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 Post subject: Re: Utility refusal to provide service transformer impedance
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:07 am 
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:38 am
Posts: 57
Location: Westminster, MD
Update to the Virginia Electrical Utility provider's refusal to provide nameplate impedance for the service transformer.
It's been over 6 months now that we've been dealing with this Utility. We advised our client (a County in VA) to take the issue up with the utility provider. They met with the Utility representatives who advised them that no other engineering firms are doing this (using nameplate data) and that we are a bad engineering consultant. (I don't remember the exact words I heard 2nd hand but that's pretty close)
We have in fact done hundreds of Studies in Virginia and have used nameplate impedances on all of those Studies. We practice to 70E and IEEE 1584 and we are engineering professionals and I find it completely distasteful that the Utility provider is degrading us to our client.
I believe there's a case here for an ethics complaint against the PE who represents the Utility provider for not allowing us to practice per the technical standards. I don't know what else to do. We are at our wits end because we need to finish the Studies for the County, and if we don't get accurate information for development of arc-flash incident energy levels we'll be forced to use a transformer impedance that will never be installed by the Utility and will change the anticipated 8-calorie arc-flash label to 26 calories. We want to provide our client with the service they paid us to perform and this would feel like a huge disservice. So now any electrician who is following 70E safe practices will need to wear a 26-calorie suit when an 8-cal suit would have sufficed.
We've directed our client to the forum and to this post in an effort to give them complete and full disclosure and I'm still hoping the Utility will just send us a picture of the nameplate and let us do our job.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility refusal to provide service transformer impedance
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:08 am 
Plasma Level
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 872
Location: Rutland, VT
It seems like you are in the situation I was and I filed a complaint on behalf of my client with the state PUC. After months of back and forth and educating the PUC with examples and the IEEE 1584, the utility finally relented as they did not have a leg to stand on.

I would point out that if all the other firms that are doing studies and not asking/getting the transformer impedance then they are doing the studies incorrectly. This is supported by IEEE 1584, Annex A, which states transformer nameplate or test report impedance to be collected and used.

Unless there are detailed minutes of the meeting and someone to vouch for those minutes, I don't think you will get far with a complaint to the Board that regulates PE's as it would be a "he said, she said" type of situation.

Barry Donovan, P.E.

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