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

November 2011
It seems like more companies are performing arc flash hazard calculation studies (AFHCS) than ever before. One of the biggest attractions is that the study results provide just about everything you need to comply with many NFPA 70E requirements. READ MORE
October 2011
It has been more than 100 years since Thomas Edison commissioned the first electrical generating station in New York City. One might expect that we would know everything there is to know about electrical safety by now, yet our knowledge continues to grow. READ MORE
October 2011
What if you had been stranded on a deserted island for the past five years? By the time you were rescued, you would have missed the explosion of social media usage, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, as well as advancements in smart grids and wind and solar energy—it would be more than you could imagine. You may think, “How could the industry have changed so much? READ MORE
July 2011
One of the first steps in performing an arc flash calculation study is to request short-circuit data from the electric utility company. This kind of request is pretty routine, and utilities have been providing this type of data for short-circuit studies for years. The problem is the data used for a short-circuit study may not be suitable for an arc flash study. Is infinite bus the worst case? READ MORE
May 2011
The 2012 NFPA 70E, The Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, is nearing completion. This will be the ninth edition since it was first published in 1979. READ MORE
May 2011
You look at the arc flash warning label and scratch your head. “Danger! No PPE Category Found.” No personal protective equipment (PPE) category? Now what? This type of language is often on arc flash warning labels when the calculated incident energy exceeds 40 calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm2). What is so special about the number 40? READ MORE
March 2011
You’re thinking, “I’m glad that’s finally over. Never again!” Yes, an arc flash calculation study can be quite overwhelming, especially your first one. But now the labels are on the equipment, the report has been filed away and this never-ending project is quickly becoming a faded memory. You’re finished. READ MORE
January 2011
When selective coordination is critical, e.g., minimizing the extent of an outage, a common design practice is to use a main circuit breaker without an instantaneous tripping function and feeder breakers with one. Without an instantaneous, the main can time delay up to 30 cycles or 0.5 seconds based on the short time-delay setting as illustrated on the time-current curve (TCC). READ MORE
November 2010
A lot can happen in two seconds. What may seem like the blink of an eye can feel like an eternity, especially during an arc flash. When calculating the incident energy as part of an arc flash study, sometimes the IEEE 1584 equations can produce unusually large values. READ MORE

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