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 Post subject: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:16 am 
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Location: Rutland, VT
Hello,
I have recently encountered several utilities that refuse to release the available fault current necessary for a study iaw IEEE 1584-2002. One utility did provide the info for a client that was primary metered but would not provide that information for another client who is secondary metered.

Prior to going to the respective state PUC's with these issues, I was wondering if anyone has had experience with this and can provide PUC rulings. I would like to try to show the respective utilities other state PUCs rulings on this issue to try to convince them to release the info.

Thanks in advance.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:12 am 
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Man, you got it all wrong. Try this approach:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QCFhFh3hjE

[yt]v=6QCFhFh3hjE[/yt]


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:11 am 
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Location: Maple Valley, WA.
This has been an on going problem since I started performing Power System Studies over 30 years ago. Utilities are reluctant to give information about their system, especially to 3rd party consultants. We have found that we have better success when we ask the owner to request the information. We send the owner (or electrical contractor) our form and have them submit it to the utility. Our form also has a section that states why we need this information and why it is required. We reference IEEE-1584 and NEC sections that require the short circuit, protective device coordination, and arc flash studies.

Education is the real key. We have better success once the utility understands why we need this information and that the owner is requesting it.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:08 am 
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I wish I could use the Peter Blunt System!

My local utility (last I knew of) would only give infinite high side faults and will only give any system info to the owner of the property without written consent.

Another utility is charging a fee to get this info (like $1000) - they probably need to hire a consultant to run a study.

Yet another utility I have dealt with buys random transformers and does not have a good idea of what is on their system and cannot even give you the impedance because they do not know without sending a truck out.

So it may not be that WILL NOT give you the info - they may not know the info. You need to try to talk to the system engineer and find the real story.

Honey is always sweeter than Peter Blunt :)


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:07 am 
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I am running into this with another utility. I have had utilities say the owner has to request the info which is fine. I have not run into them charging a fee for the information.

With this latest issue, the utility provided the information 2 years and 1 year ago but now will not provide it for customer's that are secondary metered. They will provide the information for primary metered customers. Logic?????

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:54 am 
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Some utilities are really good in providing the utility information to perform arc flash study. Some gives short circuit in bulk, for example like: Short circuit contribution from X utility will not exceed 42,000 Amps or 65,000 Amps :D. Some like you mentioned, don't release information and some charge fees. I wonder some utilities even have latest one line diagram of their system especially when they are not sure of the transformer rating they installed for their customer. When we don't have the utility information and anticipate that we are not going to get the utility information, we visit the site and get the transformer data. Then using ANSI/IEEE C57.12 clause 9.2, we perform the study by varying the transformer impedance +/-7.5% if the actual transformer impedance is higher than 2.5% and +/-10%, if the actual transformer impedance is equal to or less than 2.5%. This approach is conservative as we have to plug the worst case scenario from a wide range of values, but it is better than performing on unrealistic short circuit like 42,000 Amp or 65,000 Amp unless you know the dynamic of the system and these values sounds reasonable to you.


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:55 pm 
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As a utility engineer, I always attempt to provide the information requested, and have not charged yet. But please remember our mission is continuity of service. To accomplish this, the system is constantly being reconfigured so that tomorrow's source impedance may not be the same as today's. A service transformer failure may result in one with different nameplate data.


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:19 am 
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Thank you Stevenal. As a former utility engineer of 30 years, I understand what you are saying and accept the utility disclaimer on the dynamics of the system. However I do think the system is more steady state and changes are not made on a daily basis on the distribution systems where my clients are fed off of. The X/R changes do not play a part in incident energy calculations but could have an effect on equipment duty.

Without a utility providing any information, it leads to be very conservative and having the client possibly have to purchase higher rated PPE than necessary.

It is also baffling to me that one utility will provide the information if primary metered but not if secondary metered.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:22 pm 
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As a field service engineer to BOTH utilities and industrials, let me say this: you need each other.

Realistically although it's small, inductive loads during faults are important modelling parameters, and as of 2015 utilities are now required to do arc flash studies just like industrials. So it would be beneficial to the utility if the major customers at least would provide modelling data say in the form of a lumped parameter model just as it is important for utilities to reciprocate this. It's true that major changes to the network configuration definitely matter to BOTH sides when the system isn't just simple radial feeds. But it's hard to account for every network configuration that might actually happen for both sides.

