Short Circuit Study & its Importance in Power Systems

importance of short circuit analysis

In order to realize the significance of short circuit analysis, we must first understand what it actually is?

After reading this guide, you will be able to explain the significance of short circuit analysis and can easily be able to explain the consequences of a short circuit in power systems.

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What is a Short Circuit?

So, short circuit occurs when part of a current carrying conductor touches or comes in contact with another wire or part of the circuit and gives the electricity a path of less resistance to flow.

short circuit study wire burning
short circuit study wire burning

Why Short Circuit is dangerous? ​

Next up, we should consider the lethality of short circuit current and why it is dangerous for any personnel working nearby or to the power systems equipment? In normal conditions, the current that flows in a power system is the rated current of the equipment at which the equipment or device is meant to operate.

electrical side safe work practice danger keep off board

A short circuit current can be very large, because it allows the current to flow where it shouldn’t be under normal conditions.

If unusually high fault currents exceed the capability of protective devices (fuses, circuit breakers, relays etc.) it can result in large, rapid releases of energy in the form of heat, intense magnetic fields, and even potentially as explosions known as an arc blast.

Short Circuit Study in Power Systems​

In brief terms, a Short circuit study is very crucial in power systems in addition to being a prerequisite of Arc flash study. Without performing short circuit analysis, we cannot go for the arc flash study which is a recommended practice for any power system industries.

In order to properly understand the importance of short circuit study, we have split it into bullet points which are briefly described here.

The short circuit calculations must be maintained and periodically updated to protect the equipment and personnel lives. It is not safe to assume that new equipment is properly rated!

There are numerous internationally recognized software which are used to perform short circuit study. Learn about the commonly used software around the world here!

Let us know if you have any queries regarding this topic and do provide us with your feedback in the comments.

About The Author

Abdur Rehman is a professional electrical engineer with more than eight years of experience working with equipment from 208V to 115kV in both the Utility and Industrial & Commercial space. He has a particular focus on Power Systems Protection & Engineering Studies.

Abdur Rehman is the CEO and co-founder of and creator of GeneralPAC by AllumiaX. He has been actively involved in various roles in the IEEE Seattle Section, IEEE PES Seattle, IEEE Region 6, and IEEE MGA.

Leaders in Industrial & Commercial Power Systems Engineering