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13/11/2014

ARC FLASH HAZARD


AWARENESS & MITIGATION
by
Sesha Prasad
NHP engSPACE
Melbourne
th
12 November 2014

OVERVIEW OF TOPICS

Introduction to Arc Flash Hazards


Brief Overview of Australian Arc Flash Standards
Arc Flash PPE Specs NFPA 70E
Arc Flash Hazards in Modern Power Systems
Arc Flash Incident A Case Study
Mitigation of Arc Flash Hazards
Arc Flash Analysis Case Study Demo
Conclusions & Questions
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ARC FLASH HAZARD


Arc temp can reach up to about 20,000oC
(4 times the temperature on suns surface!)
(Fires in Petrochemical industries 2,800oC)

Arc plasma temperatures are > 5,000oC


Gaseous copper is 44,000 times solid metal
Severe or even fatal burns
Clothing can be ignited several meters away
Physical injuries due to arc blast
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ARC FLASH IN 415V BOARD

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ARC FLASH IN 415V BOARD

CAUSES OF ARC FLASH


We are more concerned with an arc flash
incident when a person is working near
energised conductors
Accidental contact
Dropped Tools
Faulty / Inappropriate Test Equipment
Misalignment of contacts or parts
Carless device removal / operation
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CASE STUDIES IEEE 1584


IEEE 1584 documents a total of 49
incidences
24 incidences are at <1kV (480V)
10 incidences from 1kV to 6.6kV
8 incidences from 6.6kV to 15kV
7 incidences >15kV
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CASE STUDIES IEEE 1584


Electrician was installing a fuse in a panel
An electrical connector touched brace bar while
racking in
Trouble shooting with a voltmeter when the
meter was shorted (several incidences)
Two electricians were taking current readings
with a clamp on type ammeter
Electrician was testing for voltage using a HV
probe inside a breaker compartment
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CASE STUDIES IEEE 1584


Ground wire touched the energised phase lug while
moving ground wire inside a panel
Trip button fell on bus while trouble shooting trip button
Screw penetrated phase conductor while installing MCCB
The wrench being used by the electrician bridged two
phases of a 13.2kV circuit breaker
Electrician was working on 12kV breaker controls without
insulating barriers
Three employees were removing a wrong breaker which
was energised
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ARC FLASH HISTORY


Ralph Lee 1982 The Other Electrical Hazard
NFPA (Nat Fire Prot Assoc in US) Statistics 1994
1 to 2 fatality due to shock & arc flash burns per day
5 serious burn injuries per day

Doughty, Neil & Floyd Equations 1998 Up to 600V


NFPA 70E 2000 PPE Table & Doughtys Eqn
IEEE 1584 2002 - Up to 15 kV / Arc Flash Current
NFPA 70E 2004 / 2009 / 2012 / 2015
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DOUGHTY (NFPA) EQUATION

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AUST STANDARDS
ESAA NENS 09:2004 / ENA NENS 09:2006
National Guidelines for Selection, Use and
Maintenance of PPE for Electrical Hazards
Applicable for Electric Utilities
Equation is based on single phase faults
3-Ph Heat Flux = 3 x 1-Ph Heat Flux
Cotton drill clothing of varying thickness/layers
Cotton can catch fire under arcing conditions !
185gsm cotton clothing for 10cal/cm2 !
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AUST STANDARDS
AS 4836 : 2011
Safe Working on or near LV Installations
Included arc flash PPE specs in 2011 edition

Face Shield rated at 10 cal/cm2


Arc Flash suit rated at 40 cal/cm2
Flame Resistant Gloves and Protective Clothing
Cal/cm2 ratings not specified for Gloves and Clothing

Provides a table of PPE specs for Isolated Work,


Switching/Isolation, Testing/Fault Finding and Live
Electrical Work for various Switchboard Ratings
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AUST STANDARDS
AS 4836 Testing / Fault Finding
PPE specs is based on Switchboard Rating
Up to 100A No need for Arc Flash PPE
100 400A Face Shield / Arc Flash Suit (if required)
400 1000A Face Shield necessary, AF Suit (if reqd)

