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  • Short-circuit, Protective Device Coordination & Arc Flash


    By Albert Marroquin

    Operation Technology, Inc.

  • Agenda

    Short-circuit Calculations for Arc Flash Analysis

    Protection and Coordination Principles

    Arc Flash Analysis and Mitigation

    Upcoming Arc Flash Analysis Standards/Guidelines Changes

    DC Arc Flash Analysis

    Transient Arc Flash Analysis for Generators

  • Short-Circuit AnalysisTypes of SC Faults

    Three-Phase Ungrounded FaultThree-Phase Grounded FaultPhase to Phase Ungrounded FaultPhase to Phase Grounded FaultPhase to Ground Fault

    Fault CurrentIL-G can range in utility systems from a few percent to possibly 115 % ( if Xo < X1 ) of I3-phase (85% of all faults).In industrial systems the situation IL-G > I3-phase is rare. Typically IL-G .87 * I3-phase In an industrial system, the three-phase fault condition is frequently the only one considered, since this type of fault generally results in Maximum current.

  • Purpose of Short-Circuit Studies

    A Short-Circuit Study can be used to determine any or all of the following:

    Verify protective device close and latch capability

    Verify protective device Interrupting capability

    Protect equipment from large mechanical forces (maximum fault kA)

    I2t protection for equipment (thermal stress)

    Selecting ratings or settings for relay coordination

  • System Components Involved in SC Calculations

    Power Company Supply

    In-Plant Generators



    Feeder Cables / Cable Trays and Bus Duct Systems

  • System Components Involved in SC Calculations

    Overhead Lines

    Synchronous Motors

    Induction Motors

    Protective Devices

    Y0 from Static Load and Line Cable

  • Short-Circuit Phenomenon

    )tSin(Vmv(t) +=


  • 4444 34444 21444 3444 21

    Offset) (DCTransientState Steady

    t) - sin(

    ZVm ) - tsin(


    (1) ) t Sin(Vmdtdi L Riv(t)



    expression following theyields 1equation Solving


  • AC Current (Symmetrical) with No AC Decay

    DC Current

    1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Short-Circuit ANSI Slide 9

  • AC Fault Current Including the DC Offset (No AC Decay)

    1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Short-Circuit ANSI Slide 10

  • Machine Reactance ( = L I )

    AC Decay Current

  • Fault Current Including AC & DC Decay

  • Short-Circuit Study for Arc Flash

    A Short-Circuit Study can be used to determine any or all of the following:

    Maximum and Minimum Short-circuit current levels

    Prefault voltage values should be considered

    Positive and Negative Impedance Tolerance Adjustments

    Actual fault current values should be used including decaying contributions for medium voltage systems

    Operating Conditions and System Configurations which may not be otherwise observed for regular SC studies

  • Reactance Representation forUtility and Synchronous Machine for AF

    Cycle 1 to 4 Cycle 30 Cycle

    Utility Xd Xd Xd

    Turbo Generator Xd Xd Xd

    Hydro-Gen with Amortisseur winding

    Xd Xd Xd

    Condenser Xd Xd

    Synchronous Motor Xd Xd

  • Fault Current Decay

  • Fault Current Recording

  • Overcurrent Protection and Coordination Principles

  • Definition

    Overcurrent CoordinationA systematic study of current responsive devices in an electrical power system.

  • Objective

    To determine the ratings and settings of fuses, breakers, relay, etc.

    To isolate the fault or overloads.

  • Coordination

    Limit the extent and duration of service interruption

    Selective fault isolation

    Provide alternate circuits

  • Protection Prevent injury to personnel

    Minimize damage to components

    Quickly isolate the affected portion of the system

    Minimize the magnitude of available short-circuit

  • Spectrum Of Currents Load Current

    Up to 100% of full-load115-125% (mild overload)

    OvercurrentAbnormal loading condition (Locked-Rotor)

    Fault CurrentFault condition Ten times the full-load current and higher

    Arc Fault CurrentsBetween 95 to 38% of bolted fault currents

  • Coordination



    C B A



    D B


  • Protection vs. Coordination Coordination is not an exact science Compromise between protection and coordination


  • Fixed Points

    Points or curves which do not change regardless of protective device settings:

    Cable damage curves Cable ampacities Transformer damage curves & inrush points Motor starting curves Generator damage curve / Decrement curve SC maximum and minimum fault points

