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 Post subject: IEEE 1584 Calculations by Certified Personnel
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:14 am 
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Greetings,

We have a need to have Arc Flash calculations specified in IEEE 1584 to be done by a certified individual. Do you know how I could go about finding someone that can do this?

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 Calculations by Certified Personnel
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:00 pm
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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
There is no "certification" for performing arc flash studies. When the first draft of IEEE 1584.1 was written, it stated that studies should be performed by a registered/licensed professional engineer. My co-author and I upset quite a few people by that statement. So the final language suggested that state engineering boards may require that the studies be performed by registered/licensed engineers if the study falls under the states definition of "engineering services" and the individual state requirements should be considered.

Do you homework during the selection process. Many good consultants visit this forum and I'm sure they may contact you.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 Calculations by Certified Personnel
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:10 pm 
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Thank you Jim. I appreciate your response. This is helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 Calculations by Certified Personnel
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:33 am 
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I was under the impression that most states require that the study be performed either by a P.E. or under their direction. I've run into a few studies that were performed by non-registered/licensed engineers and thought this might be a violation of state law. I know Florida and a few other states strictly enforce this.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 Calculations by Certified Personnel
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:21 am 
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L. Hankle wrote:
I was under the impression that most states require that the study be performed either by a P.E. or under their direction. I've run into a few studies that were performed by non-registered/licensed engineers and thought this might be a violation of state law. I know Florida and a few other states strictly enforce this.


No.

Arc flash studies are not "required". In fact 70E clearly provides a way to do this...just use the tables. I'm not going to argue the safety aspect of this but the support is there and there is nothing in 70E that specifically recommends one method over the other. Both are given equal weight.

The difference when it comes to "engineers" in general is whether you put yourself out there as an "engineer" and perform an "engineering study", but there are a lot of misconceptions about "professional engineers". For instance, having a PE license helps provides evidence but it is not automatic qualification as an "expert witness" in court. Many non-professionals are "expert witnesses". Similarly, a contractor or even a home owner can still pull permits and does not necessarily need stamped drawings to get construction permits from the local Code officials in every state.

The PE requirement kicks in whenever someone advertises their services to the public as an "engineer". The state license boards are all more than happy to sue/fine someone for doing this. Same with doctors and lawyers. However "software engineers", "operating engineers", and "sanitation engineers" are not required to be licensed, although some would argue that these are semantic games anyways. However "consultants" and similar titles do not apply. The progresional engineering code is pretty clear on what is and what is not considered "engineering" and arc flash studies can't be construed to fall on the list partly because "public protection" is never the issue. They are always used for protection of individuals within an organization and not the public at large.

I use "software engineers" (aka code bashers, keyboard jockeys) to do program development all the time. They don't need PE licenses to do what they do, even when they often write code for safety systems. Someone doing an arc flash study is no different.

There are three claims for making a case for a PE over and above licensing arguments. First, the professional engineering board theoretically enfoces professional misconduct cases. However just like bar associations, this is frequently a process with little practical enforcement or teeth. The second reason is because theoretically the PE's insurance carrier will cover any losses in the event of a mistake/error. However since IEEE 1584 specifically states that the estimate is only valid 90% of the time, it is pretty easy to claim that it fell into the "10%" case as an affirmitive defense, rendering the insurance argument meaningless. If you've ever seen the contractual clauses that most professional engineering companies use, it's impossible to realistically mount a law suit anyways because they have layers of weasel clauses preventing any chance of mounting a successful law suit. Third claim is that it lends more credibility to the study. Credibility for what and to whom? Certainly not the courts as I've already stated. In almost any corporation as soon as you hire an "outside expert" there is instant credibility no matter what the outside expert says so the PE stamp is a pretty weak argument.

On the other hand, its all kind of like hiring an unlicensed local contractor. Generally the ones that spend the time and money to go get a license tend to do quality work, and vice versa. That's not to say that professional engineers can't do crappy work. The last 2 comprehensive arc flash studies done for where I work now are garbage. The first made the assumption that cable impedance was not important, leading to incredibly low incident energy because trip times were very short. The second did everything from the office with drawings and no site inspections, so although the basic design is valid every area contains tons of errors and mistakes because it was developed from drawings that are sometimes 30+ years old and changes (which are hard to track/find) were done since then.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 Calculations by Certified Personnel
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:05 pm 
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I personally am not a professional engineer. Mainly because my career arc, bouncing from location to location and company to company did not lend itself to getting certified. Plus the companies I worked for, in general, were not supportive of getting certified.

However, I am perfectly capable of doing an arc flash study using SKM, and I have done so for my present location. I don't think any regulator would have a problem with my credentials and the validity of the study I have performed.

I have no plans, without a PE, to go out and offer my services to a third party.


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 Post subject: Re: IEEE 1584 Calculations by Certified Personnel
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:46 am 
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I do not hold a PE license either. Also because of circumstances that required a few changes in employers.

However, I am fully capable of doing arc flash calculations as well. In the course of a few projects where I am working now I needed to become familiar with arc flash, and have done so.

I can say that when I do have questions, most of the answers I receive are either "There just is no data available", "I don't know", "That's a good question" or "Let me look into that" or any combination of those


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