Jim Phillips

Freelance Writer

Jim Phillips, P.E., founder of www.brainfiller.com and www.ArcFlashForum.com, conducts training programs around the world and is author of the book “Complete Guide to Arc Flash Hazard Calculation Studies.” He is Secretary of the IEEE 1584 Arc Flash Working Group as well as many other national and international standards organizations. Reach him at jphillips@brainfiller.com.

Articles by Jim Phillips

September 2014
Silence! Production came to a screeching halt. Except for a few faint alarms in the distance, an eerie quiet fell over a large part of the facility. It was quite an ominous sight to see the emergency lights attempting to penetrate the darkness from the power outage.
  • Arc rating only

September 2014
“What do you mean we need to relabel the electrical equipment? Didn’t we just do this a few years ago?”
July 2014
Attorney: “Can you tell us how Mr. Smith died?”
 Witness: “There was an electrical explosion. Something went wrong when he was working on the panel. A big fireball shot out that caught his clothing on fire. It was horrible.”
 Attorney: “Was Mr. Smith qualified to be performing that particular task?”
May 2014
Everyone tenses up in anticipation as they hear the countdown, “three, two, one.” Then there’s an extremely loud BOOM and blinding light. Sparks fly everywhere, and smoke fills the test area. Laughter and perhaps even a high five frequently follow. 
May 2014
Deja vu? Déjà vu is that feeling you get when you think you have seen or done something before. NFPA 70E is giving us all déjà vu since it was just three short years ago, in 2011, that we were analyzing changes for the upcoming 2012 edition (see “It’s Almost Here,” May 2011 at www.ECmag.com). It’s time for that feeling once again as we move toward completion of the 2015 edition.
 What's new? READ MORE
  • System upgrades, short-circuit current

March 2014
It goes up. It goes down. Sometimes, it is thought to be infinite (although it isn’t), and other times, it seems impossible to find. The available short-circuit current from the electric utility is one of the more important pieces of information for an arc flash hazard calculation study. READ MORE
January 2014
Two simple words, a total of six letters, help define which electrical equipment is required to have an arc flash label. Although these two words are used with good intentions, they can often leave a person second-guessing themselves.
November 2013
Mistakes happen, and there are plenty of opportunities to make them when performing an arc flash calculation study. The good news is commercially available arc flash software can help simplify the study process and perhaps even reduce errors. Software typically contains extensive libraries of data and can sometimes provide default data. READ MORE
  • In the third test, the cover blew open.
September 2013
Edward Murphy is famous for his law that states: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” When performing an arc flash study, Murphy’s Law becomes very important if assumptions are made about this rare but potentially deadly event.