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Participants in this course will be offered comprehensive and crucial guidelines to understanding elements and procedures involved in the commissioning and start up of electrical apparatus and systems involved in major industrial and commercial projects.

Course Outline

Participants in this course will be offered comprehensive and crucial guidelines to understanding elements and procedures involved in the commissioning and start up of electrical apparatus and systems involved in major industrial and commercial projects.  The course addresses the special problems that may be encountered in the starting up of any electrical system for the first time, which, regardless of size, type or industry, is a special event.  Fundamental to the commissioning task is the significant effort required to test each individual apparatus to ensure its proper functioning and its ability to offer service continuity under the specific operating conditions required by the industrial environment. A good deal of time will be spent discussing practical aspects of testing major equipment such as cables, motors, transformers and switchgear. The course will highlight testing procedures, standard testing frequencies, what to expect in the results of testing and remedial actions. The importance of maintenance to maintain design life expectancy can not be overemphasized and the course will offer details of philosophies underlying maintenance practices. This course deals with safety considerations and testing and start-up procedures for all the components of any electrical system. The course will provide useful guidelines on what to do when things go wrong during this phase of a project.


To provide a comprehensive understanding of principles of accomplishing a successful commissioning and start up including testing and subsequent maintenance of the electrical system.

Target Audience

Electrical professionals who need to refresh and expand their knowledge, maintenance managers, and power system consultants.  A basic understanding of electrical system operations is needed, but participant do not necessarily have to be experts in the areas covered. In addition, professionals who are starting their career in the field of power in electrical utilities, industrial or commercial and institutional facilities will profit from this course.

Program Outline (1.2 CEUs / 12 PDHs)


Overview of Commissioning and Start-Up

  • Terminology
  • Objectives
  • Specifications
  • Documentation
  • Safety and training
  • Case studies

Overview of Field Test Requirements

  • Development of test regime
  • Outline of typical tests
  • Interpretation of test results
  • Troubleshooting

Basic Electrical Principles

  • DC and AC circuit basics and laws, power factor, and bridge testing methods.

DC Voltage Testing Techniques

  • Insulation resistance tests, step voltage and high voltage tests

AC Voltage Testing Techniques

  • Power factor and dissipation factor tests, ac high potential test, and safety precautions

Motor Testing

  • Insulation resistance, high potential test, power factor test, dissipation factor, and voltage surge comparison testing


Transformers Testing

  • Polarity, terminal markings and connections
  • Dry type transformers: inspection, acceptance tests
  • Liquid type transformer: inspection, and acceptance tests
  • Routine testing: AC high potential testing, TTR test, polarity test, induced potential test, polarization recovery voltage test, and DC winding resistance tests

Switchgear Testing

  • Insulation resistance measurement test, DC or AC high potential testing, power factor or dielectric loss test, and circuit breaker contact resistance test
Cables Testing
  • Insulation resistance measurement test, DC over-potential testing, voltage versus leakage current, power factor test, and cable fault locating

Commissioning of Electrical Apparatus and Systems

  • Development of procedures
  • Documentation
  • Interpretation of results
  • Troubleshooting

Start Up, and Acceptance

  • Integration
  • Energizing sequence
  • Safety considerations
  • Documentation
  • Correction of defects

Maintance Practices

  • A class-centered discussion on relevant maintenance practices will be conducted. Its intent is not to prescribe procedures and practices, but to alert participants to actual in-the-field imperatives that force the practitioner to deviate from recommended practices and what to do in order to minimize the consequences.

Forensic Engineering Aspects of Testing, Commissioning and Start-Up of Electrical Systems

  • Applicable codes, standards and rules
  • Conflicts involved in start-up
  • What to do when disaster strikes
  • Minimizing problems
Instructor Dr. El-Hawary is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Dalhousie University and was Associate Dean of Engineering between 1995 and 2007. His technical contributions cover more than forty years of sustained work in research, education and service to the community. On the research side, Dr. El-Hawary pioneered in computational solutions for economic operation of power systems including hydro-thermal systems. His fundamental  and pioneering work on economic operation of power systems, the application of computational intelligence techniques to power system operational problems is frequently referred to by the users community, and is documented in ten textbooks and research monographs and more than 300 research articles.
  He served as IEEE Canada President (2002-2003,) and Secretary of IEEE (2004-2005) and the Awards Board and Fellows Committee. Moreover, he served as IEEE Canada Awards Chair.
Dr. El-Hawary serves currently as a member of the 2010 Publications Services and Products Board, and is IEEE Press Power Engineering Series Editor. He served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Press in 2006-2007. He is Founding Editor, Power Letters, Power Engineering Society, is Associate Editor for the three major Electric Machines and Power Systems' Journals, and is Editor, Electrical Power Engineering, McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology
  Dr. El-Hawary received numerous awards and recognitions including the McNaughton medal and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Engineering Institute of Canada.
Prerequisites & Certificates

Certificates offered

A certificate of completed Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be granted at the end of this course. Each participant will receive a complete set of course notes and handouts that will serve as informative references.

Cancellation Policy
If you wish to withdraw from a course, you must advise us, in writing, including the official receipt. Our policies regarding refund are:

More than fifteen business days in advance: a full refund minus $50.00 administration charge.

Fifteen or less business days in advance: a transfer to another course or a credit, valid for one year, to another GIC course can be considered. Credits are transferable within your organization.

If the course has been running for more than 2 weeks, or after the course has started, an 80% credit towards another GIC course may be considered, if notice is received before the start date of the second session. After this time, no refunds or credits will be issued. If a speaker is not available due to unforeseen circumstances, another speaker of equal ability will be substituted.

GIC reserves the right to cancel or change the date or location of its events. GIC's responsibility will, under no circumstances, exceed the amount of the fee collected. GIC is not responsible for the purchase of non-refundable travel arrangements or accommodations or the cancellation/change fees associated with cancelling them. Please call to confirm that the course is running before confirming travel arrangements and accommodations.

Refund Policy: Allow up to 30 days for refunds to be processed.

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