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September 2011

Process Industry Practices


Electrical

PIP ELEGL02
Arc Flash Implementation Guideline
PURPOSE AND USE OF PROCESS INDUSTRY PRACTICES

In an effort to minimize the cost of process industry facilities, this Practice has
been prepared from the technical requirements in the existing standards of major industrial
users, contractors, or standards organizations. By harmonizing these technical requirements
into a single set of Practices, administrative, application, and engineering costs to both the
purchaser and the manufacturer should be reduced. While this Practice is expected to
incorporate the majority of requirements of most users, individual applications may involve
requirements that will be appended to and take precedence over this Practice.
Determinations concerning fitness for purpose and particular matters or application of the
Practice to particular project or engineering situations should not be made solely on
information contained in these materials. The use of trade names from time to time should
not be viewed as an expression of preference but rather recognized as normal usage in the
trade. Other brands having the same specifications are equally correct and may be
substituted for those named. All Practices or guidelines are intended to be consistent with
applicable laws and regulations including OSHA requirements. To the extent these
Practices or guidelines should conflict with OSHA or other applicable laws or regulations,
such laws or regulations must be followed. Consult an appropriate professional before
applying or acting on any material contained in or suggested by the Practice.

This Practice is subject to revision at any time.

Process Industry Practices (PIP), Construction Industry Institute, The University of Texas
at Austin, 3925 West Braker Lane (R4500), Austin, Texas 78759. PIP Member Companies
and Subscribers may copy this Practice for their internal use. Changes or modifications of any
kind are not permitted within any PIP Practice without the express written authorization of
PIP. Authorized Users may attach addenda or overlays to clearly indicate modifications or
exceptions to specific sections of PIP Practices. Authorized Users may provide their clients,
suppliers and contractors with copies of the Practice solely for Authorized Users purposes.
These purposes include but are not limited to the procurement process (e.g., as attachments to
requests for quotation/ purchase orders or requests for proposals/contracts) and preparation
and issue of design engineering deliverables for use on a specific project by Authorized
Users client. PIPs copyright notices must be clearly indicated and unequivocally
incorporated in documents where an Authorized User desires to provide any third party with
copies of the Practice.

PRINTING HISTORY
September 2011 Issued

Not printed with State funds


September 2011

Process Industry Practices


Electrical

PIP ELEGL02
Arc Flash Implementation Guideline
Table of Contents
1. Introduction ................................... 2 APPENDIX A ARC RESISTANT
1.1 Purpose ............................................... 2 SWITCHGEAR CONSIDERATIONS
1.2 Scope .................................................. 2 A-1 Arc Resistant Switchgear -
General.............................................A-1
2. References .................................... 2 A-2 Medium Voltage Arc Resistant
2.1 Industry Codes and Standards ............ 2 Switchgear........................................A-1
A-3 Low Voltage Arc Resistant
3. Definitions ..................................... 2 Switchgear........................................A-3
A-4 Low Voltage MCC ............................A-3
4. General .......................................... 3
4.5 Backup Protection Considerations ...... 3 APPENDIX B REMOTE CONTROL
CONSIDERATIONS
5. Markings ........................................ 4 B-1 Controlled Equipment .......................B-1
5.8 Maintenance Switches ........................ 5 B-2 Method of Control .............................B-1
5.9 Multiple PPE Labels ............................ 5

6. Reducing Incident Energy ............ 6


6.1 General ................................................ 6
6.2 Arc Resistant Equipment ..................... 7
6.3 Remote Operation ............................... 8
6.4 Low Voltage Motor Control Center
Design ................................................. 9
6.5 System Selectivity ............................. 10
6.6 System Design .................................. 12
6.7 Procedures ........................................ 14
6.8 Integration of Multiple Mitigation
Methods ............................................. 15

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1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose
This Practice provides guidance for implementing arc flash hazard analysis results for
electrical installations.

1.2 Scope
This Practice describes guidelines for signage, equipment, and design applications for
electrical installations that are used to mitigate hazards identified by arc flash hazard
analysis. This Practice does not cover calculations of arc flash energy.

2. References
Applicable parts of the following industry codes and standards shall be considered an integral part
of this Practice. The edition in effect on the date of contract award shall be used, except as
otherwise noted. Short titles are used herein where appropriate.

2.1 Industry Codes and Standards

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)


ANSI Z535.4 Product Safety Signs and Labels
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (ANSI/IEEE)
IEEE C2 National Electrical Safety Code
IEEE C37.20.7 Guide for Testing Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Rated Up to 38 kV
for Internal Arcing Faults
IEEE C37.122 Standard for Gas-Insulated Substations
IEEE 1584 Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA 70 National Electrical Code (NEC)
NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA 29 CFR 1910 subpart S Occupational Safety and Health Standards

3. Definitions
arc flash hazard analysis: Analysis of the electrical system performed to determine the flash
protection boundary and the personal protective equipment that people within the flash protection
boundary should use

arc flash calculations: Calculations used to determine the incident energy at a given distance
(e.g., in cal/cm2). Three standard methods for performing arc flash calculations are recognized:
NFPA 70E, IEEE 1584 and IEEE C2.

