas need to be constructed or located in elevated structures to avoid flooding and storm damage.

Tri-State Electrical Contractors Installs Industrial Electrical Substations in Most Southeastern States

We provide a wide variety of industrial electric services, including electrical substation installations, repairs, and retrofits. We are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. To learn more about how Tri-State Electrical can help you with your commercial electrical project, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at today.