Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Power Magazine Report on IEEE/NFPA Collaboration on Arc Flash Phenomena

Ben Johnson and Jack Wells, the Steering Committee Cochairs for the IEEE/NFPA Collaboration on Arc Flash Phenomena reported on their committee's research plans in an article in the February 2007 issue of Power Magazine.

You can read the article at:

This research effort is described as:

"The IEEE/NFPA Arc Flash Collaborative Research Project is a multiyear effort encompassing more than 2,000 test protocols."

"The initial phase of the project will explore published and unpublished information on arc flash and blast to build a coherent picture of what is known about these phenomena. This will lead to a research and test plan that seeks to tie the electrical characteristics of equipment to arc-fault hazards. The program will go well beyond what was done in the past. For instance, most arc fault studies to date have involved controlled conditions and stabilized arcs between opposing electrodes. In real life, turbulent arcs often occur between parallel electrodes and vary by several orders of magnitude along their length and with time."

The research will look at the physics of arc flash phenomena, as well as aspects of arc flash that go beyond thermal testing to include measuring "the intensity of IR, visible, UV and other potentially injurious electromagnetic energies." It will study blast effects and evaluate shrapnel and molten metal ejected during arc faults. It will also research toxic and corrosive particles and vapors that result from arc flash.

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