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 Post subject: Estimate the cost of an arc flash study
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:49 am 
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Good day,

I read a few articles posted here on estimating the cost of a arc flash study. They say it's based on the number of points, $100. roughly per point. Is this based on the whole study, (short circuit, coordination and labels). Simple example: If I have one generator, switchboard breaker, also a utility with switchboard breaker feeding a motor starter. So if the generator and utility have protection relays ( one each) and the motor starter overload/short circuit protection, how many points are we looking at? Five points?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:24 pm 
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We stopped pricing on a 'per point' basis more than 7 years ago.
This method might work for the engineering effort, but it is no good for estimating the data collection.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:10 am 
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JBD wrote:
We stopped pricing on a 'per point' basis more than 7 years ago.
This method might work for the engineering effort, but it is no good for estimating the data collection.

Hello JBD,

Then I must ask what is the best way to calculate the cost ? Thanks for your time..Stephen


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:28 am 
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Smaller facilities/systems can't really be estimated based on the number of busses. Let's say you have 10 busses, I doubt anyone can perform proper study for $1,000. Just the effort of giving you the proposal will cost the engineer few hundreds at least. then driving to the site, collecting data, should not be collecting data by yourself (usually need two people when taking covers off plus buddie system makes the process much safer), data input, calcs, coordination study, report, labels printing, and labels installation.... all of these items have specific number associated with it. Assuming you may have a big manufacturing facility with a lot of busses, the $100 per bus may work.

People that have done many studies and had a chance to see the specific system can estimate the required effort.
Are you performing the cost estimate yourself or are you reviewing the cost estimates provided?
Unfortunatelly, not all AF proposals are apples to apples and less knowledgable client will never the difference.

m.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:25 pm 
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colp wrote:
Then I must ask what is the best way to calculate the cost ? Thanks for your time..Stephen


Treat it like you would any other expenditure, ask for proposals from firms you respect.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:46 am 
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Thanks for your advice, yes the proposal makes since the cost will probley change depending on geographical area of North America as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:15 am 
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Just a quick added note, Make sure you add training to the proposal, I charge 5000.00 up to 20 students but getting a contract for a large facility I would use this as a bargaining chip. I normally divide my calculations into two categories, Simple and Complex, Example: Complex would be from the transformer to the mains including relays, and simple would be a MCC being feed from a distribution breaker to a line up and each motor starter cabinet. Information is the biggest obstacle and seen breakers set to max for both short time and long time trips for distribution breakers; Which at times will cause an upstream device to trip taking out larger areas within the facility. Not only do you get an arc flash study but selective tripping setting for you distribution. Last energy study for a power park was over 6 figures but a small industrial manufacturing facility was 20k.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:29 am 
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Thanks Joe,

I work in the Marine Industry, where I'm trying to estimate the cost of doing a complete Arc Flash and Coordination study on a large vessel. I'll use a cruise ship as my example. I would think this would include : shore power connection,electrical generation for hotel and electric propulsion. I find that there's alot of information out there,but there are alot of grey areas: An example ,is it harazdous to pass by an energized switcboard with operating breakers ( totally enclosed switcboard ) with no PPE? Another when doing the calculations we asume that the breakers are working to their design capabilities.
Please give me your thoughts anyone..


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:11 pm 
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marine division is excluded from nfpa. marine Osha. Alot of shipboard systems are ungrounded distributions systems and is handled somewhat different, but SCC short cuircuit current from phase to phase fault or bolt fault current would be the same and the calculations would be the same. In other words an arc in a box cals wouldnt change. Enclosed gear or deadfront gear does not require dressing out working around the equipment, only when you expose or open the equipment.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:35 am 
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Thanks again,

But I find myself butting heads with ( a large electrical company ) over the switchboard issue. Where can I find a written statement, that states PPE isn't required walking past a active enclosed switchboard.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:42 am 
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In the 2012 edition of the NFPA-70E in article 100 there is a note under the definition of arc flash hazard which states, “an arc flash hazard may exist when energized electrical conductors are exposed, or when they are within equipment in a guarded or enclosed condition, provided a person is interacting with the equipment in such a manner that could cause an electric arc.” The next note then references tables for examples of activities that could pose an arc flash hazard.

Article 130.5(B) says, “where it has been determined that work will be performed within the Arc Flash Boundary, one of the following methods shall be used for the selection of PPE…”

Simply walking past an energized switchboard with covers ON is not classified as work or an interaction that could cause an electric arc. Could there possibly be an arc flash event while you are just walking by that could cause injury? Yes, but the probability of that happening is very low. However, if just walking by while work is being performed by others that would require you to stay outside the AFB unless in the proper PPE.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:34 am 
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colp wrote:
Thanks again,

But I find myself butting heads with ( a large electrical company ) over the switchboard issue. Where can I find a written statement, that states PPE isn't required walking past a active enclosed switchboard.

You won't.
NFPA70E is purposely written without this type of specifics. 70E requires your company to address this type of risk in their Electrical Safe Work Practices policy.

The NFPA70E definition of Arc Flash Hazard is where you will find the Informational Note mentioning the 'interaction in a manner that will cause an arc' statement, as well as a statement that properly operating equipment is 'unlikely to be a hazard'.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:24 am 
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Thanks guys,

I'll use the information to mitigate the issue hopefully.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Cost per bus could be very, very misleading.

For example, to model a single UPS system with alternate power sources might involve a couple of dozen bus' needing to be modeled. Yet the customer might consider this one point.

Unit pricing makes me a bit wary of lowest cost competitive bids, massive change orders, and an unusable product. To be competitive on such basis an engineer must omit the time necessary to 1) determine what the customer needs, and 2) interpreting the results to satisfy item 1. Indeed I personally know of three large industrial plants that thought they had paid for complete Arc Flash Studies, and ended up with an unintelligible computer printout sheet. At two of the plants the reports are sitting in a file while the operating staff has zero benefit, at the third plant a staff engineer has made it his full time occupation to translate the results into something useable, but that effort has been stopped at the starting line as his first mitigating work required a new "arc flash study" and budgets were not there.


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 Post subject: Re: Estimate the cost of an arc flash study
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:15 am 
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Enclosed is a pdf or an article that might help you est. the data collection process. It was published last Mo. in Electrical Products & Solutions mag.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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 Post subject: Re: Estimate the cost of an arc flash study
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:40 am 
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colp wrote:
Good day,

I read a few articles posted here on estimating the cost of a arc flash study. They say it's based on the number of points, $100. roughly per point. Is this based on the whole study, (short circuit, coordination and labels). Simple example: If I have one generator, switchboard breaker, also a utility with switchboard breaker feeding a motor starter. So if the generator and utility have protection relays ( one each) and the motor starter overload/short circuit protection, how many points are we looking at? Five points?


Are you preparing the cost estimate for your customer or are you reviewing the quotes provided? Have you considered collecting the information and performing arc flash analysis on your own? There are software solutions out there capable of performing comprehensive short circuit fault current study, arc flash analysis and creating labels at minimum cost. As an example, ARCAD is offering software bundle (Short Circuit Analytic V1.0 + Arc Flash Analytic V5.0 ) at a reasonable cost. You can also visit the company website, download both the SCA V1.0 and AFA V5.0 programs free and evaluate the tools prior to buying program activation key.

_________________
Michael Furtak, C.E.T.
http://arcadvisor.com


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