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

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
September 2010
One sentence in the IEEE 1584 Standard, IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations, frequently has people scratching their heads: “Equipment below 240V need not be considered unless it involves at least one 125 kVA or larger low-impedance transformer in its immediate power supply.” What does this sentence mean? READ MORE
July 2010
Knowing how long an arc flash could last is the most important piece of information in predicting its severity. The duration is usually dependent on how fast an upstream protective device will trip. The longer it takes, the greater the incident energy and resulting hazard. Time current curves How can you predict how long it takes a device to trip? READ MORE
May 2010
Would you like to know a little secret about how to simplify an arc flash calculation study? Perform the study backward. Well, not actually backward, it just seems that way. READ MORE
March 2010
A Catch-22 occurs when circumstances emerge that place one in a no-win situation; let’s take a look at an arc flash safety Catch-22. The best way to eliminate an arc flash hazard is to place electrical equipment into an electrically safe working condition, which requires interaction with the equipment, which may create an arc flash hazard, which is what we are trying to eliminate. Confused? READ MORE
January 2010
Right in front of you on the switchboard, a bright orange label reads: “WARNING Arc Flash Hazard, Appropriate PPE Required.” As you look closer at the label, you also see: “6.5 cal/cm2 at a working distance of 18 inches.” READ MORE
November 2009
When a bomb goes off, the further you are from the explosion, the safer you will be. This same concept applies to arc flash hazards. Whether you are a properly protected and qualified person performing the work or just an observer, the distance between you and the arc flash can make all the difference in the world. Distance and the electrical worker READ MORE
September 2009
Read the label? Use as directed? It sounds like I’m reading a prescription bottle. However, the warning label produced from an arc flash calculation study contains more than just the words “Warning! Arc Flash and Shock Hazard!” It actually holds a lot of very specific information that can be used when preparing for work where electrical hazards may exist. What is really required? READ MORE

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