The acceptance testing and subsequent commissioning is a crucial step in the start of any electrical system, regardless of the size of the system or project. This is an elaborate and tedious process that has to be carried out diligently and with extreme caution (given the nature of the job). To facilitate the above, an electrical commissioning checklist can be used, which is an easily referenced list of to-do activities that can act as a handy and practical tool for ensuring completion of the work, as desired.
General checks before commissioning an electrical system include ensuring that all related electrical works are completed. The staffs and all the maintenance personnel should be adequately informed and trained in operating and security measures. This includes fire safety precautions and all other emergency procedures, which must be well documented and understood by the staffs. A lack of experience in handling this process or poor planning and execution can lead to unavoidable delays and compromise security of personnel. This can further cause potential productivity losses or adversely impact on the credibility and reputation of project management function, all of which can have costly financial implications.
As regards the electrical appliances and systems deployed, it is prudent to ensure all required electrical safety guidelines have been followed, sufficient precautions have been taken to avoid exposing to conducting liquids, all subsystems and appliances operate as expected (are not faulty or have electrical leakage), high voltage equipment is adequately labelled, all circuit breakers are installed and inspected, and accessibility is sufficiently restricted but easily available through facilities management when required and as applicable.
Further checks should ascertain that the electrical power leads are protected from strain or physical damage; that working areas are free from uninsulated cabling or tripping hazards because of unattended, loose or coiled wiring; and that the power boards have overload protection and proper grounding. Checks on power points should be done for determining that they are easily locatable and not obstructed in any manner and are properly labelled and in good condition. The total power load should be within prescribed limits, the high current items should not be plugged onto power boards (they should rather be directly plugged into power points), and the permanent appliances should have their own dedicated power points.
Outdoor checks should ensure that safety procedures are in place for working near overhead power lines, that the site is suitable for the electrical system installation and operation, and that only heavy duty power leads are used.