Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Kenneth A. Buckle

Co-Major Professor

Ralph E. Fehr

Keywords

Circuit Breaker Coordination, Fault Current Analysis, Low Voltage Power Circuit Breaker, Molded Case Circuit Breaker, Power System Protection

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Federal regulations have recognized that arc flash hazards are a critical source of potential injury. As a consequence, in order to work on some electrical equipment, the energy source must be completely shut-down. However, power distribution systems in mission critical facilities such as hospitals and data centers must sometimes remain energized while being maintained. In recent years the Arc Flash Hazard Analysis has emerged as a power system tool that informs the qualified technician of the incident energy at the equipment to be maintained and recommends the proper protective equipment to wear. Due to codes, standards and historically acceptable design methods, the Arc Flash Hazard is often higher and more dangerous than necessary.

This dissertation presents detailed methodology and proposes alternative strategies to be implemented at the design stage of 600 volt facility power distribution systems which will decrease the Arc Flash Hazard Exposure when compared to widely used code acceptable design strategies. Software models have been developed for different locations throughout a power system. These software model simulations will analyze the Arc Flash Hazard in a system designed with typical mainstream code acceptable methods. The model will be changed to show implementation of arc flash mitigation techniques at the system design level. The computer simulations after the mitigation techniques will show significant lowering of the Arc Flash Hazard Exposure.

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