Designed to Match

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Business is growing, and technology is expanding; bottom line: you need more power. The good news is that you don’t have to do away with all your existing gear to have a fluid, seamlessly designed system with added power. SAI’s Design-to-Match program brings together our engineers and service teams to add more power without ever knowing we were there. Our team can help you add feeder and distribution sections to your existing switchgear line-up, and tie them all into the existing bus. We go the extra mile to insure the aesthetics of the new gear looks just as if it was part of the original build. In addition, we can deploy the resources of our Switchgear Retrofit team, and have all the expansions and retrofits completed and installed simultaneously and in a timely manner; all while working within your budget.

Step 1:  Evaluate Existing Systems

SAI expertly assesses your existing systems and future needs. Select any to view details

  • When matching new switchgear sections to an existing line-up, there are many things to consider. First, an SAI service technician assesses the area where the existing switchgear is located. Depending on your needs, we sketch a conceptual drawing and measure for physical constraints to the delivery, rigging, and final installation. With this critical information, our engineering team Designs to Match your existing equipment’s size and layout. Before going into production, we make sure the proposed addition will pass all existing clearance requirements and meet all NEC requirements upon install.

    A “Design to Match” approach is often necessary simply because site conditions and space constraints limit removing existing switchgear. SAI employs experienced logistics consultants to evaluate site information and our proposed solution. They decide exactly how this equipment needs to be shipped to the site and rigged into its final position. We coordinate the transportation to make sure the shippers understand the site, the equipment, and the final delivery instructions to insure a smooth placement of the matched equipment.

    While other companies cannot design, build and implement on their own solution to match an existing system, SAI has over 20 years of field experience working with all manufacturers of switchgear and their products. We understand how these systems were originally designed and built, making us the logical choice to partner with to add or modify these systems. SAI not only matches the look and feel of your existing switchgear line-up, but also ties into the existing electrical and controls systems in order to provide the functionality that you need. Trust the professionals at SAI for any additions to your existing Electrical Distribution System.

    Due to lack of maintenance, lack of bracing, or standard wear and tear, the physical aspects of your existing electrical bus can be damaged over time. SAI inspects for any damage that may have occurred, replacing or modifying bus to handle the additional switchgear as needed. If additional power demands occur due to the planned addition of switchgear sections, an upgrade of the size of the bus may be necessary to allow for the additional capacity.

    In most “Design to Match” scenarios, the intent is to replicate the existing manufacturer of breakers and frame and trip ratings. SAI collects all existing breaker information including make, model number, frame size, trip rating and all other pertinent information; along with determining if the existing performance is adequate. When matching new section breakers to existing ones, SAI partners with all major breaker OEM’s and will source that brand and model for the new sections. When upgrading all breakers to a new breaker type/model, SAI can handle all of your retrofit needs prior to adding the new sections, and program them into your existing control scheme and BMS system.

    The system’s control/logic scheme used to accomplish the everyday functions of your switchgear is extremely important. SAI is adept with all major control systems and PLC packages and understands how to tie the additional sections into the overall control/logic scheme. Our tenured controls engineers will program the logic system so that your existing Electrical Distribution System will function as well or better than the day it was first installed.

Step 2:  Design to Match

Any company can build products – SAI builds solutions. Select any to view details

  • When “Designing to Match” with an existing line-up, SAI pays very close attention to a number of physical aspects. We understand physical constraints from the equipment side. We measure the access and clearance areas to work through to land the sections to their final destination. Finally, we either design the product to fit through the clearance areas or design the systems with shipping splits to accommodate narrow hallways, lack of loading dock, no freight elevator or any other problem that may surface upon shipment. SAI plans ahead so that once the new sections arrive and are rigged into place, SAI makes all connections to the existing line-up so that the only thing you need to do is energize the system.

    All manufacturers have different layouts, lengths, widths, heights and depths. As a result most standard aftermarket manufacturers are unable to provide you with an exact match to your existing equipment. This is not the case for SAI. We have years of experience working with all major manufacturers of switchgear allowing us the ability to match your existing switchgear as if it was in place and on-site.

