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PREVENT ARC FLASH with PHASEBACK VSGR


Kema Lab tested Phaseback VSGR (Voltage Stabilizing Ground Reference) with glorious results. It was expected, by the lab technicians, that the test unit would flash over, catastrophically fail, produce Arc Flash and they would be measuring the blast and energy of the explosive event. There was no event. Other than a small voltage surge and smaller current draw the system would never know anything had happened. No equipment failure, no relay operation, and no interruption of the power circuit. Phaseback has prevented Arc Flash Events for years, but now it is laboratory verified and certified. The test results are:

  1. Draft 17013 is preliminary report from Kema with lots of information which takes some time to understand.

  2. Arc Flash Prevention data from third party Customers or Engineers that have prevented Arc Flash events using Phaseback previously, summarized.

  3. Edited Kema Lab report summarized and with a narrative explaining the main elements. The short version of the test. As an example, the spreadsheet data and the charts are in separate areas of the formal test reports and we have put them on the same page in this summary, to allow for a quick read.

Phaseback Arc Flash Test Summary

Testing and Waveform Data Provided By KEMA Laboratories

The Phaseback Voltage Stabilizing Ground Reference (VSGR) is a device that serves as a surge suppressor, voltage regulator, and harmonic filter. It has mitigated equipment damage and has successfully prevented arc flash events in many power systems.

The objective of the test procedure is as follows: test the voltage withstand of a 480 volt three-phase power system operating a three-phase load, protected by the Phaseback VSGR, with high voltage (2.5kV and 6kV) connecting to phase C for about 390ms. This is the typical proceedure for Arc Flash testing, which creates an Arc Flash so the lab can measure the blast damage and energy of the event.

The resulting voltage waveforms produced by KEMA Laboratories are contained in pages 9 through 12.

The tests included connecting 2,500 and 6,000 volts to Phase C while recording the voltages. Two types of circuits were tested: three-phase three-wire, and three-phase four-wire power systems.

A summary of the four (4) three-phase waveforms is included. The summary shows minimal voltage changes, no arc flash, and no damaged equipment. Phase voltages did not exceed line voltage values during the high voltage testing, and no equipment damage or loss occurred during the entire battery of tests.

The people at the high power test facility were professional throughout this process, and they were technically competent in the performance of their duties. KEMA Laboratories was selected over other testing facilities for numerous reasons, especially because this lab has performed power tests for the US Government, including arc flash testing.

There was an expectation held by the testing crew that the customer’s equipment would fail and cause an arc flash event, as is typically the result from the high power test generator reaching its maximum test voltage. One witness of these tests stated that it was “quite boring”, as there wasn’t even a spark.

Presently, an average of two people per day are killed due to arc flash events in America, and dozens are injured. After extensive study, it has been determined that 80 to 85% of arc flash events are started by arcing ground faults.

When there is arcing, the air becomes ionized (conductive). Because of their unpredictable nature, arc flash events can quickly become catastrophic. Adding a Phaseback can cause a reduction in both the likelihood and the severity of arc flash events. This may only cause a reduction to the injury rate by 50 to 80%, but there are other factors to consider.

A Phaseback VSGR will quickly pay for itself in energy savings Other considerations for installing Phaseback VSGR:

  • It will pay for itself in energy savings, by balancing the phase voltages continuously and when used in lieu of resistance grounding, the reduced leakage to ground results in significant additional energy savings.

  • This payback may be accelerated by reducing or eliminating down-time and equipment damage from Power Quality issues, including harmonics, single phase events, and ground fault events.

  • This payback may be accelerated by the elimination of other equipment typically required in the

system such as TVSS (SPD), HRG, NGR, Relays to prevent single phase, etc.

  • It will provide continuous voltage spike prevention, and it will prevent most other issues caused by electrical noise.

  • Each VSGR carries a lifetime warranty and does not contain sacrificial solid state components.

Below is one of the charts showing 6000V test and resulting surge.

Respectfully submitted,

William Hinton

Director of Engineering

Applied Energy LLC.