Electrical Systems Design for the Non-Electrical Engineer

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Course Overview

If you have no formal electrical engineering education, this course will teach you how electrical distribution systems for commercial and industrial buildings are designed and operated. Emphasizing basic electrical concepts rather than rigorous mathematical derivations, expert instructors introduce the fundamental direct current concepts and extend them to single-phase and three-phase alternating current systems. After completing this course you will know how to design low voltage electrical distribution systems and you will have a sound understanding of the associated codes and standards, as well as the important grounding, power quality, and arc-flash issues.

Who Should Attend?

  • Working professionals who design electrical systems but who do not have a formal electrical engineering degree
  • Plant engineers
  • Electrical contractors
  • Utility engineers
  • Others responsible for the electrical and lighting systems in manufacturing plants and commercial and institutional buildings

Additional Information

This course has been approved by the State of WI Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) for 35 hours for: Commercial Electrical Inspector, Industrial Journeyman Electrician, Journeyman Electrician, Master Electrician, and Registered Electrician license holders.

Course Outline

Basic Concepts

  • Voltage, current
  • Resistance
  • Ohm’s law
  • Power, watts
  • RMS, average values
  • Inductance
  • Capacitance
  • Three-phase systems
  • Power factor

Grounding Concepts

  • Grounding for safety
  • Grounding for equipment operation

Basics of Low Voltage Power Distribution

  • Power factor
  • Transformer operations and system voltages
  • Neutral currents and harmonics on neutrals
  • Faults, fuses and circuit breakers

 System Design Philosophy

  • Voltage levels: transformers, theory, types, connections
  • Overcurrent protection: fault calculations, interrupting ratings, coordination
  • Load study/possible loads: load characteristics, load locations

Standards, Recommended Practices, Guides, and Codes

  • Introduction to National Electrical Code® (NEC)

Electrical Construction Materials

  • Basic electrical construction materials: wire, raceways, devices, boxes, panelboards, motor control equipment, switchboards
  • One-line and riser diagrams

Design Procedures for Lighting and Non-Motor Branch Circuits

  • Lighting and non-motor branch circuit design: harmonics consideration, NEC requirements, circuit protection
  • Motor branch circuit design: NEC requirements, motor protection, circuit protection, calculations
  • Feeder circuit design: NEC requirements, circuit protection, calculations
  • Problem Assignment

Design Procedures (Continued)

  • Service design: commercial/industrial examples, NEC constraints, utility constraints, equipment, switchboards, metering: CTs, PTs
  • Fault current calculations
  • Discussion of class problem solution
  • Lighting design

Advanced Concepts

  • Power quality and harmonics: types of disturbances, harmonics, uninterruptible power supplies, distribution techniques
  • Arc flash basics


Ryan Kallies

Mr. Kallies PE, LEED AP is an Electrical Department Facilitator at Affiliated Engineers, Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin. His specialty includes knowledge of the special electrical requirements for large scale, technically diverse facilities, such as medical, manufacturing, research, high containment research, data centers and multi-building campus environments. His expertise is in power system design with an emphasis in distribution systems from 15kV to 120V.

James Krier

Jim Krier PE, is a Principal Engineer at Alliant Energy in Madison, Wisconsin. He has held numerous engineering and managerial positions and has specialized in providing power quality engineering services to industrial and commercial customers for more than 26 years. His experience includes harmonic studies, power factor correction, wiring and grounding studies, power quality monitoring, arc flash hazards, surge suppression, substation project management, medium voltage electrical system design, distributed generation, and electrical troubleshooting.

John Raksany

John A. Raksany, PE joined the Department of Engineering Professional Development at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as a program director in 1998. Previously a senior maintenance planning engineer for Alliant Utilities, he has 27 years of experience in power delivery system planning, protection and control, maintenance, and substation design.

Upcoming dates (2)

Apr. 27 - May 7, 2021

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Sep. 13-24, 2021

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Program Director

John Raksany

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