# Brainfiller Library

Articles, Guides and Technical Papers

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### 2014 Training Schedule

Several of my most popular electrical training classes are on the schedule for 2014. The classes include: How to Perform an Arc Flash Study, Medium Voltage Power Systems, Power System Engineering Course. You can also have any of my more than 25 training classes held at your location.
• ### Sample Chapter - How to Perform an Arc Flash Hazard Calculation Study

Try before you buy! Download a sample chapter from the book: "How to Perform an Arc Flash Hazard Calculation Study by Jim Phillips, P.E. Chapter 3 - What is an Arc Flash Hazard Calculation Study In this chapter, Jim Phillips walks you through an overview of the entire arc flash study process beginning with what is the study though data collection, modeling, calculations, labeling DC arc flash and more. This chapter provides an excellent summary of the books contents.
• ### Wind and Solar Electrical Safety - Rising to the Occasion

A few months ago, I was driving home from the Los Angeles area and suddenly found myself surrounded by thousands of wind turbines lining both sides of Interstate 10. Even though I have made this trip many times, I am still in awe at the scale of it all. Looking through my windshield (but still watching the road) at the miles of wind turbines and substations that make up the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm. Read more about this and the 290 MW Agua Caliente PF facility in Yuma Arizona.
• ### Working Distance Mistakes in an Arc Flash Study

The term “working distance” appears 20 times in the 2012 Edition of NFPA 70E, the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. It appears 12 more times in the annexes. The working distance is an important component of the arc flash hazard analysis and is frequently listed on arc flash warning labels and in the arc flash report. IEEE 1584—IEEE Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations 2002 defines the working distance as “the dimension between the possible arc point and the head and body of the worker positioned in place to perform the assigned task.” Five common (and dangerous) working distance mistakes Even though working distance seems to be a simple concept, it is not always properly considered when performing energized work.
• ### Keeping Skills Current in a Down Economy

What if you had been stranded on a deserted island for the past five years? By the time you were rescued, you would have missed the explosion of social media usage, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, as well as advancements in smart grids and wind and solar energy—it would be more than you could imagine. You may think, "How could the industry have changed so much? I was only lost for a few years." What if you were stranded for just one year? You would have missed the latest tablet computer, the rapid development of smart phone apps and quick response (QR) codes (those odd looking bar codes for smart phone scanning). You even would have missed the latest edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the 2012 edition of NFPA 70E.
• ### Using Correct Electric Utility Data for an Arc Flash Study

One of the first steps in performing an arc flash calculation study is to request short-circuit data from the electric utility company. This kind of request is pretty routine, and utilities have been providing this type of data for short-circuit studies for years. The problem is the data used for a short-circuit study may not be suitable for an arc flash study.
• ### Arc Blast and 40 calories/centimeter squared

You look at the arc flash warning label and scratch your head. Danger! No PPE Category Found. No personal protective equipment (PPE) category? Now what? This type of language is often on arc flash warning labels when the calculated incident energy exceeds 40 calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm2). What is so special about the number 40?
• ### Coordination and NEC 240.87

When selective coordination is critical, e.g., minimizing the extent of an outage, a common design practice is to use a main circuit breaker without an instantaneous tripping function and feeder breakers with one. Without an instantaneous, the main can time delay up to 30 cycles or 0.5 seconds.
• ### IEEE 1584 Two Second Rule

A lot can happen in two seconds. What may seem like the blink of an eye can feel like an eternity, especially during an arc flash. When calculating the incident energy as part of an arc flash study, sometimes the IEEE 1584 equations can produce unusually large values. Although many variables are included in these calculations, the two most significant are the magnitude of arcing short-circuit current and the duration of the arc flash.
• ### IEEE 1584 - 125 kVA Transformer / Less than 240 Volts Exception

One sentence in the IEEE 1584 Standard, IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations, frequently has people scratching their heads: Equipment below 240V need not be considered unless it involves at least one 125 kVA or larger low-impedance transformer in its immediate power supply. What does this sentence mean? What is so significant about 240 volts and 125 kilovolt-amperes?
• ### Get Ahead of It! - NESC Arc Flash Requirements

