What is an Arc Flash?
According to NFPA 70E (the relevant standard from the National Fire Protection Association), Arc Flash is a “dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electrical arc.” It is measured in terms of arc flash incident energy, which is used to determine the level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and in terms of an arc flash protection boundary.
An electrical arc occurs whenever there is a loss of insulation between two conductive objects at sufficient potential. Near high power electrical equipment, the short-circuit power available is high and consequently so is the energy associated with the electrical arc in case of a fault.
The energy released by the arc creates a rise in the temperature and pressure in the surrounding area. This causes mechanical and thermal stress to nearby equipment and creates the potential for serious injuries in the vicinity. Arc flash burns are the 3rd cause of death in industry.
Arc Flash analysis
elec calc™ now includes new features that allows the calculation of the quantified elements of the Arc Flash, from which the user will be able to develop its safety analysis in the vicinity of switchboards and panels.
The Arc Flash module for elec calc™ is based on the calculation methods recommended by the IEEE-1584-2018 standard: empirically derived model or method of Lee according to the characteristics of the installation.
Most of the data needed for the calculation is retrieved from the designed installation (maximum and minimum short-circuit currents and related cut-off times, ….). Through a simple dialogue window, the user completes or modifies the specific data of the equipment.
The Arc Flash module for elec calc™ or elec calc™ BIM calculates:
- The maximum incident energy at the working distance
- The protection boundary for the boundary energy
- The glove class (PPE) to be used to prevent the risk of electric shock (IEC 60903 and ASTM D 120)
With the Arc Flash module, you can also print the warning labels to be affixed to the concerned equipment to inform the staff.
The proposed format is consistent with the recommendations of the document NFPA 70E (edition 2018).
For users who want to customize their labels, the results for all the concerned distributors are exportable to Excel format thanks to the provided template.
In addition, elec calc™ also monitors the evolutions of the installation and prevents the obsolescence of labels: as soon as a variation likely to modify the previously edited results of the arc flash calculation is detected, an alert is issued on the impacted distributors and the edition of new labels is only possible after reconfirmation by the user of the data and results in the Arc Flash window.
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