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Section

9
Component Short-Circuit Protection

9.1.0 Introduction
9.1.1 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for Copper Cables with Paper,
Rubber, or Varnished-Cloth Insulation
9.1.2 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for Copper Cables with
Thermoplastic Insulation
9.1.3 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for Copper Cables with
Cross-Linked Polyethylene and Ethylene-Propylene-Rubber Insulation
9.1.4 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for Aluminum Cables with Paper,
Rubber, or Varnished-Cloth Insulation
9.1.5 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for Aluminum Cables with
Thermoplastic Insulation
9.1.6 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for Aluminum Cables with
Cross-Linked Polyethylene and Ethylene-Propylene-Rubber Insulation
9.1.7 Comparison of Equipment Grounding Conductor Short-Circuit Withstand
Ratings
9.1.8 NEMA (Standard Short-Circuit Ratings of Busway)
9.1.9 U.L. No. 508 Motor Controller Short-Circuit Test Ratings
9.1.10 Molded-Case Circuit Breaker Interrupting Capacities
9.1.11 NEC Table 450.3(A), Maximum Rating or Setting of Overcurrent
Protection for Transformers over 600 V (as a Percentage of
Transformer-Rated Current)
9.1.12 NEC Table 450.3(B), Maximum Rating or Setting of Overcurrent
Protection for Transformers 600 V and Less (as a Percentage of
Transformer-Rated Current)
9.1.13 U.L. 1008 Minimum Withstand Test Requirement (for Automatic
Transfer Switches)
9.1.14 HVAC Equipment Short-Circuit Test Currents, Table 55.1 of U.L.
Standard 1995
9.2.1 Protection through Current Limitation
9.2.2 Current-Limiting Effect of Fuses
9.2.3 Analysis of a Current-Limiting Fuse
9.2.4 Let-Thru Data Pertinent to Equipment Withstand
9.2.5 How to Use the Let-Thru Charts
9.2.6 Current-Limitation Curves: Bussmann Low-Peak Time-Delay Fuse
KRP-C800SP

9.1
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9.2 Section Nine

9.1.0 Introduction
Most electrical equipment has a withstand rating that is defined in terms of an
rms symmetrical short-circuit current and, in some cases, peak let-thru current.
These values have been established through short-circuit testing of that equipment
according to an accepted industry standard. Or, as is the case with conductors, the
withstand rating is based on a mathematical calculation and is also expressed as an
rms symmetrical short-circuit current.

The following provides the short-circuit withstand data for each system component.
Please note that where industry standards are given (e.g., NEMA), individual manu-
facturers of equipment often have withstand ratings that exceed industry standards.

9.1.1 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart


for Copper Cables with Paper, Rubber, or
Varnished-Cloth Insulation (see page 9.3)
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.3

9.1.1
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9.4 Section Nine

9.1.2 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for


Copper Cables with Thermoplastic Insulation

9.1.2
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.5

9.1.3 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for


Copper Cables with Cross-Linked Polyethylene
and Ethylene-Propylene-Rubber Insulation

9.1.3
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9.6 Section Nine

9.1.4 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart


for Aluminum Cables with Paper, Rubber, or
Varnished-Cloth Insulation

9.1.4
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.7

9.1.5 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for


Aluminum Cables with Thermoplastic Insulation

9.1.5
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9.8 Section Nine

9.1.6 Short-Circuit Current Withstand Chart for


Aluminum Cables with Cross-Linked Polyethylene
and Ethylene-Propylene-Rubber Insulation

9.1.6
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.9

9.1.7 Comparison of Equipment Grounding


Conductor Short-Circuit Withstand Ratings

TABLE 9.1.7
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9.10 Section Nine

9.1.8 NEMA (Standard Short-Circuit


Ratings of Busway)

TABLE 9.1.8

9.1.9 U.L. No. 508 Motor Controller


Short-Circuit Test Ratings

TABLE 9.1.9
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.11

9.1.10 Molded-Case Circuit Breaker


Interrupting Capacities

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(continued)
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9.12 Section Nine

TABLE 9.1.10 (Continued)

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(continued)
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.13

TABLE 9.1.10 (Continued)

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(continued)
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9.14 Section Nine

TABLE 9.1.10 (Continued)

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(continued)
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TABLE 9.1.10 (Continued)

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(continued)
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9.16 Section Nine

TABLE 9.1.10 (Continued)

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(continued)
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.17

TABLE 9.1.10 (Continued)

