IEEE Releases New 1584 Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations

According to the IEEE Standards Association, approximately 2,000 workers are admitted to burn centers each year for extended injury treatment caused by arc flash incidents.

With this in mind, the IEEE Standards Association announced last month the publication and immediate availability of "IEEE 1584-2018 - IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations." This new technical standard is sponsored by the IEEE Industry Applications Society, Petroleum & Chemicals Industry (IAS/PCI).

The standard is the result of extensive research and laboratory testing conducted by the Arc Flash Research Project, which is an ongoing collaboration between IEEE and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), with the mission of providing improved models and an analytical process to enable calculation of predicted incident thermal energy and the arc-flash boundary.

"Our extensive, collaborative work with the NFPA has resulted in an IEEE standard that dramatically improves the prediction of hazards associated with arcing faults and accompanying arc blasts," said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of the IEEE Standards Association. "Contractors and facility owners will benefit from IEEE 1584 by being able to more thoroughly analyze power systems to calculate the incident energy to which employees could be exposed during operations and maintenance work, allowing them to provide appropriate protection for employees in accordance with the requirements of applicable electrical workplace safety standards."

IEEE 1584 2018 includes processes that cover the collection of field data, consideration of power system operating scenarios, and calculation parameters. Applications include electrical equipment and conductors for three-phase alternating current voltages from 208 volts to 15 kilovolts.

"It has been sixteen years since the first edition of the IEEE 1584 standard was published in 2002," said Jim Phillips, vice chair of the IEEE 1584 Arc Flash Working Group, international chair of IEC TC78 Live Working, and arc flash safety columnist for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. "The new 2018 edition of this standard takes arc flash studies to the next level."

The original model was based on arc flash test using only a few enclosure sizes with the electrodes in a vertical configuration.

"Subsequent research and testing for the 2018 edition have led to the inclusion of more enclosure sizes, an enclosure size correction factor, and additional electrode configurations, as well as many other enhancements to enable more detailed modeling," Phillips said.

"The update to IEEE 1584 has empowered thousands of engineers conducting arc-flash hazard calculations," said Daleep Mohla, chair, IEEE 1584 Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations Working Group. "These efforts, conducted in partnership with the NFPA, have armed all stakeholders involved in arc-flash hazards to better protect employees and contractors in the working environment."

For more on IEEE 1584 and to hear about the most significant new changes, check out the video below by Jim Phillips.

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