What Is An Arc Flash?
An arc flash is an electrical accident that creates a dangerous, high-temperature explosion.
An arc flash results from an arc fault. Arc faults are caused by electricity discharging between two or more conductors that are improperly connected, such as frayed wires. Dust or moisture can also cause arcing between conductors, which explains why high-voltage power lines will glow in foggy weather.Use this Arc Flash library to learn:
- Why an electrical arc flash happens
- Steps for arc flash protection
- How to optimize safety and reliability in your facility’s power system
In power systems with improper arc flash protection, when a person gets too close to a live conductor, the current can escape its conductor, travel across dusty or moist air, and reach the nearby person. Flipping an improperly configured switch can also cause an arc flash. These are just a couple possible reasons why an arc flash could occur.
An arc flash is dangerous: It can vaporize surrounding metal, set fires, create deafeningly loud noises, and result in severe burns. Although rare, arc flashes can have grave consequences. That’s why you need to ensure your people and site are always protected against an arc flash.
What Is the Goal of Arc Flash Protection?
The goal of arc flash protection is to reduce the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) and potential arc flash energy to levels that allow tasks to be performed on equipment in a smooth and unobtrusive manner. PPE includes rubberized clothing that does not conduct electricity.
An electrical arc flash can happen at any time during your power equipment’s lifecycle. Abnormal conditions, such as improper installation, excessive impurities, or failing equipment will increase the risk. One of the critical steps for optimizing safety is to use proper PPE. Aside from the danger, an arc flash can also render equipment unusable and force extended downtime with serious financial consequences. PPE helps avoid bodily harm, but it does not prevent equipment damage. This leads to the question of how to prevent an arc flash in the first place.
Schneider Electric offers a number of arc flash mitigation solutions that make this possible, including switchgear, software, and circuit breakers for both passive and active arc flash protection. Our systems work in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.
MCC Arc Flash Test: Side-By-Side Event
Electrical Safety Awareness for Non-Electrical Workers
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Arc Flash Safety Products
Model 6 AR Motor Control Center by Square D™
Power-Zone 4 Arc Resistant
Motorpact Medium Voltage Controllers
Masterclad MV Arc Resistant Metal-Clad Switchgear
Switchboards and Switchgear
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