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arc flash protection boundary: An approach limit at a distance from exposed live parts within
which a person can receive a second degree burn if an electrical arc flash occurred (i.e., point at
which the incident energy equals 1.2 cal/ cm2)

arc resistant switchgear: Switchgear designed to withstand the effects of an internal arcing fault

incident energy: Amount of energy impressed on a surface, a certain distance from the source,
generated during an electrical arc event

maintenance switch: A device used to change a protective scheme (e.g., relay setpoints) to reduce
the fault clearing time (frequently at the expense of selectivity) to reduce arc flash energy during
maintenance activities

4. General
4.1 This Practice is intended for use by persons knowledgeable of the applicable codes and
standards, electrical system design, operations and maintenance of electrical facilities and
arc flash calculations.
4.2 This Practice may be used to aid in the design of new installations or the review and
refurbishment of existing installations and should be used to prepare company or facility
specifications.
4.3 This Practice does not cover calculations of arc flash energy, but is only intended for the
application of the results of the calculations. However, there are differences in the
applicability and results between the calculations in NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584.
4.4 The first method to mitigate arc flash hazards shall be to work the equipment de-energized.
OSHA 29 CFR Subpart S1910.333 limits conditions where energized work is permitted. See
also IEEE 1584, Section 4.1 and NFPA 70E, Section 130.1 and Annex F.

4.5 Backup Protection Considerations


4.5.1 Implementation of the methodologies in this Practice may vary depending on the
basis for fault clearing times for a given device or zone that is used in the arc
flash calculations. At present there are no regulations or standards that cover this
topic.
4.5.2 Considerations for fault clearing times include the following:
a. Primary protection clearing times. For many systems, backup protection does
not exist; therefore primary clearing times are used.
b. Backup protection system fault clearing time. The reasoning for using
backup protection clearing times is that, where backup relaying is used for
purposes of protecting equipment or process, it should be used in arc flash
calculations for protection of personnel.
4.5.3 The clearing times used can have major implications on the methodologies used
to mitigate arc flash.
4.6 This Practice describes several methods that may be used for implementation of arc flash
requirements and mitigation of personnel risks. Typically, one or more methods are
combined.

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4.7 Implementation of an arc flash mitigation plan can have an impact on the operation and
maintenance of electrical equipment. Therefore, these disciplines should be consulted
during the process of developing a mitigation plan.
4.8 Both the parameters used for arc flash calculations and the reasoning used to apply
marking and mitigation should be consistent throughout a facility. A reduction in the
variety of operating procedures and systems helps reduce the possibility of error.
4.9 An arc flash hazard analysis should be updated after major modifications and also
periodically, not to exceed 5 years, in accordance with NFPA 70E, Section 130.3.

5. Markings
5.1 NFPA 70-2011, Section 110.16 requires electrical equipment in other than dwelling units
to be field marked to warn qualified persons of potential electric arc flash hazards.
NFPA 70 also states that the field marks (i.e., labels, signs) must be clearly visible before
a qualified person enters a hazard condition. NFPA 70, however, gives only examples of
equipment that may require the markings.
5.2 NFPA 70E-2009, Section 130.3 establishes the requirement of an arc flash hazard analysis
to determine the arc flash protection boundary and corresponding personnel protective
equipment (PPE). However, NFPA 70E-2009, Section 130.3, Exception No. 1 permits
exclusion from this requirement for electrical equipment that is in accordance with all of
the following conditions, and therefore markings are not required:
a. The circuit is rated 240 volts or less
b. The circuit is supplied by one transformer
c. The transformer supplying the circuit is rated less than 125 kVA
Comment: Owners safe work practices should define the minimum voltage and
kVA levels.
5.3 In addition to the requirements of NFPA 70E, the following marking requirements should
be included and comply with ANSI Z535.4:
a. Equipment tag number
b. Arc flash energy at specified working distance in inches
c. PPE level required and description of minimum PPE
Comment: It may be necessary to specify different PPE depending on activity to
be performed.
d. Arc flash protection boundary in feet or inches
e. Warning header: Arc Flash Hazard Appropriate PPE Required Failure to
Comply Can Result in Injury or Death.
5.4 The values in Section 5.3 may vary in content. Calculated values or generalized values
(e.g., 4, 8, 25 and 40 cal/cm2) may be used. Generalized values are the next higher values
obtained from either calculations or tables in NFPA 70E. Use of generalized values should
reduce the need to change labels with changes in the electrical system and updates to arc
flash formulas that can occur as the field develops further.

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5.5 As an option, general warning labels may be used at the equipment pointing to a
centralized location inside the substation where all the appropriate values listed in Section
5.3 are provided.
5.6 A label warning of the evaluated arc flash hazard condition (based on operating
procedures) shall be installed.
Comment: Where the evaluated condition does not apply, the Owners job safety
analysis evaluation determines the PPE required.
5.7 Labels can be obtained from a variety of suppliers and can be printed from some analysis
software. Examples include blank labels for use with printers or hand markup, bilingual
labels, combination arc flash and shock hazard labels, warning and danger sign labels.
Information on labels and examples can be found in label supplier websites.

5.8 Maintenance Switches


5.8.1 Equipment with maintenance switches should, in addition, include labels
describing the arc flash hazard conditions when the maintenance switch is turned
on.
5.8.2 A label for the maintenance switch condition shall indicate the values shown are
only applicable when the maintenance switch is turned on.
5.8.3 Turning on a maintenance switch shall provide clear indication on the equipment that
the maintenance mode is turned on (e.g., alarm or indicating light).
5.8.4 Procedures shall be established, and personnel shall be trained for using the
maintenance mode and understanding the repercussions of its use or lack thereof.

