Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Friday, December 28, 2012

Designing Systems To Prevent Arc Flash Incidents

An article in Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine discusses an approach to preventing arc flash incidents through designing to reduce the incident energy.  The article's subtitle is "Understanding electrical distribution equipment and its associated risks can help reduce incident energy levels and save lives."

After an overview introduction to arc flash, and a discussion of the need for an arc flash study and arc flash labeling, the article discusses four methods for reducing incident energy.  It concludes with a description of an arc flash incident the author experienced.

One recommendation described in the article is to reduce the seriousness of a potential arc flash by adjusting the settings of solid-state trip-unit circuit breakers.  The article states:

"When energized maintenance is required for this equipment or downstream equipment, the energy level and required PPE may be reduced by setting the LTD to 0.5, the STPU to 1.5, and the STD to instantaneous, with the resulting TCC shown in Figure 2 and its corresponding warning label shown in the inset These settings reduce the arcing fault durations (the 85% and 100% fault levels) to 0.02 sec. This means the breaker will clear the fault more quickly. The flash boundary is reduced from 105 in. to 15 in., and the flash hazard has been reduced from 22 Cal/cm2 to 0.86 Cal/cm2."

Read the article here.



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Preventing Ignition in Hazardous Areas

This past week I ran into an interesting older article in a U.K. publication. It talks about the importance of using the right flashlight (called a "torch" in the U.K.). The opening paragraph states:

"Before going into a hazardous area, you need to ask yourself that question. Your life could depend on it. This may seem dramatic but the truth is that a torch could be a very harmful tool if it is not used correctly or used in the wrong place. By that, we mean that the worker needs to be very aware of the type of area in which he or she is planning to work and of the type of torch that can (and cannot) be used there."

Read the complete article: How Safe Is Your Safety Light?



Related past posts:
Six Steps To Reduce Arc Flash Hazards
Arc Flash Safety - Manufacturers Talk About Their Products
Arc Flash Analysis: IEEE vs NFPA

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