Calculating the Level

© All Rights Reserved

18 views

Calculating the Level

© All Rights Reserved

- Syslib Rm026 en p(P AInMulti)
- 2012 NFPA 70E 1 Day.pdf
- EEP-Arc Flash Hazard Calculation in 9 Steps Using IEEE 1584-AAA
- ARC_FLASH
- OC Protection MIT121-131 Manual
- 7154_msds
- Benshaw Softstart RX2 Manual
- Catalogue REL670
- TxProtection 280904 PART 2
- Detecting, Identifying, and Correcting Power Quality Problems
- Generator Protection Philosophy
- Short Circuit Fault Calculation
- Arc Flash Basics R02 2015_0
- Bus Bar Type Tests
- What is a rectifier transformer_.pdf
- Arc Flash Energy Protection
- HANIFTRANSFOFRMER PROTECTION 2015.pdf
- E_Neplan
- chint cb
- If You Use GI Strips for Earth Grid Then the Cross Sectional Area of the Conductor A

You are on page 1of 6

Discover common mistakes in calculating arc flash hazard levels and how to

avoid them.

By Peter R. Walsh, PE, Ferraz Shawmut Inc., Concord, Mass. -- Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

12/1/2008 http://www.csemag.com/article/CA6623727.html

IEEE Standard 1584-2002, Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations, is the most

widely used method of calculating arc flash hazard levels, and a realistic available fault current

value provides critical input for proper evaluation. The analysis method requires a second

calculation at 0.85 of the originally calculated arc fault current. This calculation is designed to

transform the given available fault current and other parameters to a calculated arc flash current

value.

Relying on the IEEE equations to compensate for an inaccurate available fault current can yield

unacceptable results. IEEE 1584 wasnt designed with safety factors to accommodate all bolted

fault current inaccuracies. This article focuses on some specific pitfalls in calculating the arc

fault current for up to 1 kV.

IEEE 1584 BACKGROUND

Arc flash energy can inflict injury on nearby workersand greater potential energy yields

greater hazards. Engineers and facility operators are now determining the correct arc flash

boundaries and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements to protect workers from arc

flash dangers. The OSHA Code of Federal Regulations is mandating adequate protection

required by law. NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace was developed by

consensus to explain how to comply with the OSHA laws.

NFPA 70E-2004 requires arc flash hazard analyses by either calculation or its table method.

The 2009 edition will require visible posting of analysis results on the equipment. A calculation

method was refined in the late 1990s and formally documented in IEEE 1584-2002, Guide for

Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations.

Other calculation methods are used, but IEEE 1584 is the most widely applied and accepted,

and can be more easily defended in a court situation.

IEEE 1584s calculation method predicts the arc flash dangers in terms of an arc flash

protection boundary and the PPE level needed for worker safety. Engineers often use industry

software packages to calculate arc flash hazards; however, without proper training, engineers

can easily make erroneous conclusions. Common misapplications come from making

assumptions similar to short circuit analyses, which arent valid with arc flash analyses.

THE ROLE OF ARC FLASH CURRENT

To following equation demonstrates the concept of arc flash energy:

E = I2 * R * t

Where:

E = Energy released from arc flash in joules

R = Resistance of the arc flash in ohms

t = Duration of the arc flash in seconds

While this equation explains the energy concept, the variables are complex to use. The arc

current value isnt the available bolted fault current; its a smaller value because of the series

arc flash resistance in the circuit. From this equation one can conclude that the arc current

value greatly affects the resulting energy. The arc flash duration is also directly proportional to

the energy released.

The upstream protective device operation controls the arc flash duration. A fuse or properly

maintained overcurrent protective device has a predictable time to open the circuit with a

specific arc current value. Thus, arc current impacts the released energy in two ways: directly

through the current itself, and then through interacting with the overcurrent protective device to

change the duration. This dual role of the arc current can disqualify some typical assumptions

made with bolted fault-interrupting current analyses.

OVERVIEW OF THE CALCULATION PROCEDURE

To determine the required level of PPE, first calculate the heat energy density at a standard

distance. This energy density can then be adjusted for the distance to the worker and the

different channeling effects of an arc flash occurring in open air, as compared to those of an arc

flash in a box.

The IEEE 1584 arch flash calculation includes nine steps:

Step 1: Collect the system and installation data

Step 2: Determine the system modes of operation

Step 3: Determine the bolted fault currents

Step 4: Determine the arc fault currents

Step 5: Find the protective device characteristics and the duration of the arcs

Step 6: Document system voltages and classes of equipment

Step 7: Select the working distances

Step 8: Determine the incident energy for all equipment

Step 9: Determine the flash-protection boundary for all equipment.