5.9 Multiple PPE Labels


5.9.1 For certain system designs, if local switchgear operation results in multiple
operating conditions that can change the required PPE, multiple warning labels
may be used if there is a clear advantage in reducing PPE to facilitate
maintenance activities.
5.9.2 To keep procedures as simple as possible, the number of labels describing different
conditions for any one piece of equipment should be kept to a minimum.
5.9.3 Clear indication shall be provided of the operation condition, such that the
appropriate arc hazard can be identified (via the labels). For example, logic may
be added to operate an alarm for this indication.
5.9.4 Procedures must be established and personnel must be trained to understand the
operating modes, their recognition and their relation to arc flash hazards.
5.10 Rooms, buildings, or yards, where a person can readily enter an area considered hazardous
because of arc flash, shall have clearly visible signs or labels posted at the entrances to the
areas (e.g., at the doors of substations or electrical rooms of buildings). For these situations,
the labels at the entrances need not show the specific information listed in Section 5.3 but
should include the information shown in Section 5.5.

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5.11 If arc resistant equipment is used, a label should be located on each door or cover stating
that if opened or removed, the equipment is rendered non arc resistant. The label should
include the following information:
Warning header: Opening This Compartment Can Result in Exposure to Arc
Flash Hazards Appropriate PPE Required When Opened Failure to
Comply Can Result in Injury or Death.

6. Reducing Incident Energy

6.1 General
6.1.1 This Practice provides an overview and guidance on some of the methodology
that may be used to reduce incident energy. A combination of methods may
provide the best results.
6.1.2 NFPA 70E discusses methods of personnel protection and protection from
incident (i.e., arc flash) energy.
6.1.3 In general, to reduce the incident energy, one of three variables needs to be
addressed: clearing time, arcing current and physical separation (presence and
distance from the source of energy at the time of the incident). The arcing
current is itself dependent on the equipment type, voltage rating (gap distance)
and the grounding method.

Arcing Current

Incident
Energy

Clearing Time Physical Separation

Figure 1. Variables of Incident Energy

6.1.4 In the above discussion, separation from the arc includes presence and distance at
the time of the incident. Where a person is behind a proper wall, for example,
when the incident occurs, the wall provides the separation. This is the
methodology corresponding to arc resistant equipment.
6.1.4 Reducing the arcing current for a given equipment type, voltage rating and a
given system grounding is done by reducing the available short circuit current.
Standard methods for reduction of short circuit current levels apply.
6.1.5 Clearing time may be reduced by selection of protective device and tightening of
the system selectivity (relay coordination). In the case of relay coordination,
consideration must also be given to overcurrent curve shapes across the available
short circuit region, including the arcing current.

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6.2 Arc Resistant Equipment


6.2.1 Arc resistant switchgear is tested to IEEE C37.20.7 this guide applies to
equipment up to 38 kV and below utilizing air as the primary insulating medium.
The number of arc resisting equipment designs is currently limited as compared
to standard, non-arc resistant equipment. Arc resistant medium voltage
switchgear is readily available; while arc resistant low voltage switchgear and
medium voltage motor control centers are limited and arc resistant low voltage
motor control centers are mostly unavailable.
6.2.2 Arc resistant equipment can vary greatly among manufacturers.
6.2.3 Arc resistance is only intended for normal operating conditions. See IEEE
C37.20.7, Paragraph 5.1.1.e. Typically, arc resistance is achieved when the
compartment doors of the interrupting device are closed. Before equipment
application, the design of the equipment should be verified to clearly understand
under what conditions the arc resistance is achieved and lost.
6.2.4 The equipment loses arc resistance if the door to the interrupting device is
opened. Procedures should include removal of the rack-out element, (when PPE
is required).
6.2.5 The following is a list of major points affecting the selection and implementation of
arc resistant switchgear. See Appendix A for more information.
a. For air insulated equipment, the arc resistant version may be larger than
standard equipment and requirements vary by manufacturer.
b. The by-products of the arcing process have to be discharged from the
switchgear and away from personnel that may be present.
c. Cable entries to the switchgear require special attention, such as limited
space in the switchgear.
d. IEEE C37.20.7 does not require, but does suggest the use of a nameplate to
specifically identify the arc-resistant ratings of the switchgear.
6.2.6 Medium voltage switchgear is the most common arc resistant equipment.
Additional considerations are included in Appendix A.
a. IEEE C37.20.7 defines two major accessibility types and three optional sub-
types.
b. In addition to the larger size per section of air insulated equipment, additional
sections may be required.
c. Two-high switchgear can reduce the footprint of the assembly; however, in
doing so, the control compartment space is severely reduced.
d. Although IEEE C37.20.7 deals with air insulated equipment, GIS designs for
medium voltage switchgear also offer arc resistant features and are compliant with
the guide. See Appendix A for more information on GIS designs.
6.2.7 IEEE C37.20.7, paragraph 4.3 defines arcing duration, but does not specify a minimum
required arcing time duration. However, it provides a preferred duration of 0.5 seconds
and recommends that the duration be at least 0.1 seconds. Because manufacturers are
not required to follow a specific time test, the arcing duration should be verified at the

