IEEE and IEC Standards Update

By Jim Phillips

March has been a busy month for me with Standards Committee work.  I just returned home from three weeks of travel that included IEEE Standards meetings in Ft. Worth, Texas and various IEC meetings held at British Standards Institute (BSI) in London, U.K.

On the IEEE front, the IEEE 1584 Standard where I am Vice-Chair, has made significant progress over the past year and has completed the formal consensus ballot process, resolution of numerous comments from the balloters and has proceeded though another round of balloting. This new edition will provide more detailed equations for the calculation of incident energy from an arc flash as well as more detailed arcing current and arc flash boundary equations.  Although I can’t provide a date when it will finally be published, the draft has been clearing all of the major hurdles and is moving closer to the finish line. There are more comments to resolve and another round of balloting but the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter – and it is not an oncoming train.

Another standard that is in the balloting process is IEEE 1814 Recommended Practice for Electrical System Design Techniques to Improve Electrical Safety.  Once published, this standard is intended to address the concept of enhanced design techniques, equipment selection and installation to protect employees that may from time-to-time have to work near or on exposed energized electrical conductors.

The IEC Technical Committee 78 – Live Working which I am the Chair, is busy moving forward with the maintenance of existing standards and the development of new standards related to live working.  In addition to all of the standards activity, a new technical report is under development which will be for correlating the results of arc test methods to electrotechnical applications in order to select the proper electric arc protective equipment.