SF Power and Energy Society Technical Presentation September 16, 2015


Topic: Understanding the Electrical Arcing and the Arc-flash Hazard Study 

Speaker: Ahmad Shahsiah, PhD, PE, Managing Engineer Exponent

Abstract: Arcing is an unavoidable side effect of the electrical switching under the load. NFPA 921 defines the arc as a high temperature luminous electric discharge across a gap or through a medium such as charred insulation. The extremely high temperatures of the arc can cause burn injuries even at a considerable distance from the arc origin. IEEE Std. 1584 is a widely accepted standard for calculating arc-flash incident energy and arc-flash boundaries in three-phase ac systems. More recently, there has been an increased effort in the dc arc-flash hazard characterization.

This presentation is a review of the theory of the electrical arcing and the accepted methods to calculate the arc-flash hazard in different systems. Arc-flash hazard calculations are often performed in association with short-circuit studies. Also information about the protective devices is required in the arc-flash studies. The results of the arc-flash hazard analysis can be used as a basis to develop strategies to minimize burn injuries during an arc flash incident.

Lunch will be provided (includes vegetarian). There will be a $5 fee to IEEE Members and a $10 fee to Non Members. Payments to be made in person (cash or check) at the event. 

The SF PES Chapter AdCom is mindful of our environment and food waste.  As a courtesy, please email our Secretary, Elizabeth Waldren (waldrene@bv.com) no later than the day before the event if you absolutely need to cancel your reservation.  Thank you! 

  Date and Time




  • San Francisco, California
  • United States 94102
  • Building: 505 Van Ness Avenue
  • Room Number: Golden Gate Room
  • Click here for Map

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  • Please use the link below to register. If you have any trouble or questions about the event, please email Elizabeth Waldren at Waldrene@bv.com or by clicking the above link.

  • Starts 19 March 2015 12:00 PM
  • Ends 16 September 2015 11:30 AM
  • All times are US/Pacific
  • No Admission Charge
  • Menu: Non-Vegetarian, Vegetarian, Vegan
  • Register


Ahmad Shahsiah, PhD, PE, Managing Engineer of Exponent


Dr. Shahsiah specializes in electrical and electronic systems especially energy and power systems. His responsibilities at Exponent include conducting studies, performing research and investigating failures related to power equipment and systems in industrial and commercial power systems as well as high voltage distribution systems; performing passive and active lifetime and reliability and safety evaluations of electrical equipment; and failure analysis of electrical and electronic systems and components including power storage and conversion systems. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Shahsiah worked on mathematical and experimental characterization of liquid dielectrics in high voltage devices and published an award-­â€winning Ph.D. dissertation in that area. He has extensive experience in electric power systems including extensive knowledge of power transformers and their liquid dielectric testing, power system analysis and computer modeling, power quality, switching and transients, electric machines and drives and relaying and protection. Dr. Shahsiah has provided technical consulting services in numerous engineering and scientific areas, including electric power substation equipment analysis, building electrical systems and electrical codes, stray voltage investigation, vehicles testing, Electromagnetic Interference, and electrical equipment safety review. Dr. Shahsiah is a lecturer in the school of engineering at San Francisco State University where he teaches “Industrial and Commercial Power Systems,” and “Electrical Power Systems” and is a member of the California Faculty Association. He also has taught an engineering education course sponsored by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) in collaboration with California State University at East Bay on the topic of Electrical Transmission and Distribution to mostly working professionals in the power industry. Dr. Shahsiah is the author of several technical papers and one book.

Ahmad Shahsiah, PhD, PE, Managing Engineer of Exponent