What Is an Electrical System Design?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2020
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Electrical system design is the process of planning electrical wiring for a wide variety of system types. It may also include repairing or renovating an existing system to accommodate an expansion or modification. This process can range from designing wiring systems to power a children's toy to powering an entire building or city. Due to the complexity of wiring plans, electrical system design is typically performed by electrical engineering professionals.

During electrical system design, engineers must consider many factors when planning how the system will be wired. This includes ensuring the device will have access to a large enough power supply to draw sufficient electrical energy, but not so much power that it overwhelms the system. It also requires the engineer to decide how the device will be controlled, and how users will send electrical signals through the control unit to various parts of the system. They must also be able to transport power into and through the system while maintaining the desired appearance and aesthetic appeal.


Engineers involved in electrical system design must also consider safety and legal requirements. When it comes to powering a building, for example, many cities have strict electrical codes in place to protect residents from electrical dangers and fire. National and international organizations also produce standards governing the use of electricity to power everything from cars to televisions. These codes are designed to prevent fires, reduce the risk of electric shock, and protect users from injury or death.

Generally, electrical system design begins when a client works with an engineer to create a set of project specifications. These documents tell the engineer how the device is intended to function. For a building, owners may specify where light fixtures and other devices should be placed and how they will be powered. For consumer electronics, the specifications may explain how the device will operate and what features it will perform.

The electrical engineer then uses this information to create a set of technical specifications, outlining how much power will be needed for each of these tasks. He also creates wiring diagrams, showing what type of wires or conduits will be used and which way the electricity will travel. He includes information on the source of the power, the path it takes through a device or structure, and all the materials needed to complete this process. Using these documents and drawings, manufacturers or electrical contractors can then successfully wire a building, or construct an electronic device. These documents may also be required to secure permits or licenses for the product or structure.



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