What is Arc Flash?
Arc Flash is the result of a rapid release of energy due to an arcing fault between a phase bus bar and another phase bus bar, neutral or a ground. During an arc fault the air is the conductor.
Arc-Flash Hazard Analysis (Study):
The purpose of the arc flash study is to determine the protective clothing requirements for persons working on live or electrically energized equipment (whenever feasible and possible).
The arc flash calculations combine fault calculations, protective coordination and empirical equations to calculate arc energy that people may be exposed to when working on or near electrical equipment. By calculating the expected arc energy, protective clothing can be specified that can safely protect people with respect to the arc flash exposure within the calculated energy limits of such clothes.
The National Fire Protection Association Guidelines (NFPA 70E) require facility owners to perform an arc flash hazard analysis prior to allowing a worker to perform a task on energized equipment. The arc flash analysis identifies the presence and location of potential hazards and provides recommendations for PPE, boundaries for limited, restricted and prohibited approaches, recommendations for flash protection, and safe work practices.
If the calculated energy is beyond the protective clothing’s exposed limits, then no protection to people can be offered through protective clothing. Therefore, working on live electrical equipment with energy limits that exceed any protective clothing will be prohibited, and even the approach to this equipment at a specified distance cannot be allowed.
- Determine the risk of personnel injury as a result of exposure to incident energy (IE) released during an arc-flash event
- Provide reduced incident energy exposure if possible by using alternate protective device settings
- Provide recommendations for appropriate arc-flash hazard protection
- Comply with OSHA, NEC, and NFPA 70E requirements
Arc Flash Study Steps include:
- Data Collection
- Power System Modeling using electrical power system analysis software such as ETAP
- Short Circuit Analysis
- Overcurrent Protective Device Coordination
- Arc Flash Study
- Label Installation
The National Fire Protection Association Guidelines (NFPA 70E) and the National Electrical Code (NEC 110.16) require labeling of electrical equipment that may remain energized during maintenance and repair. RK Power Engineering can provide and install labels.
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