But we both have to be generating realistic data, too, both internally and externally. One of the extra considerations for external data though is validating it. If you can immediately tell that it is unrealistic (infinite bus assumption for example) this makes it inherently hard to do the analysis and expect realistic results.


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:37 am 
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Thank you Paul, well said.

I am currently having difficulty with Central Maine Power and PSEG (NJ). Does any one have any experience or contacts with these utilities?

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 Post subject: New response
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:26 am 
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Well, here is a new one to me: One utility has said they will provide the available fault current for a price as an engineer has the run it CYME, which I am okay with. But in the same email, it was stated that they would not provide the riser fuse, riser cable or padmount txf info as they do not provide the technical details of their equipment to customers.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:13 pm 
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PSE&G has it bad as far as the "utility attitude" goes.

At one time (2007-2009 time frame) though when they attempted to do a merger/acquisition, the company I worked for at the time (Amsted) paid for and got a large users group started up that worked with the public utilities commission to reign in some of the stupid stuff PSE&G was trying to do. The merger fell through and the attitude got a tiny bit better for a short period of time. From experience and I don't remember names anymore in general the maintenance group is vastly easier to work with compared to the other departments and will actually do things they don't have to do or at least help you navigate through the bureaucracy. Major account managers are pretty neutered so don't expect any help from there. If you can find the large users group and join or at least work with them, they are pretty good at getting PSE&G to behave themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:21 am 
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Thanks Paul. I got a taste of PSE&G when I was working for another utility as manager of substation ops and took a maintenance crew to rebuild a substation after Sandy hit.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:15 am 
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I'm a huge fan of the Peter Blunt method. 8-) Awesome reference.

However, NEMA has a very useful document to send with your request to the utility. The old version is attached.
Attachment:
NEMA White Paper - Utility contribution.pdf


The new version may be downloaded for free:

https://www.nema.org/standards/pages/ar ... ?#download


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


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:09 am 
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ProEE - thank you, I have downloaded the new paper.

The state PUC that I have been in contact with has contacted the utility and the utility has 10 business days to reply, so probably won't hear anything for a couple weeks. Will post what their reply is.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:47 pm 
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The latest response from the utility is that this information is Proprietary. I fail to see why it is for this utility where they will provide the information if primary metered but not if secondary metered, no logic I can see.

I guess it would possible for a facility that is primary metered to obtain the info but another facility on the same pole line but is secondary metered cannot. May even be 2 pole spans away.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:17 am 
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Perhaps if you offer to sign an NDA?


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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:02 am 
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stevenal wrote:
Perhaps if you offer to sign an NDA?


I put that information in the report in case there are any issues down the road along with all the data used to build the model. This is in accordance with IEEE 1584.1 Clause 10.1

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases UPDATE
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:55 pm 
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The state's PUC Consumer Division has had discussions with some of the utility engineers and they do not understand why the information cannot be provided. The engineers state that it is an unwritten policy not to provide that information for customers that are secondary metered. The fact that I got the information before in the past was a special case. Well I have been called special before!!! :D

The Consumer Affairs Specialist that I have been dealing with has been very good. This is out of the realm of what she normally deals with so has been on quite the learning curve. I have had to educate her on some specifics of arc flash, she has done her own research on line, discussed with the PUC engineer and has come back with some good questions to clarify things. I have provided her with all the background information relating to IEEE 1584, NFPA 70E, and OSHA requirements. She is definitely willing to learn and seems like she is enjoying something out of the normal realm of her work.

Of course, a recent conversation with her revealed that her father was a lineman for 42 years!

The most recent development is that the PUC Consumer Division is going to make one more courtesy request with a 10 business day response. She told me she had written a 4 page document for the request containing all the reasons why the information I am requesting is needed. The Asst. Director told her to pare it down.

If the utility still refuses to release the information, then the next step is a Formal Request issued by the Consumer Division. If no response or inadequate response, then the matter will be kicked up to the formal PUC board for action.

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 Post subject: Re: PUC Cases
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:55 pm 
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Thanks for the post Barry. Your case story/this thread will be great for others to reference that experience the same problem with utilities. i.e. "See what can happen Utility Company"


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