4160 Volt Systems

StarCat

Industrial Engineering Tech
Location
Moab, UT USA
Occupation
Brewery Engineering Plant Technician - HVACR Electrical and Mechanical Systems
I need a quick primer on Industrial 4160 Volt systems and how they are approached from an interaction and safety standpoint involving things such as motor loads and anything else that may be noteworthy.
 

drktmplr12

Senior Member
Location
South Florida
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Is requesting O&M to send you to a class an option?

If you are talking safety of maintaining and operating, consider hiring a specialized outfit come in and train you and your staff. Specifically, you can inquire with the manufacturer of the 4160V switchgear in your plant and see if they provide training. I bet they can refer you to someone, too. This will be far more effective than reading anything someone here can easily link to you. Don't get me wrong there are many smart and experienced folks here and they can give you pointers, but if the focus is going to be the safety of working with the medium voltage at your plant, you need someone to show you, not tell you. Also, the training needs to be tailored to the electrical system you have. I cannot recommend strongly enough to have a safety and training outfit evaluate your electrical distribution system and identify the risks and potential fixes, then train you on safely operating and maintaining it.

In summary, there are so many considerations that depend on your current skillset, plant, coordination of OCPDs (or lack thereof), resources, SOPs, PPE and education, it's impossible for me to confidently suggest anything. Medium-voltage is extremely dangerous. This cannot be understated!

Another critical consideration is arc flash, an entirely different subject in itself and also depends on what you have installed and its maintenance history.
 

Besoeker3

Senior Member
Location
UK
I need a quick primer on Industrial 4160 Volt systems and how they are approached from an interaction and safety standpoint involving things such as motor loads and anything else that may be noteworthy.
Mostly we use motor loads rather than 4.16kV. Just more commonly used for us. That said, use some higher machines typically 11kV - yes, I'm a Brit......)
 

StarCat

Industrial Engineering Tech
Location
Moab, UT USA
Occupation
Brewery Engineering Plant Technician - HVACR Electrical and Mechanical Systems
The first rule about working on live 4160 V equipment is never work on live 4160 V equipment.
I want to say thanks for all responses, and Joe this is what I expected to be the case. I am sure this operation has implemented the training and protocols that would be required and this is more me wanting to get a feel for the basics of the subject. I cannot necessarily say I would be thrilled to be working in that setting, but I also expect their usage of it is limited to certain systems at the facility. I would not go near it without major understanding and specialized training and supervision by a Master in that class. I could relate a story about an employee of the University who thought he was going to check 12,470 line voltage with a multi meter one day and was intercepted by one of the senior guys on location before he went up and killed himself. That was another story of people who do not understand limits.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Something I was taught on day 1 of MV training and told to always remember:
LV (600V and below) is like a nasty cat: you have to reach out and touch it to get hurt.
MV and higher, it's like a mother grizzly bear; you only need to be close by to make it come out after you... .
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I hate 4160.
The clearances are much less and people tend to get complacent or careless around it.
We work on 25kV. When 25kV guys get around 4160 they aren’t used to the clearances and accidents can happen.

When 600V guys get around it, they are used to the clearances but fail to understand the potential energy that can be unleashed...
 

drktmplr12

Senior Member
Location
South Florida
Occupation
Electrical Engineer

StarCat

Industrial Engineering Tech
Location
Moab, UT USA
Occupation
Brewery Engineering Plant Technician - HVACR Electrical and Mechanical Systems
This is all helpful. I will look into the source mentioned and keep you posted if I end up making this move.
 

sameguy

Senior Member
Location
New York
Occupation
Master Elec./JW retired
LOTO, inspected ppe, proper test equipment, put up danger barriers, brief on work to be done/ know when to stop!
No time pressure to complete anything!
Respect it or die if your lucky (I would rather be dead than live all messed up).
 

StarCat

Industrial Engineering Tech
Location
Moab, UT USA
Occupation
Brewery Engineering Plant Technician - HVACR Electrical and Mechanical Systems
Verifying absence of voltage and redundancy-double checks with team involved consensus on that checkpoint comes to mind.
Truthfully I never cared for going over 480V. That was plenty high enough to be of a concern over everyday 208-240.
I have seen some weirdness even in that range with a 480 VAC supply that was running around 500V. Like standard clearences in one case were somehow " not enough." Everything " seeming " to happen faster. I was not able to ask my favorite EE guy at the time what may have been going on.
We were under heavy fire in the Texas heat. Possibly some condensation at large. There were some unexplained ARCs around a compressor contactor, like as soon as the power was thrown on, and no obvious problems visible. Several incidences, then its gone.
I recall the same EE letting the class know that 480 was high enough to sustain an arc and the rules were different moving up in that range.
 
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