Commercially available software programs typically use this nine-step procedure. However, as

mentioned above, without proper training, incorrect assumptions for data collection can be

made. Incorrect data in the software program could yield inaccurate results.

For example, if the collected system data in Step 1 included only an estimate of available fault

current from the utility that was actually the utility maximum value, that value could be

misleading. An additional calculation with the minimum available fault current is required. The

worst-case energy release can occur at either the minimum or maximum current value.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARC FLASH CURRENT EQUATION

The IEEE 1584 developers used an empirical calculation method instead of a theoretically

based equation for the kV and below analysis.1 This empirical method was derived by taking

data from laboratory-controlled conditions and altering many variables. The effects were

examined on the arc current and the resulting released arc energy. The calculation considered

open-circuit voltage, system grounding, bolted fault current, X/R ratio, gap between electrodes

and box, and box size. The equations were developed using statistical analysis programs,

including regression and curve-fitting analyses.

Upon completion, some variables were found to be more significant than others. Arc current

depends primarily on the available bolted fault current, and arc time is proportional to the energy

released from the arc fault.

The arc current can be found from equation 36 in IEEE 1584-2002,

as shown in Figure 1. Used in its stated range, it has an R-square

value of 98.3% (see Figure 2 on left). This means its a predictor of

the arc current value under standard laboratory conditions if the

bolted fault current, system voltage, configuration, and distance

between conductors are entered into the formula correctly.

The first use for the arc fault current is to calculate the heat density

released by the arc flash for a standardized time. The equations developed in IEEE 1584

depend on this current value for subsequent steps. The heat energy density value will be used

with the duration of the arc flash to find the resulting energy released.

Second, the arc fault current indicates duration by using the arc current going through the

overcurrent protection device. This device opening time is often nonlinear, so a small change in

current can result in a major duration variance.

Figure 3, on left shows a device with a steeply sloped timecurrent curve. A minor change from 3 kA to 2.5 kA in arc

current through the circuit breaker could result in the time

duration increasing from 0.02 s to 8 s, a factor of 400. For

this reason, the IEEE 1584 procedures require two separate

calculations. Although the equations are accurate, variables

in the arc flash event create a range of possible values.

The initial IEEE equation was modified to give lower arc fault

currents in 95% of the situations, to be safe when the actual

arc flash draws less current than the average. The final

equation was developed from laboratory data, where the

exact available fault current was known.

The resulting IEEE 1584 procedure for arc fault current determination uses an accurate bolted

fault current for the first calculation and requires a second calculation using a 0.85 factor of the

bolted fault current. Finally, the calculation uses the worst case for the total energy released.

Sometimes the lower bolted current has much more energy released and has a higher hazard

level.

Data input from the research labs was checked using the nine IEEE 1584 procedures against

the resulting recommended PPE levels. The initially proposed equations didnt have enough

safety factors built into them at 1 kV or less.

The final incident energy equation has a calculation factor of 1.5 that makes the total process

safer, as described in Figure 4.

This results in PPE that has sufficient protection for 95% of incidents and, when added to the

0.85 procedure, results in a 95% confidence level. Table 1 illustrates the achievement of the

95% confidence through the selection of a 1.5 calculation factor. This is only valid using the

correct values of the available bolted fault current. Further information on the variability of the

arc flash safety PPE has been investigated.2,3

COMMON ERRORS IN DETERMING HAZARD LEVELS

The first common error in using available fault currents to determine hazard levels is assuming a

high fault current. It can be confusing when someone trained to determine available bolted fault

currents becomes responsible for determining arc flash hazard levels. If the person is trained

only to calculate the available fault currents to determine interrupting rating requirements,

rounding up the available fault currents can be misconstrued as a conservative procedure.

Utility companies usually give out the highest available fault current from their connections,

because they assume customers are calculating their interrupting rating requirements.

However, calculating arc flash hazard levels requires both the minimum and maximum available

fault current. A person trained only in calculating interrupting rating requirements finds this

concern with minimum ratings counterintuitive.

If the arc flash hazard calculations are only performed with the highest possible available fault

current, the resulting hazard calculations could be too low. Therefore, a conservative

assumption for an interrupting rating calculation could be a dangerous assumption for an arc

flash hazard analysis.

The second common error using available fault current values is to assume that accurate values

arent necessary, because the 0.85 procedure will compensate for approximate values. The

0.85 factor was developed to achieve safe results only with the actual bolted fault current

known.