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initial stages of system design. Arcing duration is not necessarily the same duration as
the rated short time current.
6.2.8 High voltage substations are not covered by IEEE C37.20.7 which covers only
medium voltage substations. For air-insulated substations this is expected due to
their open bus nature. However, high voltage GIS is inherently designed to account
for the effects of internal arcs, although the term arc resistant is not specified. IEEE
C37.122 paragraphs 5.2.1.5, 5.2.1.6, and 5.2.1.8 specify the withstand required by
the high voltage GIS and the operation of pressure relief devices. IEEE C37.122
sets the minimum arcing current to be the rated short circuit magnitude for a
minimum of 0.33 seconds.
6.2.9 Low voltage arc resistant switchgear is not currently as common as the medium
voltage equipment but its use is increasing as more manufacturers develop the
equipment. IEEE C37.20.7 includes a separate section for consideration when
testing. See Appendix A for additional considerations.
a. Low voltage arc resistant switchgear is generally type 2.
b. The footprint penalty for low voltage switchgear is less than that of medium
voltage switchgear or none at all.
c. Insulated and bare bus designs are available, but some manufacturers only
offer insulated bus. The use of insulated bus is recommended.
d. Shutters in breaker compartments are standard for some designs and
available as options in others. Shutters are recommended.
6.2.10 Typical construction features of arc resistant switchgear are as follows:
a. Pressure relief system,
b. Thick walls,
c. Reinforced doors and panels,
d. Closed door racking for breakers, PTs, and CPT fuses
e. Separate (i.e., isolated) control compartments for medium voltage
switchgear.

6.3 Remote Operation


6.3.1 Remote operation of equipment mitigates the effects of arc flash hazards by
removing the individual from the arc flash protection boundary until the
hazardous operation (or parts thereof) is complete.
6.3.2 Remote operation may be required for existing non-arc resistant equipment for
personnel protection during normal operation.
6.3.3 Implementation of remote operation requires procedures and systems to ensure
that personnel are not in the restricted arc flash protection boundary during the
operation. Whatever method of remote operation is used, the method should be
coordinated with appropriate procedures.
6.3.4 As a minimum, the distance that personnel should be separated from the
equipment should be greater than the arc flash protection boundary. However,
other related hazards (e.g., shrapnel, vaporized metal, electromagnetic radiation

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and blast pressure) may exist that can be mitigated by separation and should be
included in the design.
Comment: Never stand in front of the device being switched. When using
umbilical controls (see Section 6.3.5), use at least 25 feet.
Typical umbilical cords are available in 25 foot (7.6 m) and
40 foot (12.2 m) lengths.
6.3.5 Consideration should be given to what equipment or parts thereof can, or should,
be operated remotely, for example.
a. Switching of interrupting devices, such as breakers and starters.
b. Remote racking devices.
c. Air break (load break) switches in switchgear.
d. Air break, high voltage switches.
e. Some low voltage motor control center designs have a stab disconnect feature
(not unit rack out) that can be remotely operated. See Section 6.4 of this
Practice.
See Appendix B for additional information.
6.3.6 The method of remote operation needs to be considered. Several methods may
be necessary or simply offer a better solution than a single method. The final
system should be tailored to function efficiently and safely in conjunction with
facility procedures. See Appendix B for a summary of some available options.
6.3.7 Because a remote control may not operate, a backup plan should be developed.
Local operation should be provided in accordance with all safety precautions
typically required. Personnel should be properly trained on the local operation of
equipment.

6.4 Low Voltage Motor Control Center Design


6.4.1 Low voltage motor control centers (MCC), although frequently accessed for
maintenance and adjustment in industrial facilities, are the latest to be developed
for the purposes of arc flash hazard protection. Unlike switchgear, there are no
current, specific standards for arc resistance. The development of specific
standards for arc resistant low voltage MCCs is currently taking place, and
several design features are becoming available that can reduce the arc flash
hazard exposure in addition to shock hazard. Some designs have been tested to
reduce the risk category with doors closed based on a proposed standard
IEEE 1584P, Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations.
6.4.2 The following is a list of features available that should be considered when
applying low voltage MCCs for the purpose of reducing the arc flash exposure.
Some of these items can require a change in maintenance or operating procedures
that should be considered before application.
a. A racking mechanism to disconnect/connect the unit stabs from/to the
vertical bus including indication of position and a test position
b. Remote racking for racking mechanism in Section 6.4.2.a of this Practice
c. Automatic shutters

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d. Visible detection of disconnected stabs


e. Trip, monitor, and control adjustments made from the door or from a remote
location such as an HMI (Human-Machine Interface)
f. Voltage test through door
g. Insulated vertical and horizontal buses
h. Door interlock as follows:
(1) Door cannot open if not disconnected or racked out
(2) Unit cannot be inserted with disconnect closed or stabs extended
i. Line terminal guards unless using items from Sections 6.4.2.a and 6.4.2.h of
this Practice
j. External, low voltage control power (e.g., 24 Vdc). This results in total
disconnection from the bus supply for testing because a CPT is not provided.
k. Finger safe components
l. Maintenance switch, as in switchgear. The switch can be used to change trip
settings of an upstream breaker.

6.5 System Selectivity


6.5.1 Arc flash calculations affect system selectivity for relay coordination. Faster
clearing times, desired to reduce the arc flash energy predicted, can conflict with
the capability of the relaying system. This characteristic adds further
requirements on the speed at which faults are cleared. Faster clearing times can
increase the risk of miscoordination between coordination levels.
6.5.2 Because of the possible conflict with faster clearing times, relay coordination
should be considered early in a project. This conflict can impact the selection of
protection device technology, protection and communications schemes, system
design, training requirements, maintenance, and operations.
6.5.3 Use of adaptable settings, either automatic or manual (e.g., a maintenance mode)
can affect the complexity of the electrical system, record keeping, operations, and
maintenance procedures. Clear communication and appropriate training should
be established to convey these issues. Protection devices or systems with multiple
settings should be thoroughly verified and tested in all conditions identified.
6.5.4 Existing facilities require special attention because modification of existing
equipment can be complex and costly, and in some cases is not feasible without
major outages. The following items should be considered for modifications to
existing equipment:
a. Use of electromechanical relays typically requires wider gaps in selectivity.
Replacing these devices is typically feasible, but requirements can vary
greatly and should be studied in each case.
b. Electromechanical relay calibration, settings, and maintenance become more
critical as selectivity is tightened.
c. Parallel source designs may need to be reassessed for the possibility of open
tie operation.

