Article 708 Critical
Operations Power Systems
EC&M University's Online Arc Flash Courses
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The designations "National Electrical Code" and "NEC" refer to the
National Electrical Code®, which is a registered
trademark of the National Fire Protection Association.
Top 2008 Code Changes
Article 708 Critical Operations Power
By Mike Holt
A new article addressing Critical Operations Power
Systems was added to the 2008 NEC. The provisions of this article apply
to the installation, operation, monitoring, control, and maintenance of
premises wiring intended to supply, distribute, and control electricity
to designated critical operations areas in the event of disruption to
elements of the normal system.
Critical operations power systems are those systems so classed by
municipal, state, federal, or other codes, by any governmental agency
having jurisdiction (AHJ), or by facility engineering documentation
establishing the necessity for such a system. These systems include,
are not limited to, power systems, HVAC, fire alarms, security,
communications, and signaling for designated critical operations areas.
Critical operations power systems are generally installed in vital
infrastructure facilities that, if destroyed or incapacitated, will
disrupt national security, the economy, public health or safety; and
where enhanced electrical infrastructure for continuity of operation is
deemed necessary by governmental authority.
Threats to facilities that may require transfer of operation to the
critical systems include both naturally occurring hazards and
Recent terrorist events and natural disasters, such the World Trade
Center attack and Hurricane Katrina, highlighted the need to assess the
adequacy of the National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements for
electrical infrastructure protection and reliability.
This new article was created by a task group that was established in
response to Homeland Security activity and specifically directed to set
rules on how to keep an emergency system operating for days. The task
group was formed to review requirements in the NEC and other NFPA codes
and standards covering emergency and standby power systems and sources
and signaling systems.
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What's Wrong Here?
By Joe Tedesco
Think you know how this installation violates the
Web site to see the answer.
Hint: Miswired motor
By Mike Holt
Q. The old panels in an industrial building do
not have complete panel schedules. Does the Code require us to update
Visit EC&M's Web
site to see the answer.
By Steven Owen
When installing cabling in manholes, which are intended
for personnel entry, with all of the cabling installed on one wall
(opposite electrical equipment), what is the requirement for work space
according to Part V of Art. 110?
- There is no requirement. Just use good judgment.
- With respect to the cabling work space, there must be a minimum
depth of 30 in. as you approach the cables, a 36-in. width, and a
height from the cables to the roof of the manhole.
- Excluding any exception(s), there must be a clear space 30 in. wide
and, in general, 72 in. of vertical clear space (height/headroom).
- Excluding any exception(s), there must be a clear space 36 in. wide
and, in general, 72 in. of vertical clear space
Web site for the answer and explanation.
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Code News Update
Code Committee Call-Up
Got some extra time on your hands? Looking to put some
of your vast knowledge of the electrical field to use? NFPA is looking
for new members for several of its committees, including the
Anyone interested in serving can download the application form at NFPA’s Web
- Committee on Electrical Equipment Evaluation (seeking members in
- Committee on Electrical Systems Maintenance (seeking members in all
interest categories, except special experts). This committee is
responsible for NFPA 73, Electrical Inspection Code for Existing
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April 21, 2009
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