The arc fault current equation was developed empirically from data when the actual fault current

was known in the laboratory. The 0.85 multiplier procedure predicts the minimum arc fault

current 95% of the time. If the actual available fault current is lower, the arc current will be lower.

This could result in an arc current duration 400 times longer with significantly more arc flash

energy released.

In short, at least four calculations are required. The first two involve the highest available fault

current and the lowest available fault current. These are called scenarios. The second two

calculations are then performed with 0.85 times the bolted fault current of each scenario. The

most hazardous values are used for future steps, ensuring that such conditions are identified.

SUGGESTED PROCEDURE

Obtain the best minimum and maximum available fault current values from the utility. Be

prepared to explain why the minimum and maximum values are needed. If the utility is

uncooperative, use engineering judgment to determine the minimum and maximum values.

These two values will form the basis of at least two scenarios for the calculations.

Consider other scenarios as well. Some examples are large motor loads (both running and off),

on-site generation used in sole-source and parallel with the utility configurations, and tie circuit

breakers in every allowable condition. The number of scenarios required increases rapidly with

the systems greater complexity.

Calculate each scenario at the full arc fault current value, and then again using a 0.85 factor, to

determine the most hazardous condition. Use the worst case of all the scenarios, unless

maintenance practices ensure that some specific scenarios wont occur.

SUMMARY

IEEE 1584 is the standard most recognized by codes and regulations for calculating arc flash

dangers and PPE for up to 1 kV. For that reason, it has been incorporated into standard

industry software programs. Engineers, familiar with calculating bolted available fault currents

for interrupting ratings, tend to make similar assumptions when calculating arc fault currents. Be

aware, however, that some invalid assumptions can cause errors.

PPE Level

Two High

One High

Same

One Low

Two Low

Calculation Factor

1.00

10

129

25

1.25

30

113

21

1.50

49

106

1.75

75

86

1.90

82

79

Table 1: This table shows calculated versus actual PPE required for LV data from IEEE 1584.

The proper determination of fault currents is critical. The IEEE equations incorporate some

general safety factors, but using inadequate bolted fault current data can provide unsafe results.

Author Information

Walsh is a senior field engineer for Ferraz Shawmut Inc., Concord, Mass. He is a member of the National

Electrical Code (NEC) CMP No. 4 for the 2008 code cycle. He also is a member of IEEE, NFPA, and the

International Assn. of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI).

REFERENCES

1. Wilkins, R., M. Allison, and M. Lang. Improved Method for Arc Flash Hazard Analysis.

Presented at IEEE Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Technical Conference,

May 2004.

2. Lang, M., and K. Jones. An Evaluation of Additional Test Configurations for Future Arc

Flash Models. Presented at IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop, Calgary, Canada,

February 2007.

3. Neal, T., and M. Lang, Impact of Arc Flash Test Conditions on Arc Ratings of PPE.

Presented at IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop, Dallas, March 2008.

- Syslib Rm026 en p(P AInMulti)Uploaded bycarbono980
- 2012 NFPA 70E 1 Day.pdfUploaded byAlexander Wijesooriya
- EEP-Arc Flash Hazard Calculation in 9 Steps Using IEEE 1584-AAAUploaded byJOSE LUIS FALCON CHAVEZ
- ARC_FLASHUploaded byArmando Palma Rosales
- OC Protection MIT121-131 ManualUploaded byajitkalel
- 7154_msdsUploaded bylightsleeper
- Benshaw Softstart RX2 ManualUploaded bytmarchini8782
- Catalogue REL670Uploaded byBeginner Rana
- TxProtection 280904 PART 2Uploaded byJZ Juzai
- Detecting, Identifying, and Correcting Power Quality ProblemsUploaded byBharadwaj Santhosh
- Generator Protection PhilosophyUploaded byirfelec
- Short Circuit Fault CalculationUploaded byNillutpal Boruah
- Arc Flash Basics R02 2015_0Uploaded byJaikumar Pettikkattil
- Bus Bar Type TestsUploaded byPrasanth Dakshinamurthy
- What is a rectifier transformer_.pdfUploaded byMahe N Dra
- Arc Flash Energy ProtectionUploaded byNestor S. ReEyes
- HANIFTRANSFOFRMER PROTECTION 2015.pdfUploaded bymuaz_aminu1422
- E_NeplanUploaded byrobertolucchini
- chint cbUploaded byapi-343346993
- If You Use GI Strips for Earth Grid Then the Cross Sectional Area of the Conductor AUploaded byMilind Dombale
- Arc Flash Presentation 04-11-16Uploaded byKevin
- RM6 Presentation for VietnamUploaded byThức Võ
- 3 PoleUploaded bySejahtra Abadi
- TutorialUploaded byclide_050793
- Protection OverviewUploaded bymasudalam
- Transformer protectionUploaded byActivation Now
- Page4Uploaded byRavinder Sharma
- Distance Protection Relay of LineUploaded byYahya Dar
- CAIEE_PRACTICALS1_090610011033_2Uploaded byGary Goh
- Flyer PSA EnUploaded byMadisonCloe

