Professional Certificate of Competency in Arc Flash Protection

Course Overview

CAF

This professional development course is designed for engineers and technicians who work in the electrical field. It will help you understand the importance of the proper design of electrical equipment in avoiding arc flash incidents and ensuring safety in the event of an arc flash.

At a glance

Duration
  • 3 Months
Study Mode
  • Online
Fees
Location
  • Online
Intakes
TBA
Course Type
  • Professional Certificate

Course Details

Electrical safety is a critical issue for those working on electrical facilities in utility networks and large industrial installations. Several serious accidents, including fatalities, occur every. Arc flashes in electrical equipment are now considered one of the major causes of electrical accidents — even surpassing the well-known hazards of electric shock.

Avoiding arc flash incidents and the resulting injuries is one of the biggest challenges facing electrical workers. It requires adequate attention in the stages of system planning, design, installation, operation, and maintenance. Today, a considerable body of knowledge exists as a result of research efforts, and is available to designers and maintenance engineers in the form of standards such as IEEE 1584 and NFPA 70E.

This course will detail the basis of this approach, and also the significant advances that have been made in the area of Personal Protective Equipment made of Fire Resistant fabrics and rated for different levels of thermal exposure.

Prevention, however, remains the best form of protection, and switchgear manufacturers have made considerable design advances to ensure that the effect of arc flash incidents is contained within the enclosure of switchgear (often called arc flash resistant switchgear). Methods of testing such switchgear have also evolved simultaneously.

Another critical factor is the approach to avoid arc incidents within the switchgear by proper design and maintenance and techniques to reduce the severity of the flash should such incidents occur. These will form the key focus areas of this course.

The course is composed of 12 modules, covering the dangers of arc flash incidents to working personnel and their impact on equipment, as well as how to prevent arch flashes and safety in the event of one.

Module 1: Electrical Hazards

  • Hazards with examples: electric shock, arc flash events, working at heights, working in confined spaces, fire and explosion, mechanical hazards
  • Common electrical equipment and hazards posed

Module 2: Arc Flash and its Effects

  • Definitions
  • Reasons for arc flash events
  • What really happens in an arc flash event?
  • Insulation failure/violation of clearances
  • Arc flash mechanism
  • Impact on equipment
  • Hazards to personnel in the vicinity
  • Burns
  • Organ damage due to pressure wave
  • Hearing damage
  • Shrapnel effects

Module 3: Fundamentals of Power Systems

  • Configurations
  • Equipment used
  • System earthing and its role
  • Protective earthing and its role
  • Faults and types of faults
  • Bolted faults and arc faults

Module 4: Calculation of Fault Currents

  • Fundamentals of short circuit calculations
  • Simplifying assumptions
  • Ohmic impedance and per unit impedance
  • Infinite bus
  • Base KVA of a system and its use in calculations
  • Network theorems commonly used
  • Equivalent diagrams
  • Fault calculation approach for a simple system
  • Earth faults and the importance of system earthing
  • Mitigation of fault levels in a system

Module 5: Protection in Power Systems

  • Fundamentals of power system protection
  • Protection attributes
  • Protective devices (fuses, built-in release and relays)
  • Time-current characteristics
  • Impact of bolted faults on tripping time
  • I2t: the important factor in deciding the hazards of faults
  • Commonly used protection approaches

Module 6: Arc Flash Studies – Codes and Standards

  • OSHA 29 C FR – part 1910
  • National Electrical Code N FPA 70E – standard for electrical safety in the workplace
    • Safety-related work practices
    • Installation safety requirements
    • Table 130.2(C
  • IEEE Standard 1584
    • Guide for arc flash hazard analysis
  • Definitions used in arc flash study

Module 7: Arc Flash Study Detailed Procedure

  • Flash protection approach boundary
    • 2 calories per square centimeter
    • 4-foot boundary
    • Calculated boundaries based on transformer size and bolted short circuit MVA
  • Detailed arc flash study
    • Calculation of incident energy and flash boundaries
    • Warning labels
    • Personal protective equipment requirements
  • Calculation of working distance and flash boundary as per IEEE Standard 1584

Module 8: Data Collection and System Modeling

  • Data for calculation of fault currents
  • Modes of operation
  • Lower short circuit conditions with long tripping times

Module 9: Determining Arc Flash Hazard Risk Category

  • Detailed examples and exercises simplified tables approach
  • Matrix table
  • Single line diagram approach
  • Short circuit study report coordination
  • Hazard risk category for metal-clad switchgear 1kv and above
  • NFPA 70E table 130

Module 10: Reducing Arc-Flash Hazard

  • Mitigation of energy by reduced short circuit current and faster protection
  • Overvoltage protection to reduce insulation failure risk
  • Reducing the risk of arc flash by better equipment design (clearances, creepage, insulation)
  • Providing arc vents to direct arc away from operator
  • Containing internal arc flash by switchgear that is arc resistance
  • Avoid local operations and live work
  • Better maintenance practices
  • Insulation status and PD monitoring
  • Contacts and joint status-monitoring through thermography

Module 11: Personal Protective Equipment Made of FR Clothing

  • The evolution of Flame Resistant (FR) fabrics
  • The various types of FR fabrics that are available in the marketplace
  • FR fabrics and the effects of undergarments
  • Limitations of FR fabrics
  • Test method ASTM F 1959
  • Garment construction standard ASTM F 1506-02a

Module 12: Project Work

Apply the principles learned and calculate the arc flash protection boundary and incident energy for a panel and prepare an arc flash label

To obtain a certificate of completion for EIT’s Professional Certificate of Competency, students must achieve a 65% attendance rate at the live, online fortnightly webinars.  Detailed summaries/notes can be submitted in lieu of attendance.  In addition, students must obtain a mark of 60% in the set assignments which could take the form of written assignments and practical assignments. Students must also obtain a mark of 100% in quizzes.  If a student does not achieve the required score, they will be given an opportunity to resubmit the assignment to obtain the required score.

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You are expected to spend approximately 5-8 hours per week learning the course content. This includes attending fortnightly webinars that run for about 90 minutes to facilitate class discussion and allow you to ask questions. This professional development program is delivered online and has been designed to fit around full-time work. It will take three months to complete.

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