Webinar: Arc Resistant Switchgear – Why It Should Be Part of Your Safety Program


 Program for Wednesday, May 12th, 2021:

» 11:45 Webinar open
» 12:00 IEEE Northern Alberta announcements
» 12:05 Presentation
» 13:15 Q&A
» 13:30 Webinar close



When properly designed, tested, and installed, arc resistant switchgear provides increased arc flash hazard protection for personnel operating around the equipment. However, there are many factors that influence the equipment performance and many effects from an arc flash that are often overlooked. To obtain the maximum benefits from arc resistant equipment installation, one must understand how the fault behaves, how equipment is tested and evaluated and how this relates to the goals of the total safety program.

This presentation will discuss the physics of an arc fault and how this affects design, testing and application. It will highlight some of the fundamental features of arc resistant design to show how such designs are used to address the fault hazards and how this relates to the requirements of other safety documents such as NFPA 70E and Z462. It will also discuss how the equipment works in conjunction with other protective devices to minimize operator exposure to arc fault hazards. 

The presentation will conclude with how the test requirements, performance criteria, and test results interpretation found in the IEEE Guide C37.20.7 relate to actual application and discuss upcoming changes proposed for the document.


 "Fine Print"

  • The webinar is free for active IEEE members. 
  • There is a $5 registration fee for people who are not active IEEE members.
    • The fee must be paid in advance through the registration process below (credit card through PayPal) in order to receive the link to the webinar.
    • Upon successful payment of the fee, you will receive 2 emails: one from noreply_vtools@ieee.org with title "IEEE vTools Reservation Confirmation," and a second from service@intl.paypal.com with title "Your payment to The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc." Both emails are required to ensure your payment was successfully processed.
    • Incomplete non-member registrations (payment not received) will be deleted.
  • A link to the WebEx registration will be sent to the email address you provided during this vTools registration, on May 11, by "IEEE Northern Alberta".  Please double check the spelling of your email address when registering.
  • The mechanism used to email the WebEx link requires you to accept the IEEE Privacy Policy and consent to receiving emails from IEEE.  If you have not opted-in to receive email communications from IEEE, or have opted-out of email communications from IEEE in the past, you might not receive the email containing the WebEx link.  IEEE members can go to https://www.ieee.org/ieee-privacyportal/app/ibp and ensure that "Local IEEE Communications" is checked under the category Communication Preferences > Member Benefits.  Former members and non members who opted-out of email communications in the past can contact the IEEE Support Center to find out how to adjust their email communication preferences.
  • You will need to complete the brief WebEx event registration prior to joining the webinar.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 12 May 2021
  • Time: 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
  • All times are (GMT-07:00) Canada/Mountain
  • Add_To_Calendar_icon Add Event to Calendar

The webinar link will be emailed to registrants on May 11.

  • Co-sponsored by Powell
  • Starts 05 February 2021 12:00 PM
  • Ends 10 May 2021 11:59 PM
  • All times are (GMT-07:00) Canada/Mountain
  • Admission fee ?


Michael W. Wactor, P.E, Technical director for Corporate Product Development Michael W. Wactor, P.E, Technical director for Corporate Product Development of Powell


Michael received a B.S.E.E. from the University of South Carolina in 1980.

He has worked with the design of medium voltage distribution switchgear and motor control since graduation.  He joined Powell Electrical Manufacturing Company in 1992 as a Senior Design Engineer and became the Technical Director for Powell Industries Corporate Product Development in 2010.

He is a senior member of the IEEE, a member of the Power and Energy Society Main Committee, Switchgear Assemblies Subcommittee, and currently serves as the Standards Coordinator for the PES Switchgear Committee. 

He is the chairman for the working group for IEEE C37.20.2 “Standard for Metal-Clad Switchgear” and C37.20.7 “Guide for Testing Metal-Enclosed Switchgear Rated up to 38kV for Internal Arcing Faults”.  He also serves on a number of additional working groups under the IEEE SA subcommittee.  He was awarded the IEEE Standards Medallion in 2016 for his work on standardizing testing for internal arcing faults in switchgear.

He is a contributing author to the "Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers" and has authored numerous papers including; “Design Considerations for 38kV Metal-Clad Switchgear using Vacuum Technology” (1994 IEEE T&D Conference Transactions), “Modeling of the Pressure Wave Associated with Arc Faults” (2000 IEEE PCIC Technical Conference Transactions PCIC-2000-35),  “Strategies for Mitigating the Effects of Internal Arcing Faults in Medium-Voltage Metal-Enclosed Switchgear” (2001 IEEE T&D Conference Transactions 01TD227), “Application of Switchgear in Unusual Environments” (2010 IEEE PCIC prize winning paper), and IEEE C37.20.7 Guide for Testing Switchgear Rated up to 52kV for Internal Arcing Faults: Important Changes to the New Edition (2018 IEEE PCIC prize winning paper).

He holds a U.S. patent for the design of a Voltage Transformer Disconnect Grounding System.

Mr. Wactor is a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.

Address:Houston, United States