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The paper presents recent results in the area of high-power testing aimed at improving the safety of electrical staff working on live equipment. The driver for this work is the American Guide (IEEE 1584) on such exposure hazards, which has the potential for international adoption and, in the authors' opinion, does not provide a suitable methodology for assessing the hazard. A selection of results is presented, obtained in a high-power-system-supplied commercial test laboratory, using the latest charge-coupled device (CCD)-based high-speed video-recording methods. Results are reported for 415-V currents in the range of 1000-70 000 prospective root mean square (rms) amperes and for tests at 5000 V in the range of 1000-27 000 A. The impact of conventional protective devices is included together with some disturbing video results for circuit-breaker-protected systems. The major part of the material in this paper was first presented at the 7th International Conference on Electric Fuses and Their Applications, Jurata, Poland, in 2003.
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2006