PROJECT MANAGEMENT OF ARC FLASH MITIGATION

After carrying out an arc flash study at this pharmaceutical plant, we were tasked with project managing the arc flash mitigation measures that needed to be implemented. The mitigation measures were required due to the limitation of some devices to clear an arcing fault in a sufficient time to reduce the prospective incident energy to within acceptable levels. Safety is imperative to the company and the reduction of high prospective incident energy levels was a key target that needed to be met.

INDUSTRY SUCCESS

Directly employees

30,000

people

Estimated

10

invested in the last 10 years

Top

10

of the worlds pharma companies based in Ireland

THE CHALLENGE

The plant was shut down to allow us to implement the mitigation procedures needed to correct the issues discovered by the arc flash study.  This was a short time frame but we managed to design the zone protection for the CHP system to reduce the impact of the generators on the network infrastructure during fault conditions. We were also required to design a schedule that catered for multiple contractors carrying out various tasks in an efficient and effective manner during this shutdown period.

HOW WE HELPED

We took charge and managed the progress of the project on site, ensuring that each mitigation procedure was implemented correctly. In some locations, this involved the installation of new trip units to allow enhanced protection on site while maintaining reliability. Each protection device that required setting changes also had to undergo injection testing and maintenance to ensure devices were reliable and can provide the selectivity that the client’s electrical network requires.

We managed the reconfiguration of the CHP zone of protection. This was carried out by investigating the current configuration and providing an additional function to isolate the CHP in fault conditions. While testing we identified protection devices that were not performing to the standard required. We were able to replace the malfunctioning devices and improve the site’s safety and reliability as a result.

THE RESULT

All protection settings were implemented and the circuit breakers were tested successfully. The relays that are protecting the CHP were successfully configured to allow for a slave trip function which significantly reduced the danger of an arc flash should such an event occur. The changes across the site reduced incident energy levels to an acceptable level which allowed workers to carry out procedures in a safe manner. 

THE CLIENT

This worldwide pharmaceutical company employs 50,000 people in more than 100 countries and operates manufacturing, research and development from commercial facilities across Ireland and the UK. As a high profile pharmaceutical company, safety is imperative and the reduction of high prospective incident energy levels was a key target that needed to be met. Since this project we have gone on to project manage arc flash mitigation across a number of their sites in Ireland and the UK.

"Our project management gave our client peace of mind that they had experienced contractors on site to ensure that the project was successfully and safely carried out. We were able to highlight equipment that was not performing to the correct standard and were able to change them and as a result improve the site’s safety and reliability."

Alan O'KellyDirector

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