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 Post subject: EPRI and Utility Arc Flash Research
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:00 pm
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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
I just heard this week at the IEEE 1584 meeting that EPRI is getting ready to undertake research to study arc flash on utility systems. There has been much debate and discussion in this forum about what to do to meet the NESC's January 1, 2009 deadline for arc flash compliance. Most people use the NESC tables, ArcPro from Kinectrics - formerly Ontario Hydro Research, or Duke Power's Heat Flux program. That's about all there is for higher voltages.

It is pretty well agreed that the formula’s and methods available at the higher voltage need much work so EPRI now appears to be getting ready to enter into arc flash testing. Now the big question, NFPA and IEEE finally began working and cooperating together but now another organization has entered. So far there has been no collaboration between EPRI and NFPA/IEEE so no one knows if there will be duplication of effort, conflict of methods or anything similar or if they will ultimately all work together. For those of you not familiar with EPRI, it is the Electric Power Research Institute which is the research arm of many utilities. Member utilities contribute millions of dollars to EPRI that conducts the research and shares the results with member companies. Non-member companies (a.k.a. most of us) do not receive the results without paying a very large sum of money.

Stay Tuned!

Jim Phillips, P.E.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:44 pm
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Location: Charlotte, NC

I had heard some of the same...Thanks for the info.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:31 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:54 am
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I participated in two recent webcasts presented by EPRI.

There are two separate EPRI projects - one focusing on transmission / substation applications above 69 kV the second focusing on distribution systems 69 kV and below.

My employing utility is participating in both projects, along with several other utilities. EPRI is seeking additional funding from utilities who wish to participate.

FYI - The manager of the EPRI Distribution Project is scheduling a workshop for participants which will be held on April 24, 2008 in Chicago in concert with the T&D show. I will be attending the workshop.

The EPRI managers plan on contacting IEEE, NFPA etc. to try and minimize duplication of effort.

Below are some of the concerns that EPRI wants to resolve regarding current methods:

• Recent as-yet unpublished analysis suggests that:
– Lee’s formula tends to provide lowest values compared
to test data – in some cases
– IEEE 1584 and ArcPro calculated values provide
overestimates relative to test data
– IEEE 1584 and ArcPro calculated values tends to track
each other within 30 to 50%, but there is a cross-over
– Some sets of test data do not agree with other sets
– Are arcs single-phase or three-phase, or two-phase-to phase?

I will update the forum as I learn more.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:04 pm
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PG&E conducted testing on 480V meters. We measured incident energy from both self contained and CT meters at 480V at four current levels 6.6kA to 44kA and got great results. We are collaborating with EPRI to do additional testing of Utility equipment at 480V. Results will be published at IEEE/ESMOL early next year. We already shared with NESC SC8 and they have used this information to develop new low voltage tables for utility equipment. We have great video which will soon be available on YouTube.
Marcia Eblen

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