Determining how much incident energy could be available at a piece of equipment or location on a line is something you do not want to discover from a field test (accidental or intentional this means the only alternative is to predict it from calculations.
• ### Predicting the Arc Flash Duration

Knowing how long an arc flash could last is the most important piece of information in predicting its severity. The duration is usually dependent on how fast an upstream protective device will trip. The longer it takes, the greater the incident energy and resulting hazard.
• ### Simplifying Arc Flash Studies - Select the Arc Rating First

Begin at the End - What Answer Would You like to Have? Simplifying arc flash calculation studies Would you like to know a little secret about how to simplify an arc flash calculation study? Perform the study backward. Well, not actually backward, it just seems that way Performing the study: Arc rating > incident energy. An arc flash calculation study (AFCS) is one method that can be used to determine the level of flame-resistant clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) that is appropriate for protection from the thermal energy of an arc flash.
• ### Arc Flash Boundary - Distance Equals Safety

When a bomb goes off, the further you are from the explosion, the safer you will be. This same concept applies to arc flash hazards. Whether you are a properly protected and qualified person performing the work or just an observer, the distance between you and the arc flash can make all the difference in the world.
• ### U.K. Article - Arc Flash - Not Just an Electrocution Hazard - Part 3

The need for risk assessment is embodied in European Law through directive 89/391 and is transposed into UK Law through Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. Most people are familiar with the general principles of prevention as laid down in these documents and in other UK regulations. They say that "Where an employer implements any preventative measures, he shall do so on the basis of the principles of prevention" shown below. The authors shown in italics on how these principles can be interpreted when it comes to arc flash prevention.
• ### Arc Flash Warning Labels

Read the label? Use as directed? It sounds like I’m reading a prescription bottle. However, the warning label produced from an arc flash calculation study contains more than just the words Warning! Arc Flash and Shock Hazard It actually holds a lot of very specific information that can be used when preparing for work where electrical hazards may exist.
• ### U.K. Article - Arc Flash - Not Just an Electrocution Hazard - Part 2

Working safely in accordance with the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 is about decision making. This includes the decision to work live in the first place through risk assessment. One of the factors that would need to be taken into account in deciding whether live proximity work could proceed is stated in the memorandum of guidance to the EAW Regulations "the level of risk involved in working live and the effectiveness of the precautions available set against economic need to perform that work". Even testing of electrical systems needs the same degree of care in decision making.
• ### U.K. Article - Arc Flash - Not Just an Electrocution Hazard - Part 1

The first of a three part series that continued the escalation of electrical safety discussions in the United Kingdom. Working safely in accordance with the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR) is about decision making. This includes the decision to work live in the first place through risk assessment. One of the factors that would need to be taken into account in deciding whether live proximity work could proceed is stated in the memorandum of guidance to the EAW Regulations "the level of risk involved in working live and the effectiveness of the precautions available set against economic need to perform that work". Even testing of electrical systems needs the same degree of care in decision making.
• ### Arc Flash - Unplugged

Dynamite, gasoline, gunpowder and electricity: What do these have in common? Each one can explode. Something as simple as the slip of a screwdriver can cause the electric power system to act like a bomb. Technically known as an arc flash, this potentially devastating explosion can occur when accidental contact is made between energized conductors or between one conductor and a grounded surface, such as an equipment enclosure.
• ### How Did We Get Here? The History of Electrical Safety

It seems like the more you attempt to learn about arc flash and electrical safety, the more confusing it becomes. A mixture of -letters such as OSHA, NFPA 70E, NEC, IEEE 1584, ASTM F1506 seem to be the secret language used by the electrical safety industry. Who created this alphabet soup of standards, and how did we get here?
• ### How to Perform an Arc Flash Study in 12 Steps - Part 3 of 3

This is the third article in a three part series about how to perform an arc flash hazard calculation study that was published in the December 2007 Edition of NFPA's NECDigest Magazine. The series breaks the study process down into individual steps.