ETAP Data Center Power System Expansion DC Arc Flash Case Study

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Read this case study from ETAP. It explores a recent power system study involving the replacement of an extensive UPS system at a data centre. This presentation details the analysis, findings, and recommended mitigation for anyone embarking on similar retrofit or expansion studies.

Key Challenges

The studies included short-circuit, protective device coordination, and arc-flash hazard analysis for both the AC and DC systems consistent with the NFPA 70E 2018 and IEEE 1584 2018 Standards. The DC equipment as installed required mitigation efforts due to high incident energies.

After consultation with Client and Engineer of Record regarding the results of DC Arc-flash it was agreed that the Maximum Power method was possibly over/under conservative in two areas:

  • Assumes arcing fault current is fixed at 50% of bolted-fault current.
  • Assumes a 3x multiplier for an arc in a cabinet.

The Solution

Analysis was re-run using the Stokes & Oppenlander method with substantially improved results due to a more accurate determination of arcing fault current and the effect of an enclosure.



Datacenter design and operations must allow for safety, reliability, efficiency, compliance, and sustainability throughout the life-cycle from design, commissioning to operations. Strengthen your organization with ETAP digital transformation solutions which increase design efficiency and provide deep operational insight for decision-makers, converting your data center power infrastructure from traditional to cutting-edge.

ETAP is utilized in mission critical facilities as an integrated electrical power system design and digital twin driven electrical control & power management system (EPMS).

  • Cloud Data Centers
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  • Telecom Centers
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Published 5th February 2024