Arc Flash Incident Energy is mainly determined by


Fault Current, Arc Duration and Working Dist
Use of AS 4836 results in false sense of security
and exposes electrician to dangerous conditions
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AUST STANDARDS
AS 3007 : 2013
Electrical Equipment in Mines and Quarries
Design shall include provisions for prevention of arc
flash / arc blast injury (Refer to AS 3439 / AS 3000)
Consideration must be given to remote switching
Clearly define arc flash levels and PPE required
For information on arc flash / arc blast protection,
refer to IEEE 1584 and NFPA 70E

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PPE SPECS NFPA 70E - 2004

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NFPA 70E-2004 - ISSUES

PPE 3 & 4 are not comfortable


Cotton underwear Conventional short sleeve & brief/shorts
Flame Retardant (FR) is not Arc Resistant (AR)
Why specify number of layers?
PPE specification in cal/cm2 not layers
PPE Table does not include face, hand and leg
protection
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PPE SPECS NFPA 70E - 2012

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PPE SPECS NFPA 70E - 2012

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PPE SPECS NFPA 70E - 2012

NFPA 70E-2012 Specs are simple & clear


Specifies clothing & other PPE in same Table
No of layers is no longer mandatory
Face shields come with added conditions
Arc flash suit hood is the preferred option
Arc rated leather gloves only for cat 3 & 4
Leather work shoes for all categories
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SIMPLIFIED PPE TABLE


Note that Cat 1&2 and Cat 3&4 have
effectively same specifications except for
incident energy specs
NFPA 70E 2012 provides an alternative PPE
table in Appendix H
This is the relevant table when arc flash
analysis is done
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SIMPLIFIED PPE TABLE

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EVERY DAY WORK WEAR ?

12 Cal / cm2 PPE

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WHY 4 CATEGORY TABLE ?


4 category is now relevant only for the Work
Based table provided in NFPA 70E
This table has been made much simpler in
NFPA 70E 2015 edition
This is now the mandatory part of NFPA 70E
Arc flash analysis is now optional, however,
this provides for simplified PPE specs
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NFPA 70E 2012 WORK TABLE

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ARC FLASH HAZARD IN


MODERN POWER SYSTEMS
Let us consider 415V switch board supplied by a
11kV/415V 250kVA transformer
7kA Fault Level ; Trip Time 0.1s ; Dist 500mm
Incident Energy = 1.3 cal/cm2
Can get away with normal cotton clothing
What if the Transformer rating is higher?
Same 415V switchboard can now become very
Dangerous !
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ARC FLASH HAZARD IN


MODERN POWER SYSTEMS

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ARC FLASH CASE STUDY


Arc Flash 480V, 17kA (750kVA?), 0.85s

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ARC FLASH - CASE STUDY (ESV)


415V Switchboard in club house of a retirement
village
Electrician was replacing an RCD
Shorts, T-shirt, Synthetic jacket & Hi Vis vest
Adjusting a live bus with screw driver
750kVA txf min Typical pad mount ?
Trip Time > 1s ?
Inc En > 30 cal/cm2 ?
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ARC FLASH - CASE STUDY

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ARC FLASH A CASE STUDY

Burns to face, abdomen, hands and legs


Shorts, T-shirt, synthetic jacket & Hi Vis vest
Jacket & Hi Vis Vest melted
3 days in coma & 4 wks in specialist hospital
6 weeks of rehab and more operations
Unable to go in sun without being covered
up for the foreseeable future
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HAZARD MITIGATION
Electrician awareness especially at LV boards
Most arc flash incidents are due to inadvertent
contact
Use appropriately designed equipment and tools, to
avoid possible contact with energised conductors
Use 8 or 12 cal/cm2 clothing as a minimum
Comfortable arc rated clothing is available now
Use arc rated face shield as a part electrical work
Comfortable combination helmet / face shield is
now available
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HAZARD MITIGATION
Ensure fast clearance for arc flash currents
(30 to 60% of bolted fault currents)
Conduct arc flash studies to establish arc
flash energy levels at switchboards
More stringent checks on O/C prot settings
Relays with two groups of protection
settings are now available Use them
Arc flash relays for high fault level boards
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CONCLUSIONS
Be Aware of Arc Flash Hazard
415V Switchboards with high fault currents are
Dangerous
Trip Arc Flash Current Quickly - not just Bolted
Fault Current
Use Arc Rated PPE
Thank You
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