What is an arc flash study and why does it matter? A look into the depth with Leaf Electrical Safety
Personnel safety is of great importance for energy and industrial enterprises of different types. In order to guarantee it arc flash protection is required as a component of the security system. According to electrical safety standards at the workplace, arc flash is a dangerous state associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.
Arc flashes can cause dangerous and potentially lethal levels of heat, ultraviolet radiation, explosive pressure, as well as flying fragments, and deafening sound waves. However, with a proper arc flash study made according to the arc flash study requirements in Canada, you can be sure that the needed level of protection is guaranteed.
Let us delve into this question deeper and find out some important nuances.
What is arc flash and why is it dangerous?
An arc flash is an electrical discharge in a gaseous medium that results in a high-temperature explosion. It can cause vaporization of surrounding metals, fire, and severe burns. Actually, arc flashes are rare, but they cause serious consequences, so you need to ensure that your employees and the entire facility are protected from this phenomenon at all times.
Arc flash may occur due to insulation failure, due to obsolete equipment or misuse, or in cases involving flooding, vibration, corrosion, or animal entry into the facility. In addition, this phenomenon may occur during commissioning or maintenance. Arc flash renders equipment unusable, resulting in costly downtime.
Therefore, it is much better to prevent such accidents and protect your equipment with some arc protection solutions that keep your team safe and productive. Moreover, it is advisable to start with the arc flash study to evaluate the situation in the enterprise and create a useful action plan.
How to avoid arc flash and why it is better to study it?
Several methods can be helpful to reduce arc flash. However, it is recommended to start from the initial study of the situation on the enterprise in detail, and then follow the advice of experts who have evaluated dangers and made valuable suggestions in a form of an action plan.
For example, Leaf Electrical company provides flexible, specialized arc flash risk assessment services to reduce flash risk arcs, improve employee safety, and comply with the existing requirements. The company’s experts use proven methods to determine flash protection requirements for arcs for a specific object and for personal protective equipment, along with many other services to provide a comprehensive and cost-effective solution for arc flash prevention on your site.
Benefits for customers who are utilizing such services include:
• Protecting employees and improving safety.
• Equipment protection.
• Ensuring compliance with applicable standards.
• Identification of potential hazards.
Furthermore, engineers use several options for reducing system voltage and eliminating any possibility of short circuits, including grounding methods and the use of current limiting fuses.
However, the best and most obvious way to reduce the risk of arc flash is to reduce troubleshooting time, thereby reducing the overall energy of the incident, or eliminating the need presence of personnel using a remote control.
Since one of the reasons for the occurrence of an outbreak is the natural obsolescence of equipment, one solution may be to upgrade the medium voltage circuit breaker and relay protection device.
Timely maintenance using special equipment allows you to detect insulation violations in advance and eliminate these violations before negative consequences occur.
Arc protection devices
In combination with the solutions listed above, special arc protection devices must be installed. The arc protection system will reduce the arc fault trip time to a minimum, which will protect personnel, prevent fires and avoid damage to other nearby equipment.
Arc protection can be installed both in the form of additional autonomous devices, and act as a built-in function of modern relay protection devices. Single and system solutions are available. All types of solutions work using wired sensors placed inside switchgears. The reaction time of modern arc protection devices reaches 1 ms.
Altogether, it is important to take care of electrical safety in the enterprise in advance. This will save your personnel from harmful events as well as the whole company from negative consequences related to arc flash.
Do not hesitate to contact experts on electrical safety from Leaf Electrical company via email [email protected] or phone (800) 822 9532.