Arc Flash Analysis
Preventing Arc Flash Accidents
Arc flash hazards are extremely dangerous conditions that result in large amounts of energy being released from an electric arc. They can happen when a conductive object bridges an insulation gap between two energized parts or an energized part and ground. Arc flash can be caused by events such as equipment failure or contact with energized parts.
Arc flash can lead to severe injuries and burns. Preventing these accidents require not just training, proper labeling, and the use of the correct protective gear, but also strategies that can reduce arc flash hazards in the first place. These strategies are outlined in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. NFPA 70E provides guidance on arc flash safety, including work practices, analysis procedures, documentation and equipment labeling, and protective equipment guidance.
Key to Compliance: Arc Flash Analysis
One key requirement of NFPA 70E is an electrical hazard analysis for both shock and arc flash hazards where workers are exposed to energized equipment operating at more than 50V. A thorough arc flash analysis:
- Determines arc flash incident energy levels and the flash hazard boundary of specific equipment
- Identifies problem areas in your facility
- Provides guidance for correcting problems, properly training employees, and labeling equipment
- Identifies the right personal protective equipment (PPE) to have on hand for each item
- Ensures regulatory compliance
An effective arc flash analysis should include a short circuit and protective device coordination study. These coordination studies can determine the optimal breaker/fuse/relay/overload settings for protective devices. The analysis should also determine where engineering controls can be used to minimize arc flash hazards. These can include selecting equipment that will quickly clear arcing faults, or the use of current-limiting fuses and/or adjustable circuit breakers.
Where to Turn for Expert Advice
As an APC by Schneider Electric partner, 2NSystems can offer our clients the full array of APC products including:
2NSystems provides Active Power solutions including:
Power: Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) provide power protection and enable your equipment to continue to operate when the primary power source The engineers at 2NSystems can help your company conduct a complete arc flash analysis that not only ensures compliance with NFPA 70E, but will also improve safety for your employees. 2NSystems can also provide the correct equipment labels for compliance. These labels identify the flash hazard boundary, incident energy, and required PPE for each piece of equipment. In addition, we can also provide arc flash training for your employees, as well as recommendations for protective clothing and insulated tools.