Arc Flash Hazard Analysis - Arc Flash Study
An arc flash analysis is performed to identify the specific arc flash hazard at a given piece of equipment within your facility. The result of the arc flash study will categorize the hazard at specific equipment based on the incident energy.
The objective of an arc flash analysis is to mimimize or mitigate the hazard to your electrical service personnel. Consequently, an arc flash hazard analysis will identify the Arc Flash Protection Boundary, which is the closest approach distance allowed before Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be worn. When inside the Arc Flash Protection Boundary a worker must wear the proper PPE.
We perform an arc flash study in accordance with NFPA 70E, IEEE 1584 and IEEE 1584.1. Note that
NFPA 70E 2015 (130.5) requires that the assessment must be updated whenever major modifications or renovations take place. Additionally it requires that it must be reviewed at least every five years.
In order to perform an arc flash analysis we must first perform a short circuit study and protective device coordination study. These studies will provide the short circuit fault current levels and protective device (circuit breaker, fuse, protective relay) settings for your switchgear, motor control centers, panelboards, etc. We will then use the IEEE 1584 and NFPA 70E Standards to perform the incident energy analysis. Of course, if you've already had short circuit and coordination studies performed, we just need access to the results of these studies.
Our Arc Flash Analysis/Study will identify...
- Amount of incident energy (cal/cm2)
- Flash hazard boundary
- Shock hazard
- Limited approach
- Restricted approach
- Type and level of Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) needed
Additionally it will...
- Comply with NEC Article 110.16, NFPA 70E, and OSHA requirements
- Increase the awareness of the dangers of arc flash hazards
- Increase the safety of your personnel
- Increase your facilities reliabilty
- Increase the protection of your equipment
Have questions, want to discuss your requirements, need a proposal? Please contact us by phone or email.
Needs some basic information about arc flash hazards? Read on.
What is an arc flash?
First the definition of an electric arc: it is defined as a luminous bridge formed in a gap between two electrodes. An arc flash occurs whenever there is an electrical fault or short circuit condition, which passes through an arc gap.
An arc flash can be created by any of several conditions such as:
An arc flash event can expel large amounts of energy as the arc causes the air to ionize. Arc flash temperatures can be as high as 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit - which is even is hotter than the surface of the sun.
- accidental contact
- under rated electrical equipment which can't handle the available short circuit current
- contamination or tracking over insulated surfaces
- deterioration or corrosion of equipment and/or components
What happens during an arc flash event?
The extreme temperatures can set fire to clothing and severely burn the human skin in fractions of a second. This can happen at a significant distance from the orignin of the arc flash event.
The heat can also ignite any nearby combustible materials; and can also vaporize or liquefy metal parts such as copper, aluminum conductors or steel equipment parts that are in the vicinity of the arc flash event. This material rapidly expands in volume as it changes state from a solid to vapor, resulting in explosive pressure and sound waves. Consequently:
All of the above will probably result in equipment damage as well as personnel injury, and possibly even death.
- The pressure wave can knock workers off balance or off ladders and even throw them across the room against walls or other equipment.
The sound blast can cause eardrums to rupture resulting in temporary or permanent hearing loss.
- Molten metal can be sprayed by the blast throughout the vicinity.
- Solid metal debris and other loose objects, such as tools, can be turned into deadly projectiles by the explosion.
- The bright flash from the event can result in temporary or permanent blindness.
Have questions, want to discuss your requirement, need a proposal? Please contact us by phone or email.