What is Arc Flash?

A dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.

Properties Of Arc Flash:

  • Arc temperature can reach 35,000°F – this is four times hotter than the surface of the sun.
  • Fatal burns can occur at distances over 10 ft.
  • Sound associated with these pressures can exceed 160 dB.
  • Energy liberated during an arc flash can lift Space Shuttle weighing approximately 4.5 million Pounds to 27 feet

Causes of Arc Flash

  • Dust accumulation
  • Corrosion, Dirt contamination or Dielectric Breakdown
  • Faulty equipment
  • Poor maintenance
  • Tool dropped into an equipment
  • Careless removal or replacement cover and device
  • Entry of foreign bodies.
  • Misalignment of moving contacts.

Hazards of Arc Flash:

  • Severe burns
  • Blindness
  • Blast injuries
  • Shrapnel wounds
  • Lung blast injuries
  • Ruptured eardrums
  • Pressure wave injuries

Scope of Arc Flash Studies

  • A method to determine the risk of personal injury as a result of exposure to incident energy from an electrical arc flash.
  • Determines the incident energy evolved, safe flash protection boundary and PPE requirements as a function of location and work activity.
  • To provide designers and facility operators to apply in determining the arc-flash hazard distance and the incident energy to which employees could be exposed during their work on or near electrical equipment

Survey Methodology:

  • Collect the system Installation and equipment data.
  • Determine the power system’s modes of operation.
  • Determine the bolted fault currents.
  • Determine the arc fault currents.
  • From the protective device characteristics, Find the Arcing Duration
  • Record the system voltages and equipment classes for each bus or arc hazard location.
  • Determine the working distance
  • Determine the incident energy
  • Determine Flash protection boundary for all equipment.
  • Protective device coordination evaluation for bolted fault as well as arcing fault.
  • Generate Arc Flash Hazard labels.

Arc Flash Regulation

  • IEEE Std 1584-2002, IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations and IEEE Std. 1584a-2004 (Amendment 1)
  • NFPA 70E.

Software Used

  • ETAP – Electrical Transient Analysis Program


The auditor holds expertise in the field of engineering, design and consulting services in the field of power system and Arc flash survey over a period of 15 years and holds PG diploma degree in the field of Energy Efficiency.

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