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d. Parallel source designs may benefit from the use of differential schemes.
e. If fuses are used, flexibility can be limited. However, changing fuse
characteristic can be helpful, including cases where the fuse is not in current
limiting mode.
6.5.5 Relay coordination should be optimized to reduce the fault clearing times.
Although this may be done by relaying engineers as normal practice, it is typical
for relay coordination to permit compromise between faster clearing times and
operating security of the coordination scheme. For arc flash purposes, this
optimization should occur not only for the maximum fault currents but for the
minimum fault currents.
6.5.6 Microprocessor based relays have advantages over electromechanical and solid
state units in their flexibility with available multiple curve types including
customized curves. Use of this flexibility permits relatively simple setup of
curves that include one or two instantaneous settings with delays. This type of
curve can provide fast clearing times for larger parts of the short circuit current
range while coordinating with upstream and downstream devices at critical
points.
6.5.7 Schemes using fuses in selected parts of a distribution system may also provide a
method to reduce clearing times, especially if available short circuit is at the high
end of the fuse curves. In this region, current limiting fuses can permit upstream
devices to be set at faster times and at critical levels of current. In the current
limiting zone, fuses can also reduce the available short circuit significantly. Use
of fuses versus other devices for coordination is a system issue that should take
into account other requirements of the electrical system and operation and
maintenance.
6.5.8 Protective device coordination can be very complex. Though there are
mathematical parameters used to implement a coordination scheme, there are
multiple ways in which a scheme can be implemented, many of which can be
appropriate to the task. The addition of arc flash considerations increases the
level of difficulty and the opportunity for creativity in developing an effective
coordination scheme.
6.5.9 Adaptive Protection Systems
6.5.9.1 Adaptive protection systems are one way to automate changes to
protection schemes without needing to manually activate an alternative
scheme or portion of a scheme.
6.5.9.2 An example of an adaptive scheme is the automation of a maintenance
switch. One possible implementation is in automatic transfer switchgear.
In this case, the main breakers overcurrent instantaneous are not set to
detect a fault but to block a transfer. Therefore, when the main breaker is
being maintained, an instantaneous setting may be set to reduce possible
arc flash during reinsertion. The removal of a main breaker or tie breaker
can be used to convert the switchgear to multiple radial schemes.
6.5.9.3 Another example of an adaptive scheme is an upstream breaker set to
instantaneous if another breaker downstream door is open.

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6.5.9.4 Adaptive schemes can also be used if a transformer and a generator can
be paralleled. In this case, the range in available short circuit current can
be substantial. A scheme can adapt by recognizing the sources present
and changing the setting or curves of protection devices to clear faster,
especially for minimum short circuit.
6.5.9.5 Arc flash detection using light supervised with current can be used in an
adaptive scheme to activate alternative protection settings (to reduce
clearing times, similar to a maintenance switch).
6.5.10 If considering a reduction in clearing time, there can be an increase in the total
current the breaker must interrupt. Interrupting capability of devices in high X/R
systems (e.g., located close to generators or large motors) can be exceeded by
instantaneous operation (e.g., if using a maintenance switch).

6.6 System Design


6.6.1 General
6.6.1.1 System design encompasses all items previously discussed in this
Practice and the configuration of the electrical system.
6.6.1.2 Guidelines provided in this Practice can be used for design of new
systems and possibly for modifications to existing systems. Existing
system modifications can have multiple constraints not covered in this
Practice.
6.6.1.3 Because there are many system configurations, it is not possible to provide
descriptions for all of them in this Practice, especially considering cases
where there is combination of basic designs. However, very brief
descriptions for several frequently used configurations for medium and low
voltage designs are provided. In all cases, other design parameters are
affected and should be considered.
6.6.1.4 For the design description provided in Section 6.6.2 of this Practice,
overcurrent relaying is used for purposes of comparison. There are
methods of mitigation that may be used, but typically at the expense of
simplicity and possibly cost.
6.6.2 Flat Design
6.6.2.1 For flat designs, a main or bulk distribution substation supplies
transformers for the different utilization voltages required. For example,
a 13.8 kV distribution station supplies 4160V and 480V transformers
directly.
6.6.2.2 Flat design is advantageous because fewer coordination levels are
required. However, lower voltage (e.g., 480V) buses tend to have higher
available system short circuit.
6.6.2.3 For arc flash, the possibility of a faster overcurrent trip time may be
advantageous over the expected increase in short circuit (from the
source) at the lower voltages as compared to cascading designs.

