ANSI/NETA ECS-2015 debuted on March 2, 2015, at NETA's annual conference, PowerTest. The new standard was presented in detail during multiple events at PowerTest, including Monday's technical presentations in the electrical commissioning track, the half-day Electrical Commissioning Symposium, as well in Lorne Gara's seminar, Understanding and Implementing the ANSI/NETA ECS-2015 Standard for Electrical Commissioning Specifications.
This new standard describes the electrical commissioning process of documenting and placing into service newly-installed or retrofitted electrical power equipment and systems. This document is intended to be used in conjunction with the most recent edition of the ANSI/NETA ATS Standard for Acceptance Testing Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment and Systems. It is also intended that the individual electrical components shall be subjected to factory and field tests, as required, to validate the individual components.
ANSI/NETA ECS provides a greater understanding of the requirements involved in successfully commissioning newly installed equipment and systems, which in turn lends to successful maintenance and testing based on relevant, accurate, and usable historical data collected early in the life of the system.
"There is a need and requirement to bridge the gap between acceptance testing and electrical commissioning that completes the electrical system overall acceptance process," says Ron Widup of Shermco Industries. The new standard, he says, goes from individual component testing to assuring that all integral components are functioning correctly as a complete unit. It also specifies the correct operation of all interlock safety devices for fail-safe functions as well as the correct operation of all sensing devices, alarms, and indicating devices.
ANSI/NETA ECS keeps pace with an emerging market in the commissioning of electrical power equipment and systems that was not previously addressed by any other standards. The NETA Board of Directors identification of this gap prompted the development of the ANSI/NETA ECS.
Demand for commercial, industrial, utility, and generation commissioning has been on the rise over the last 10 to 15 years, according to American Electrical Testing Co., Inc.'s Scott Blizard, much of which, he adds, is driven by deregulation of the utility industry. "New codes require testing the functionality of the system per the system's design," he explains. "While there are commissioning standards for industrial and commercial systems, they do not include specifications for other electrical systems."
The ANSI/NETA ECS standard, he continues, gives the industry a tool for commissioning electrical systems that encompasses the electrical industry as a whole. "Commissioning standards are necessary to ensure that when something is deemed good or bad, it is done so from an objective and consistent perspective, so that equipment owners know that their assets were not just thoroughly and properly evaluated, but that the evaluations were done without preconceived opinions regarding condition," explains Vicki Warren of IRIS Power LP. "It's so that good is good, and bad is bad, regardless of who does the testing."
ANSI/NETA ECS will help users of this document gain a greater understanding of the requirements involved in successfully commissioning newly-installed equipment and systems, which in turn leads to successful maintenance and testing based on relevant, accurate, and usable historical data collected early in the life of the system.