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

  • 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. 
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July 2013
The first step in conducting an arc flash study is to obtain the data necessary to accurately represent the electrical system. Equations defined by IEEE 1584–IEEE Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations are at the heart of most studies and require a lot of data.
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May 2013
A lot has happened since 2002 when IEEE 1584–IEEE Guide for Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations was first published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The development of this landmark document included conducting more than 300 arc flash tests, which were used to create the empirically derived equations. READ MORE
May 2013
The surface area of the earth is approximately 197 million square miles, and IEEE 1584—IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations has been covering more of it every day since it was first published almost 11 years ago. READ MORE
May 2013
Without warning, smoke rolled out from under the tires as they squealed against the pavement with the brakes locked up. The big truck seemed to come from nowhere. It felt like an eternity; although it was really only a matter of seconds, then … CRASH! READ MORE
March 2013
After having consultants crawl all over the place, asking questions and gathering mounds of data, the arc flash study for your facility is finally done. Now the big question: with endless calculations based on IEEE 1584, IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations, what do the numbers mean? More important, how do you incorporate the results into your electrical safety program? READ MORE
January 2013
“Kill the Circuit.” This phrase is a colorful way of saying de-energize the circuit. Easy enough­—just open a switch or other protective device and the circuit is “dead.” It should then be safe to work on, right? Wrong! Simply opening a switch does not guarantee the circuit is de-energized. Really? What could go wrong?
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November 2012
One of the first steps in performing an arc flash hazard calculation study is to request the short-circuit data from the electric utility company. This information is critical because it defines the magnitude of current that could flow from the utility and is used as a starting point for arc flash calculations. READ MORE
September 2012
OUCH! I can’t believe I just did that. While trimming the hedge at home one afternoon, I moved the orange extension cord around one of the bushes. Simple enough—being a very safety conscious person, I wanted to ensure I did not accidently cut it. As I grabbed the cord, I felt an unexpected surprise. The painful buzz in my hand said it all. I had just received an electric shock. READ MORE

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