Load Flow Analysis...Why It Matters...

What Is a Load Flow Analysis?

A Load Flow Analysis (or Load Flow Study, also known as a Power Flow Study) analyzes the power flow of your electrical system to determine if it currently has sufficient capacity to handle present demands and any anticipated loads placed upon it in the future.  A Load Flow Study determines the location and magnitude of the electrical load on your facility’s electrical power distribution system, allowing a map of its power flow to be created.  It answers the questions:

  • “Is my facility’s electrical power distribution system under- or overloaded?”
  • “Is the load evenly and efficiently distributed?”
  • “Can I safely and efficiently add more load?”

The Load Flow Study can analyze the power flow of your electrical system to determine if it currently has sufficient capacity to handle present demands and any anticipated loads placed upon it in the future.  During D.L. Steiner’s consultation, you’ll see how much power is being used and where, as well as identify instances of transformer under- or overloading.

Why Does Load Flow Matter?

A facility’s electrical power distribution system is not static. As equipment is moved or added, there exists the possibility of overloading and stressing of certain parts of the system, which can substantially shorten the lives of some electrical components, potentially resulting in unscheduled downtime and lost production.  Rarely does a system remain in the state it was originally designed—electrical equipment is moved as production lines are modified or relocated.  The condition of the equipment itself changes with age and with the quality and frequency of preventive maintenance.  The end result is that, over the years, subtle (or not so subtle) changes may have been made to the system, ultimately with implications for the system's electrical reliability.

Load Flow's importance is not limited to the area of electrical reliability, it is also a useful tool in electrical design.  The dynamic situation in many industrial facilities may present challenges in the design process when an addition to the facility’s electrical power distribution system is required.  A Load Flow Study can become a key factor in the design process’ quality assurance and quality control.  When additions to your facility’s electrical power distribution system are being considered, an important question must be asked, “Does the system, as it currently stands, have the capacity to take any additional loads?” What a costly mistake it would be to purchase expensive electrical equipment and then discover that your electrical system cannot handle the load.