The IDC Technologies Arc Flash Conference, sponsored by Digsilent, Dupont, AJ Charnaud, Quality Safety, Unitemp, Energize Magazine and Electricty + Control Magazine wrapped up in Midrand, Johannesburg last week. The 3 day event took place 21-23 May 2013 and featured a number of engineering and arc flash experts including Zarheer Jooma, Convenor of SANS 724 Standards Committee and e-Hazard who presented a workshop and a paper as well as delivering a Keynote IEEE paper authored by Hugh Hoagland, Founder of ArcWear, USA.
Also in the line up of speakers was Dr Helmut Eichinger, Technical Manager, Senior Consultant, Dupont from Switzerland and Professor Jerry Walker, International Instructor and High Voltage Engineering Consultant delivered a workshop on Arc Flash Protection Fundamentals for Electrical Safety Professionals.
In addition to this, speakers from Digsilent, ETAP South Africa, ABB South Africa, City Power Johannesburg, Martec, Eskom, R&C Instrumentation, St James Software and a consulting engineer formerly from Sasol presented papers using practical case studies, applications and the latest challenges and developments in this focus area.
The objective of this conference was to provide delegates with the latest developments and best practices to deal with arc flash hazards in South Africa.
Top rated presentations included:
- International Standards in Electrical Safety and the Development of an Electrical Safety Program by Zarheer Jooma – Convenor of SANS 724 Standards Committee and e-Hazard.
- Condition Monitoring of Equipment to Improve Quality of Supply to Customers by Adverting Failures by Patrick O’Halloran – Chief Engineer Condition Monitoring – City Power Johannesburg.
- Development of Standards for MV Switchgear Rated for Arc Protection by Bryan Johnson – Product Group Manager – MV Switchgear, ABB South Africa
- Effects of Mining Industry Contaminations on Protective Properties of Arc Rated Clothing Using ASTM F1959 Authored by Hugh Hoagland – Founder of ArcWear, USA Presented by Zarheer Jooma – Convenor of SANS 724 Standards Committee and e-Hazard
- Assessment and Selection of Arc Protective Performance of PPE – Go Beyond the Norms? By Dr Helmut Eichinger – Technical Marketing Manager, Senior Consultant, DuPont Protection Technologies, DuPont International Operations, Geneva, Switzerland
Arc Flash is currently one of the most topical issues being discussed in the electrical engineering community in South Africa and worldwide (especially in the mining, utilities and manufacturing areas). Technology and safety procedures have significantly reduced most other forms of electrical injuries; however incidents related to Arc Flash have surfaced as one of the leading causes of injury and death to workers. The technical aspects and physics associated with Arc Flash are still somewhat debatable and there has been some concerns about the physics of electrical arcing faults being significantly different to those established by the USA with the NFPA 70E and the IEEE 1584 standards and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) new Arc Flash safety standard CSA-Z462. Arc Flash hazards are a contentious and critical issue in South Africa and never more topical as a new South African Arc Flash standard SANS 724, relating to Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) has just been released.