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Thread: Naming Conventions

  1. #1
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    Naming Conventions

    Two questions related to naming conventions:

    1. When doing an electrical design, what naming convention do you typically use when designating panelboard names?

    2. When building a system model in a software such as ETAP or SKM, what naming convention do you typically use for protective devices? Do you typically name circuit breakers based on the panel they're located in, or the load they're feeding?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Here is oneconvention I have used recently:

    • MSB – Main ServiceBoard
    • DPH – 480/277Vdistribution panel
    • DPL – 120/208Vdistribution panel
    • BPH – 480/277V branchcircuit panel
    • BPL – 120/208V branchcircuit panel
    • MPH – 480/277V panelfor mechanical loads
    • MPL – 120/208V panelfor mechanical loads
    • LPH – 480/277V panelfor lighting loads


    For SKM modeling, Iwill give each bus the exact same name at the panel it is modeling. For example,

    • BPL-4-01 is the SKMmodel for the bus that represents the first low voltage panel on level 4.
    • FB-BPL-4-01 is theupstream feeder breaker.
    • MB-BPL-4-01 is themain breaker on this panel (if there is one)
    • F-BPL-4-01 is theupstream feeder to this panel.
    • PFB is the primaryfeeder breaker that serves a transformer.
    • PF is the primaryfeeder to a transformer.
    • SF is the secondaryfeeder leaving the transformer.
    • NFB is the normalfeeder breaker upstream of a transfer switch.
    • NF, SFB, and SF areother components associated with a transfer switch.



    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  3. #3
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    OK - to expand a bit, how do you label cable trays?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fnewman View Post
    OK - to expand a bit, how do you label cable trays?
    That's easy. I don't.

    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  5. #5
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    SKM

    I usually label devices based on what they're feeding... and I prefix each device by the type.

    PD - protective device
    CBL - cable
    MTR - motor
    xfmr - transformer

    The bus is simply the name of the device based on the engineered single line diagram (if one exists). Below is an example in the order going downstream that I might see...

    PD-LP1 (protective device in a hypothetical switchboard)
    CBL-LP1 (next cable)
    PD-LP1 MCB (main circuit breaker in the panel)
    LP1 (panel name)

    For ATS I suffix each protective device, cable, etc with a (N) or (E) to distinguish between normal and emergency sides.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    That's easy. I don't.

    Ok if that works for you, but for large jobs I like to show the cable tray route on the cable schedule.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fnewman View Post
    Ok if that works for you, but for large jobs I like to show the cable tray route on the cable schedule.
    We appear to be familiar with different types of projects. I am aware that some facilities want the design package to include a schedule that says that cable number XXX will consist of two #12's and a #12 EGC, running from this circuit on this panel to that load. You can have pages and pages of nearly identical rows, each one describing a different circuit run, and each one given a unique name. I have not worked on such projects, and I don't think I would want to. My design drawings might include a floor plan that shows a receptacle outlet and a circuit number right next to it. How the electrician gets the conductors from that circuit in the breaker panel to that load is no concern of mine.

    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    My design drawings might include a floor plan that shows a receptacle outlet and a circuit number right next to it. How the electrician gets the conductors from that circuit in the breaker panel to that load is no concern of mine.
    This is how I approach most designs as well.

  9. #9
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    Agreed- two totally different types of projects.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all of the responses, I appreciate everyone's input.

    Regarding the naming of devices in circuit modeling software, in the past I have always named protective devices based on the bus it is feeding, just as charlie b and lielec11 have described. The reason I raised the question is because it seems like most studies I've seen lately (that were done by other firms) name the circuit breakers based off the panel they reside in.

    Below is an abbreviated version of the cable tray naming convention that was used on a large project we recently worked on.

    First Character - Voltage:
    H = 15kV
    M = 5kV
    4 = 480V
    T = Telecom
    C = Control

    Second Character:
    T = Tray

    Third Character - Width:
    6 = 36"
    0 = 30"
    4 = 24"
    8 = 18"
    2 = 12"

    Fourth Character - Bottom Elevation:
    0 = 137'-1"
    9 = 135'-1"
    8 = 134'-1"
    etc...

    Fifth Character - Segment:
    A, B, C, etc...

    Sixth Character - Sub Segment:
    A, B, C, etc...

    This project also used two additional characters in the tray names to indicate the building & sector, but I left those out for brevity.

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