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Page 9.11
(Courtesy of Siemens Corporation)
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9.18 Section Nine

9.1.11 NEC Table 450.3(A), Maximum Rating or


Setting of Overcurrent Protection for Transformers
over 600 V (as a Percentage of Transformer-Rated
Current)

TABLE 9.1.11

(© 2001, NFPA)
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.19

9.1.12 NEC Table 450.3(B), Maximum Rating or


Setting of Overcurrent Protection for Transformers
600 V and Less (as a Percentage of
Transformer-Rated Current)

TABLE 9.1.12

(© 2001, NFPA)

9.1.13 U.L. 1008 Minimum Withstand Test


Requirement (for Automatic Transfer Switches)

TABLE 9.1.13
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9.20 Section Nine

9.1.14 HVAC Equipment Short-Circuit Test


Currents, Table 55.1 of U.L. Standard 1995

TABLE 9.1.14

9.2.1 Protection through Current Limitation


Today, most electrical distribution systems are capable of delivering very high
short-circuit currents, some in excess of 200,000 A. If the components are not capa-
ble of handling these short-circuit currents, they could be easily damaged or
destroyed. The current-limiting ability of today’s modern fuses and current-limiting
breakers (with current-limiting fuses) allows components with low short-circuit
withstand ratings to be specified despite high available fault currents.
The concept of current limitation is pointed out and analyzed in Figures 9.2.2 and
9.2.3, respectively, where the prospective available fault current is shown in conjunc-
tion with the limited current resulting when a current-limiting fuse clears. The area
under the current curve indicates the amount of short-circuit energy being dissipated
in the circuit. Since both magnetic forces and thermal energy are directly propor-
tional to the square of the current, it is important to limit the short-circuit current
to as small a value as possible. Magnetic forces vary as the square of the peak cur-
rent, and thermal energy varies as the square of the rms current.
Thus the current-limiting fuse in this example would limit the let-thru energy to
a fraction of the value that is available from the system. In the first major loop of
the fault current, standard non-current-limiting electromechanical devices would
let through approximately 100 times as much destructive energy as the fuse
would let through.
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.21

9.2.2 Current-Limiting Effect of Fuses

9.2.2

9.2.3 Analysis of a Current-Limiting Fuse

9.2.3
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9.22 Section Nine

9.2.4 Let-Thru Data Pertinent


to Equipment Withstand
Prior to using the fuse let-thru charts, it must be determined what let-thru data
are pertinent to equipment withstand ratings.
Equipment withstand ratings can be described as, How much fault current can the
equipment handle, and for how long? Based on standards currently available, the
most important data that can be obtained from the fuse let-thru charts and their
physical effects are the following:
■ Peak let-thru current—mechanical forces
■ Apparent prospective rms symmetrical let-thru current—heating effect
Figure 9.2.4 is a typical example showing the short-circuit current available to an
800-A circuit, an 800-A Bussmann Low-Peak current-limiting time-delay fuse, and
the let-thru data of interest.

9.2.4

9.2.5 How to Use the Let-Thru Charts


Using the example given in Figure 9.2.4, one can determine the pertinent let-thru
data for the Bussmann KRP-C800SP ampere Low-Peak fuse. The let-thru chart
pertaining to the 800-A Low-Peak fuse is illustrated in Figure 9.2.6.

Determine the peak let-thru current

Step 1. Enter the chart on the prospective short-circuit current scale at 86,000 A, and proceed
vertically until the 800-A fuse curve is intersected.

Step 2. Follow horizontally until the instantaneous peak let-thru current scale is intersected.

Step 3. Read the peak let-thru current as 49,000 A. (If a fuse had not been used, the peak
current would have been 198,000 A.)

Determine the apparent prospective rms symmetrical let-thru current

Step 1. Enter the chart on the prospective short-circuit current scale at 86,000 A, and proceed
vertically until the 800-A fuse curve is intersected.

Step 2. Follow horizontally until line AB is intersected.

Step 3. Proceed vertically down to the prospective short-circuit current.

Step 4. Read the apparent prospective rms symmetrical let-thru current as 21,000 A. (The
rms symmetrical let-thru current would be 86,000 A if there were no fuse in the circuit.)

Refer to different fuse manufacturers’ current-limitation characteristics for appli-


cations of different fuse types and sizes under various circuit conditions.
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Component Short-Circuit Protection 9.23

9.2.6 Current-Limitation Curves: Bussmann


Low-Peak Time-Delay Fuse KRP-C800SP

9.2.6