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6.6.3 Cascading Design


6.6.3.1 For cascading designs, the higher voltage distribution substation supplies a
medium voltage system which then supplies the lower voltage system. For
example, differently than in the flat design, a 480V bus transformer is
supplied by a 4160V bus, not by the 13.8 kV bus.
6.6.3.2 If all other variables are the same, a cascading design results in a
minimum of one additional level of coordination, but a lower short
circuit at 480V than for a flat design.
6.6.3.3 Large drivers at the supply voltage tend to increase the short circuit at
480V and may require a slower response from upstream protection
devices in order to coordinate; therefore, in comparison with a flat
design, there is a possibility of slower overcurrent relaying with similar
or higher instantaneous short circuit with a cascading design.
6.6.4 Loop Design
6.6.4.1 For loop designs, the interconnections between substations are made at
the higher incoming voltage.
6.6.4.2 Because the systems interconnect many nodes at the same coordination
level, an increase in delay at a node can result in upstream changes that
affect the clearing time at other nodes.
6.6.4.3 Because of the typically widespread geographical area covered, a single
change at a medium voltage node can have repercussions at distant
points of the system.
6.6.4.4 Sources at a node can locally clear at a significantly different time.
6.6.5 Radial Switchgear
Radial switchgear design is the most straightforward design, having only one
power source and load short circuit backfeed.
6.6.6 Secondary Selective
6.6.6.1 Secondary selective design can be thought of as a combination of multiple
radial systems with their secondary buses connected by tied breakers.
6.6.6.2 For simplicity, the following description is for a case with only two power
sources. For this case, either source can supply both buses when the bus tie
is closed (by definition one main breaker is opened). Typically, the source
available short circuit is very similar between both sources; however, the
minimum and maximum should still be used.
6.6.6.3 Because the tie breaker may be closed, both sides of the bus are
considered for maximum short circuit as typical. However, in some
instances there can be a requirement to coordinate the tie breaker and the
main breakers. This can cause an additional delay for main overcurrent
relays.
6.6.6.4 Typically, the need to coordinate the tie and main breakers is not
required; however, if necessary it is possible to use zone selective
interlocking, for example, to improve response time.

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6.6.7 Spot Network


6.6.7.1 Spot network design is also composed of multiple radial forms, except
the tie breakers are normally closed. Therefore, this type of substation
can see the available short circuit from all sources.
6.6.7.2 By definition, the tie and main breakers require coordination. A partial
differential scheme is typically used for this purpose.
6.6.7.3 For a spot network design, the main and tie breakers operate in unison
(i.e., as a zone); therefore, there is not a further delay on the main breaker
operation.
6.6.8 Ring Bus
6.6.8.1 Ring bus designs are rare at medium and low voltage. Similar to the spot
network, the power sources are paralleled. However, opening a tie
breaker or tie and main breakers does not clear a fault.
6.6.8.2 Ring bus design is similar to the center bus of a three sources spot
network.
6.6.8.3 Relaying should be designed to clear by zones, although clearing a
source first can be advantageous.

6.7 Procedures
6.7.1 This section is not intended to provide operating or maintenance procedures, but to
bring attention to how consideration for arc flash can affect these procedures.
6.7.2 The primary method to mitigate the effects of arc flash is to de-energize the
equipment and use a lockout/tagout procedure.
6.7.3 Procedures that call for work in or about electrical equipment should require
personnel to locate and understand the associated arc flash labels.
6.7.4 To reduce exposure, maintenance and diagnostic methods that do not require
opening enclosures should be considered. Examples of these types of methods
include infrared scanning (i.e., portable or permanently mounted) and partial
discharge analysis.
6.7.5 If working near electrical equipment operated by remote control, procedures
should provide for coordination between personnel near the equipment and
operating personnel.
6.7.6 Maintenance procedures should include a requirement to verify that foreign
objects have not been left inside enclosures on removable parts (e.g., draw-out
breakers and cubicles).
6.7.7 Procedures for access outside substation should account for the possibility of an
arc energy release in the following areas:
a. Underside of the substation building. See IEEE C37.20.7 regarding elevated tests.
b. If using exhaust ducts, the area around the exhaust
6.7.8 For maintenance on arc resistant equipment, including gas insulated equipment,
training beyond that for standard equipment should be provided.

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6.8 Integration of Multiple Mitigation Methods


6.8.1 General
6.8.1.1 The optimum way to mitigate the effects of arc flash is typically a
combination of methods.
6.8.1.2 The following sections provide examples of mitigation considerations for
existing and new facilities; however, each facilitys requirements vary,
requiring a customized solution.
6.8.2 Existing Facilities
6.8.2.1 Existing facilities can face problems such as the following:
a. Difficulty in replacing equipment because of high capital costs
b. Insufficient space for retrofits
c. Existing protection (i.e., relaying) that is slower than modern
methods
d. Other problems in different areas
6.8.2.2 If mitigation is required, multiple methods can be required across the facility.
6.8.2.3 For an older facility with electromechanical relays and manual control, a
relaying retrofit with microprocessor based relays with communication
capabilities can provide faster clearing times and remote control
capability.
6.8.2.4 For a facility with obsolete switchgear, a retrofit to arc resistant or gas
insulated switchgear can provide a necessary upgrade and mitigation of
arc flash conditions.
6.8.3 New Facilities
6.8.3.1 New facilities may find use of multiple methods cost effective. As an
example, if a project already requires a monitoring and control system,
integration of relays and communications with the system can be cost
effective.
6.8.3.2 The above can be combined with reduced short circuit designs to
maintain acceptable incident energy levels.
6.8.3.3 If large machines are required, an option may be to incorporate arc
resistant designs while permitting a higher short circuit.