- Electrical Safety ManualUploaded byaceofkai
- What You Need to Know About Arc Flashes_2013Uploaded byBen E
- Arc-Flash-Root-Cause-Discussion3_UPDATE_0.pdfUploaded byBen E
- Battery Thermal Runaway Management SystemUploaded byBen E
- Implementing Overtemperature Overcurrent Protection Lithium Ion Batteries White PaperUploaded byBen E
- A Discussion of Porcelain-Insulator Cutouts - Technical-paper-351-t81Uploaded byBen E
- Booth ESS PresentationUploaded byBen E
- Dust-Explosion-Hazard-Guide.pdfUploaded byBen E
- Basic Control of Automatic Transfer SwitchesUploaded byBen E
- Painting Requirement of Square D switchgearUploaded byBen E
- DWP- Reliability 5yr CompUploaded byBen E
- Capacity and Reliability Analysis With Applications to Power QualityUploaded byBen E
- GORBEL Jib and Gantry BrochureUploaded byaiyubi2
- Brochure239-FaultCurrentLimiters (1)Uploaded byLisa Coleman
- Conductive Concrete ElectrodesUploaded byBen E
- SolidUploaded byLimuel Espiritu
- 25 Ohms Ground Resistance HistoryUploaded byBen E
- Ieee 1584 Guide Performing Arc Flash Calculations ProcedureUploaded byBen E
- Calculating Arc Flash Energy Levels _ Content Content From Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) MagazineUploaded byBen E
- Arc Flash ArticleUploaded byVusi Mabuza
- What’s New in the 2014 NEC - Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters.pdfUploaded byBen E
- UL AFCI Testing and Arc Fault Scenarios 01-28-02Uploaded byBen E
- Square D - QO and HomeLine DualUploaded byBen E
- Afci Fire TechnologyUploaded byBen E
- UL Fine Strand - June11Uploaded byBen E
- 2013 ESR Pages 8-10&11 - As of Jun 2014Uploaded byBen E

- 2 2 4 2 2 5 notesUploaded byapi-369706779
- BIPublisher.pptUploaded byNIHU
- Chapter 2 - The Asset Allocation DecisionUploaded byPrince Rajput
- VCTDS-01729-ENUploaded bySorryEugene Ng
- SDC 1561 Data SheetUploaded byJMAC Supply
- How Much Money Does a Radiation Safety Officer Make in a YearUploaded byMohd Suhaimizi Mohd Nor
- Project TemplatesUploaded byHà Bùi
- TXA update in traumaUploaded byAnonymous BFsvWG
- RK171619 (JTC Gul Circle, I_ULT-6) - Correlation ReportUploaded bysawwahwah
- Casing DesignUploaded byDirga GuslanAulia Siregar
- Vizio Vht210 User ManualUploaded byAlbert Lugo
- Business Research Methods Unit 2Uploaded byvezay
- 2007 Society of American Business Editors and Writers awardsUploaded byjilljordenspitz
- Communication Process, Principles and EthicsUploaded byAlondra Borja
- KoW Historical Errata v1.0Uploaded byJuanSebastianZanetta
- Youtube Bella MusicaUploaded bysimi
- ipv6-12-4-bookUploaded byGeorge Kyriakopoulos
- Mud ListUploaded byAaron Brooks
- Water Quantity EstimationUploaded bybaratkumr
- Carboxylic AcidsUploaded byArvin Marasigan
- Ireland EPAUploaded byRajesh Shenoy
- orca_share_media1497894893816Uploaded byArsalan Idrees
- Disk Groups in VXVM are in Disabled StateUploaded byMq Sfs
- Stitch11.Com-Toy Airplane for AveryUploaded bycuentah12
- Airpak 3 OverviewUploaded byyaidragon
- Oracle.Pass4sure.1z0-599.v2015-03-14.by.Elenora.75q (1)Uploaded byIrving Esteban Guerrero
- Cross Company Code Business ScenarioUploaded bySubhobroto De
- Agastya GitaUploaded bySk Sarma
- lesson plan example-2Uploaded byapi-316385026
- Ferri Umm 54 Machining StudyUploaded byrohithvijayakumarr