EHAZOP – HAZOP technique applied for electrical designs

HAZOP is a structured multi-disciplinary workshop with the objective of identifying hazards and operability issues in new designs or design modifications. The HAZOP technique is typically applied on process designs in many different industries, such as oil and gas, automotive, nuclear etc.

As for process installations carrying hazardous substances, electrical currents can also be potentially harmful. Furthermore, operability and availability issues are costly since electrical power is often an essential utility for operations. Traditionally, the electrical design is only cross checked by the use of standard design reviews, where the main purpose is to assure that the design of each sub-component is according to applicable standards, laws and regulations. The end user or integrator will have the responsibility to analyse and mitigate possible hazards due to e.g. interface misalignment or package designs not conforming to specifications.

The idea behind an Electrical HAZOP (EHAZOP) is to offer a complement for design reviews as an organised brainstorming with participation from the parties involved in the design and engineering of the electric system together with the suppliers and end user. The methodology is based on IEC 61882 with appropriate guidelines and parameters. A typical strategy is to divide the system into nodes corresponding to the different bus bar voltage levels (e.g. 24V, 110V, 11 kV, etc…). The parameters, besides the more typical voltage, current, power, frequency, earthing, etc…, shall also involve more typical HAZID parameters with relation to the electric design, such as lightning protection, fire protection, location and housing, etc… The guidewords are usually over, spike, under, dip, offset, fault, segregation, load shedding,  blackout, among others, depending on the specific design. ORS will tailor made the EHAZOP to your needs and electric design.

EHAZOP is truly an advantageous tool for custom systems where high level of integration is required. It is a recognised exercise to help minimizing the risk inherently associated with high power installations. ORS experience with EHAZOPs has proven useful to clients for refining their electrical design with safety and operability in mind.