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APPENDIX A

ARC RESISTANT SWITCHGEAR CONSIDERATIONS


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APPENDIX A ARC RESISTANT SWITCHGEAR CONSIDERATIONS

A-1 Arc Resistant Switchgear - General


Following is a list of considerations that can affect the selection and application of arc
resistant switchgear:
a. For air insulated equipment, the arc resistant version of the equipment may be larger
than standard equipment, and designs vary among manufacturers.
b. Standard templates may not apply for layouts because requirements vary among
manufacturers.
c. The by-products of the arcing process have to be discharged from the switchgear and
away from personnel. A typical design method for disposing of the by-products is to
use a plenum to direct the by-products outside the building. This methodology requires
care in the design of the substation including the outside area where the exhaust is
directed (for example away from equipment, walking areas and electrically classified
areas) effects of the exhaust should be discussed with the equipment manufacturers
engineer. Without a plenum, a minimum vertical clearance may be required and should
be verified with the manufacturer.
d. IEEE C37.20.7 does not cover arc resistance from the bottom of the switchgear.
Therefore, care should be taken if mounting the switchgear where access is provided
from the bottom (e.g., large cable vaults or elevated substations).
e. Cable entries to the switchgear require special attention (e.g., limited space in the
switchgear). Top entry can be limited or require deeper switchgear to clear the
pressure release system.
f. IEEE C37.20.7 permits use of fuses or fast-acting breakers to achieve the arcing
short-circuit rating of the equipment. Manufacturers are required to show this item on
the nameplate. The use of any specific devices should be determined early in the
design to verify compatibility with other equipment in the electrical system (e.g.,
protection relays).
g. IEEE C37.20.7 does not require, but does suggest the use of a nameplate to
specifically identify the arc-resistant ratings of the switchgear. The nameplate
should be a requirement of the purchase order. The nameplate should include the
following information:
(1) Accessibility type
(2) Internal arcing short-circuit current
(3) Arcing duration
(4) Type of protective device (if applicable) and rated maximum clearing time for
the device

A-2 Medium Voltage Arc Resistant Switchgear


Medium voltage switchgear is the most common arc resistant equipment. In addition to
the items in Section A-1, the following should be considered in its application.

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a. IEEE C37.20.7 defines two major accessibility types. Type 1 design has arc resistant
features at the freely accessible front only. Type 2 design has arc resistant features at
the freely accessible front, back and sides only. Equipment may be tested to three
optional sub-types as follows:
(1) In addition to type 1 or 2 requirements, sub-type B requires that arcing cannot
cause holes in the walls isolating the low-voltage control or instrument
compartment(s).
(2) In addition to type 1 or 2 requirements, sub-type C requires that arcing cannot
cause holes in the walls separating the compartments.
(3) Sub-type D is used for type 1 equipment where some external surfaces of the
equipment are inaccessible and a type 2 design is not required. In addition to the
type 1 requirements, sub-type D requires that arcing cannot cause holes in any
surface under evaluation.
(4) A type 2BC should be used when arc resistant switchgear is specified.
b. In addition to the larger size per section of air insulated equipment, additional sections
may be required, not necessarily the same size as a standard section. The additional
sections are part of the pressure control and exhaust mechanism. The resulting assembly
has a required area greater than standard air insulated equipment.
c. Two-high switchgear can reduce the footprint of the assembly; however, the control
compartment space is severely reduced as compared to standard air-insulated
switchgear (AIS). Unlike standard switchgear, the arc resistant switchgear control
compartment is separate from the breaker compartment. This separation can cause
physical problems even with the use of multi-function relays.
d. In a similar fashion, the wiring space for two-high switchgear is severely reduced as
compared to standard switchgear.
e. Although IEEE C37.20.7 covers air insulated equipment, gas-insulated switchgear
(GIS) designs for medium voltage switchgear also provide arc resistant features and
are compliant with IEEE C37.20.7. However, medium voltage GIS construction is
much different than the AIS equipment. It is not the intent of this Practice to evaluate
the pros and cons of GIS vs. AIS, however, several items relevant to arc resistant
design are as follows:
(1) GIS designs do not have draw-out interrupting elements as these elements are
bolted on inside a gas enclosure; however, the operating mechanism of the
element is outside the gas compartment and can be removed. The GIS design
does not have doors that when opened cancel the arc resistant features.
(2) As an additional safety feature, the GIS interrupting element is isolated by a
disconnect switch that also serves to ground the circuit.
(3) GIS is more compact than AIS, although it is not offered as a two-high design.
The reduced footprint as compared to AIS may help the layout of the room as
greater separation can be obtained between equipment using the same floor area.
This has to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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A-3 Low Voltage Arc Resistant Switchgear


Although low voltage arc resistant switchgear is not as common as the medium voltage
equipment, its use is increasing as more manufacturers offer the equipment. IEEE
C37.20.7 provides a separate section for consideration when testing low voltage arc
resistant switchgear. In addition to the items in Section A-1, the following should be
considered in its application:
a. Low voltage arc resistant switchgear is typically type 2.
b. The footprint penalty for low voltage switchgear is less than that of medium voltage
switchgear. Some designs have no footprint penalty as long as cables enter from the
bottom. Cables entering from the top may require deeper sections to permit the cable
to clear the exhaust flaps or plenum.
c. Bus and cable compartments are typically open. There are no barriers. Some level of
segregation of the cable compartment may be available but should be confirmed with
each manufacturer.
d. The use of insulated bus is recommended. Insulated and bare bus designs are
available, but some manufacturers only offer insulated bus.
e. Some manufacturers offer power circuit breakers capable of reducing the opening
time as fault current increases, therefore reducing the arc flash energy. Power circuit
breakers are not unique to low voltage arc resistant switchgear.
f. Shutters in breaker compartments are recommended. Shutters are standard for some
designs and available as options in others.
g. Some designs require potential transformers, control power transformers, associated
fuses and other devices connected to the main bus to be located in the rear
compartment and not in an auxiliary compartment.
h. A maintenance switch is a typical option. With the operation of the switch, breakers
in the lineup are set to trip instantaneously.
i. Zone selective interlocking can be used to reduce clearing times by the main (i.e.,
upstream) breaker in a lineup.
j. Designs can be connected solidly grounded or high-resistance grounded.

