About Honda Racing
Honda Racing is an engine manufacturer and supplier based in Miton Keynes, Buckinghamshire currently involved in Formula One racing supplying the Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso teams.
Motor sport, on two and on four wheels, has been a pillar of Honda activity since the earliest days of the company’s history. Indeed, its founder, Soichiro Honda said that, “if Honda does not race, there is no Honda.”
Celebrating many years successful involvement in F1 racing from the 1960s through to today, Honda returned to F1 in 2015 to tackle the stimulating challenge of racing in the sport’s first ever hybrid powered age.
Honda Racing approached Electrical Safety UK, concerned with the Arc Flash Risk associated with their Lithium Ion Batteries. Their concerns involved the multiple cells connected to give a very large battery voltage, the potential short circuit fault current of 1000’s of Amps and the hazards involved with batteries being handled daily at their manufacturing and repair facility in Milton Keynes.
Honda had carried out their own DC arc flash calcluations and required a Technical Authority to carry out the checks required to ensure their validity.
Electrical Safety UK were more than happy to provide Honda Racing with guidance on the DC Arc Flash Calculations Free of Charge. Following this guidance Honda requested more support from Electrical Safety UK.
Electrical Safety UK visited their Milton Keynes facility to carry out a Scoping Visit and discuss their requirements.
ESUK agreed the scope and strategy with site management in Milton Keynes. A fixed Price proposal and Gap Analysis was provided. ESUK carried out:
- Verification of incident energy calculations
- Arc Flash Boundary calculations
- Carried out task-based risk assessments. Where for high incident energy pieces of equipment we will be considering what tasks could potentially expose personnel to an arc flash.
- Where personnel could be exposed to high incident energy we advised on whether PPE should be worn and what PPE should be worn for those tasks.
- Advise on minimising arc flash PPE requirements:
- Whilst working on batteries
- Whilst visiting battery areas
ESUK also identified opportunities to reduce the arc flash hazard. Incident energy hazard reduction analysis was then carried out and preferred options and order of magnitude costs were given for the reduction of the incident energy where it was above 8 cals/cm2. We also provided guidance on the “As Low As Reasonably Practicable” requirements of UK Legislation.
ESUK’s standard Windows based software tool, EasyPower®* was used to model the electrical systems.
Arc flash PPE guidance was included in the report and our strategic partner JK Ross were asked to help Honda Racing with their arc flash PPE requirements.