  • Capability / Damage Curves










  • Cable Protection




    tAT 234

    0.0297logT 234


    + +

    The actual temperature rise of a cable when exposed to a short circuit current for a known time is calculated by:

    Where:A= Conductor area in circular-milsI = Short circuit current in ampst = Time of short circuit in seconds T1= Initial operation temperature (750C)T2=Maximum short circuit temperature (1500C)

  • Cable Short-Circuit Heating LimitsRecommended temperature rise: B) CU 75-200C

  • Transformer Categories I, II

  • 200 HP


    Starting Curve


    MCP (50)



    LRAs LRAasym

  • Protective Devices Fuse

    Overload Heater

    Thermal Magnetic

    Low Voltage Solid State Trip


    Motor Circuit Protector (MCP)

    Relay (50/51 P, N, G, SG, 51V, 67, 49, 46, 79, 21, )

  • Fuse Types

    Expulsion Fuse (Non-CLF) Current Limiting Fuse (CLF) Electronic Fuse (S&C Fault Fiter)

  • Minimum Melting Time Curve

    Total Clearing Time Curve

  • Molded Case CB Thermal-Magnetic Magnetic Only Motor Circuit Protector (MCP) Integrally Fused (Limiters) Current Limiting High Interrupting Capacity Non-Interchangeable Parts Insulated Case (Interchange


    Types Frame Size Poles Trip Rating Interrupting Capability Voltage

  • Thermal Minimum

    Thermal Maximum


  • Overcurrent Relay

    Time-Delay (51 I>) Short-Time Instantaneous ( I>>) Instantaneous (50 I>>>) Electromagnetic (induction Disc) Solid State (Multi Function / Multi Level) Application

  • 1996-2009 Operation Technology, Inc. Workshop Notes: Protective Device Coordination

  • Relay Coordination Time margins should be maintained between T/C

    curves Adjustment should be made for CB opening time Shorter time intervals may be used for solid state

    relays Upstream relay should have the same inverse T/C

    characteristic as the downstream relay (CO-8 to CO-8) or be less inverse (CO-8 upstream to CO-6 downstream)

    Extremely inverse relays coordinates very well with CLFs

  • Arc Flash Analysis Methods and Mitigation

  • Analysis Methods for Arc Flash Hazards

    NFPA 70E 2009 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

    IEEE 1584 2004a Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations

  • Arc Flash Incident Video

  • Arc Flash Incident Video

  • Arc Flash Incident Video

  • AF Analysis Considerations

    Possible Arc Fault LocationsLine side arc faultsLoad side arc faults

    Arc Flash Analysis Worst Case ScenariosMaximum bolted short-circuit fault currentMinimum bolted short-circuit fault current

    Arcing Current VariationIncident Energy at 100% of arcing currentIncident Energy at 85% of arcing current

  • Analysis of AF Results

    Arc Flash Analysis Scope100s or 1000s of BusesHigh/Medium/Low Voltage SystemsMultiple Operating ConfigurationsDozens of Multiple Scenarios to be considered

  • Analysis of AF Results

    Determine Which Protective Device Clears the Arc FaultIs it the first upstream device in all cases?

    Determine the Locations with Special Analysis Conditions

    Ibf is less than 700 or higher than 106,000 Amps

    The bus nominal kV less than 0.208 kV

    The feeder source has capacity less than 125 kVA (may not have enough energy to generate the arc)

  • Methods to Mitigate the Incident Energy

    Methods to Reduce the Fault Clearing TimeImproving coordination settings of OC PDs.Type 50 protective devices (Instantaneous)Arc Flash light sensorsMaintenance mode (switch)Differential protectionZone selective interlocking protection (ZSIP)

    Methods to Increase the Working DistanceRemote racking of breakers/Remote switchingUse of Hot Sticks

  • Methods to Mitigate the Incident Energy

    Methods to Reduce the Short-Circuit CurrentCurrent limiting fuses and circuit breakers

    Current limiting reactors, Isolating Transformers

    High resistance grounding

    Methods to Reduce the Energy ExposureArc resistant switchgear

    Arc shields

    Infrared scanning, Partial Discharge and or Corona Cameras

  • Improving Over-Current Device Coordination Settings

    Purpose is to isolate the fault with the nearest upstream over-current protective device

    Arc flash results are extremely dependent on coordination settings

    Unnecessarily high time dial setting