A-4 Low Voltage MCC


The following features should be considered when applying low voltage MCC for the
purpose of reducing the arc flash exposure. Some of these items may require a change in
maintenance or operating procedures that should be considered before application.
a. A racking mechanism to disconnect or connect the unit stabs from or to the vertical
bus including indication of position and including a test position.
b. Remote control of the racking mechanism.
c. Automatic shutters
d. Visible detection of disconnected stabs
e. Trip, monitor and control adjustments made from the door or from a remote location
such as an HMI

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f. Voltage test through the door


g. Insulated vertical and horizontal buses
h. Door interlock door wont open if not disconnected or racked out, cannot insert unit
with disconnect closed or stabs extended
i. Line terminal guards
j. Use external, low voltage control power, such as 24 Vdc (results in total
disconnection from the bus supply for testing since no CPT is used)
k. Finger safe components
l. Use of maintenance switch, as in switchgear (used to change trip settings of upstream
breaker)

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APPENDIX B

REMOTE CONTROL CONSIDERATIONS


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APPENDIX B REMOTE CONTROL CONSIDERATIONS

B-1 Controlled Equipment


Following is a list of applications that should be considered when determining what
equipment or parts thereof can, or should, be operated remotely. The list summarizes
some of the options available that should be considered for remote control operation.
a. Switching of interrupting devices (e.g., breakers and starters). This strategy has been
applied for a long time for efficiency and automation of functions (e.g.,
reacceleration, load shedding, etc). This strategy also helps to mitigate arc flash
hazards, especially when returning equipment to service after a maintenance
procedure.
b. Remote racking devices are available for switchgear. These are not necessarily
manufacturer specific and have been available for several years. In addition to arc
flash, racking of devices can subject the operator to blast pressure waves and
shrapnel. Use of remote racking can resolve these issues. Care should be taken when
racking in a breaker to ensure proper alignment of moving and stationary switchgear
parts and opening of shutters. Racking systems should be capable of detecting a
breaker that is not racking in straight (i.e., pitch and yaw detection) and shutters that
are not opened properly (e.g., can be detected by overload of the racking motor).
c. Remote racking devices can also be installed as part of the breaker in some designs.
This is manufacturer specific.
d. Air break (i.e., load break) switches in switchgear can be motor operated remotely.
This is a readily available option.
e. Air break, high voltage switches can be motor operated remotely. A ground switch
may be in use and may also be operated remotely. However, proper interlocks need
to be provided between the switch and the ground switch operators, similar to the
interlocks and procedures used during manual switching.
f. Low voltage motor control center designs that have a stab disconnect feature (not unit
rack out) that can be remotely operated.

B-2 Method of Control


Following is a summary of available options that should be considered for remotely
controlling equipment. Several methods may be required or provide a better solution
than a single method. The chosen method should be designed to function efficiently and
safely in conjunction with facility procedures.
a. Remote control can be exercised from a different location than the substation (e.g.,
from a facility control room or a central control outside the facility). Control systems
(e.g., SCADA, DCS) range in complexity and features, but the final result is the
same. These systems have been typically used to open and close breakers. Motor
operated switches are another application. However, though possible, racking
operations are not typical and should not be done from outside the substation.
b. If remote control is operated from a different location, the operator at the remote
control end should be capable of coordinating with the facility operators to prevent

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any operation that can result in an arc hazard while personnel are in the vicinity of
the equipment. Some coordination and monitoring methods are as follows:
(1) Procedures should be established for any personnel entering a substation area to
inform the operator in charge. Even where radios are available, a phone system
should be considered. If phones are used, phones should be located outside the
arc flash protection boundary area of any equipment that may be switched
remotely. This may require locating a phone outside a building or fence.
(2) Alarms should be located on doors and gates that lead to an area that requires
informing the operator. These are a backup to the operations information
procedure above.
(3) Operation of the devices can be interlocked, such that local personnel have to
release a permissive lockout before remote operation can take place. This
requires real-time communication between operators. This type of lockout may
be located in a control panel away from the arc flash protection boundary.
(4) If local personnel can access a panel that disables remote control, an alarm
should be provided to inform the remote operator of the condition.
(5) Cameras may be provided in the substation for use by the remote operator to
verify the conditions around the equipment area.
c. Remote control can be done at the substation by use of mimic panels or control
panels. These panels can be hardwired or electronic (e.g., HMI). A mimic panel has
the advantage of showing a single-line diagram of the system, and is a preferred
method. Because of proximity, the control operator has the advantage of visual
inspection of the area. Ideally, the mimic or control panel should be located to permit
the operator visual contact at the time of operation. A camera system may be used,
especially in substations with a centralized control area or room.
d. If remote control is done from the substation, the controls should be located outside
of area where arc hazards are possible. In some instances this may require a separate
room.
e. A typical method of remote control is the use of umbilical (extension) cord controls.
Umbilical cords can be used for opening and closing breakers and controlling the
racking mechanisms. Typical cords are available in lengths of 25 feet (7.6 m) 40 feet
(12.2 m). Although this distance may seem conservative, it works for most
installations and can reduce multiple distance requirements within the same facility.
f. A plug, or a group of strategically located plugs, can be used to connect a laptop to
the equipment control devices while maintaining a safe distance.

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