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ARC FLASH PROTECTION NOT ALL SOLUTIONS ARE PURELY TECHNICAL


Arc Flash can be a very technically challenging subject to understand and the potential hazards for these on electrical systems, rightfully, need to be understood and assessed by competent persons


However, the Wind Generation team within SSE do not see the potential pitfalls with arc-flash as being purely technical. In addition to the technical considerations, they are looking at Arc Flash from a number of different perspectives.


PERSPECTIVES


Be mindful of end users – engineers can often get blind-sided by technical detail and propose solutions that meets the challenges of a technical issue, however, this may not necessarily be the most practical for the end user. With this in mind, SSE Wind have established an Arc Flash risk workgroup consisting of representatives from Engineering/Service/Stores to look at the issue from the technical, practical and logistical perspectives. To date, the discussions have been very engaging and we feel that any solutions implemented will have maximum buy-in from the end users, as they will have been engaged in designing the solution.


Be engaging – SSE values the safety of the public, employees and contractors equally. To that end, they have engaged with each of the turbine OEM’s across their fleet on the subject of Arc Flash and their ambition is to ensure that whatever strategy the company deems appropriate is established as a baseline for each of their OEM’s, whilst also understanding their needs/challenges.


Be restless – one of the company’s directives in Generation is to remain restless and to always continue to challenge their understanding of risk management. As they go through the process of outlining and developing a risk management strategy for Arc Flash, the company continuously monitors safety incidents within and outwith to see if improvements could be made When they have finalised their risk assessment for Arc Flash, the Arc Flash workgroup will continue to meet to ensure that they remain continually active on the subject of Arc Flash and never lose focus.


Overalls damaged by an Arc Flash event


Be collaborative – better engagement within the wind industry on the subject of Arc Flash would pull together and improve technical understanding, would ensure the needs of all stakeholders would be considered and hopefully, result in improved technology and improved safety to all operators across the industry.


SSE Wind Generation are always willing to engage with other teams within industry, so if this article is of interest, feel free to get in touch to discuss our progress on Arc Flash to date.


SSE Wind Generation


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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