What is an arc flash analysis?

An arc flash study is an engineered incident energy analysis defined to establish safety protocol for qualified electrical personnel required to work on electrical equipment and circuit parts that cannot be placed in an electrically safe work condition.

What is an example of an arc flash?

Examples. One of the most common examples of an arc flash occurs when an incandescent light bulb burns out. When the filament breaks, an arc is sustained across the filament, enveloping it in plasma with a bright, blue flash.

How is arc flash analysis calculated?

  1. STEP 1: DETERMINE THE ARCING CURRENT. For low voltage electrical systems (<1 kV), the arc current is determined using formula (1).

Who is responsible for arc flash analysis?

A: Article 130.5(H) states the owner of the equipment is responsible for the documentation, installation, and maintenance of the arc flash label. They can request it from the manufacturer but the owner will have to provide appropriate details in order for a proper incident energy calculation to be performed.

What causes an arc flash?

An arc flash is an explosive release of energy from an electrical arc when the electrical current passes through ionized air. It can result from accidental contact with the electrical systems, the buildup of conductive dusts, corrosion, dropped tools, or improper work procedures.

How do you find the arc flash boundary?

The arc flash boundary is calculated to 1.2 calories/cm2 of incident energy. That’s the distance where a worker without appropriate PPE would receive second-degree burns. Sometimes this boundary is the furthest one from the exposed equipment, other times the limited approach boundary is the furthest out.

What causes arc flash?

How long does it take to do an arc flash study?

about four to six weeks
Completing an arc flash study may take about four to six weeks depending on the size of the facility. The governing standard for performing the study is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1584.

How often does an arc flash study need to be done?

5 years
the NFPA-70E still recommends that arc flash studies be updated when a major modification or renovation takes place and at intervals not to exceed 5 years.

What are the results of arc flash assessment?

An arc flash study is the assessment of a facility by an electrical safety professional to determine risks and hazards in relation to electrical systems. The results of the on-site study could include proper use of PPE, enhancements recommendations, arc flash equipment labeling , and more.

What are the dangers of arc flash?

An arc flash of any size is quite dangerous because its path is unpredictable; it will be attracted to the nearest item with the greatest conductivity, such as an unsuspecting rodent or house pet, or a person. An arc flash can cause a serious electrical burn or even fatal electrocution.

Why is an arc flash study necessary?

The arc flash analysis (AFA) is needed to help identify the electrical risk levels and to assist in applying appropriate safety practices in place in order to minimize the risk of burns and injuries to employees, contractors, and vendors. An AFA is very important for the electrical industry and its workers.

Who needs arc flash training?

Although the NFPA standard only mentions employees as needing training, you should be providing arc flash safety training to anyone else who may be exposed to an arc flash hazard, including vendors, contractors, or anyone else who comes in contact or close proximity to potentially hazardous electrical equipment.