    When looking at adding to existing electrical infrastructure, you have to understand where the equipment is being fed from and how the additional sections will be connected to the existing line-up. SAI will take measurements on the existing configuration of your distribution system; understanding all incoming conduit runs that feed the switchgear, along with mapping the system distribution to insure that we can use existing conduit to feed the loads or if addition conduit will need to be installed. We meticulously document all critical aspects of the installation, such as the existing/future conduit runs to be used, connection points between existing and new sections, and how we plan to attach to the existing bus, while insuring appropriate bracing. At SAI we don’t just build products and ship them, we believe that the project is not complete until the install is complete and the system is energized.

    At SAI, we design our switchgear additions to provide an identical match to your switchgear line-up. While other companies stop at this stage, SAI is just getting started. We go the extra step of integrating the newly built sections into your existing controls scheme and provide you the ability to not only access alarms on the system, but also control the entire switchgear package through your Building Management System. Any company can build products; SAI builds end-to-end solutions.

Step 3:  Solution Implementation

Innovating the way systems are installed. Select any to view details

  • After our site evaluation and design process is complete, SAI will do one final walkthrough in order to make sure that the Scope of Work provided can be conducted as planned. We ensure all site personnel understand every aspect of the job and procedure. Once the new switchgear sections are received, we schedule the installation of the new equipment per your requested date and time.

    SAI engineers are experts in ensuring your matching Switchgear sections are installed with as little disruption as possible. SAI has power experts on staff to develop a site specific Method of Procedure (MOP), requiring a brief de-energizing of the bus in order to tie in the additional sections. This MOP ensures your power system is not only upgraded in a safe manner, but with the least amount of scheduled downtime.

    Few companies can design and build switchgear sections that will both physically and functionally integrate into an existing Electrical Distribution System. However, SAI has over 20 years of experience in “Design to Match” switchgear integration. Our process is simple; our team develops a project specific installation plan. SAI then lands your new equipment in place and makes appropriate bus connections between the existing line-up and the additional sections that we are providing. Once the bus connections are made, additional bracing is installed where needed. Upon completion and re-check of all electrical connections, controls and communication wiring connections are terminated according to your system schematic. At this point we reenergize the system, and reconfigure the control system to include the additional sections and ensure full system alarming and functionality is present. Last but not least, we assist in working with your BMS provider and site personnel to ensure appropriate communications are occurring. For most companies, a project of this magnitude requires a teaming effort between several companies. For SAI, it’s just another day on the job!

    When adding sections to generator paralleling gear, SAI uses an approach and a controller that gives us the ability to upgrade a generator one section at a time. The SAI controller uses “first-on logic”; this means each generator controller will be independent of a “master” but communicate with the other controllers removing the need for a master controller. Once added, we then place the new section back in service with the antiquated master controller, and move onto the next generator. The controller dictates who is lead once the first generator is up and running and has closed its breaker to the critical bus; the other units sync and follow this unit. This gives SAI the ability to assure the customer that they will not be without emergency power for the time it takes to upgrade all of the paralleling switchgear.

    Your dedicated SAI Project Manager is involved from the time we are contacted until the time your system is upgraded and fully functional. Our PM ensures you understand the scope of work being performed. Our PM’s have years of experience in the industry handling this type of work so that you can have the confidence that your job will go smoothly.

    SAI technicians have a minimum of 5-10 years of experience and are proficient in all aspects of Electrical Distribution and Power Infrastructure Systems. Our technicians remain on-site through all aspects of the upgrade to ensure your system start up is smooth and problem-free. As the system comes online, our technicians run functional tests to confirm the system has taken load appropriately. Finally, our techs take the time to overview the new system and its controls with your site personnel.


    With over 30 years of cumulative expertise in designing Electrical Distribution and Power Infrastructure Systems, our engineering team has seen it all. Our engineers are at your disposal to answer your questions and work with you to design the best solution at the best price for your critical project. Whether your need is new equipment or a retrofit/upgrade of existing equipment, SAI is your trusted partner to get the job done right.