Arc Flash, Coordination and Short Circuit Analyses
What Is Arc Flash?
Arc flash is a short circuit through air that flashes over from one exposed live conductor to another conductor or to ground. Arc flash incidents are common and costly, and the frequency of reported accidents is increasing -making arc flash a very hot topic within OSHA and the overall safety industry.
What Causes Arc Flash?
Arc flashes can be caused in a variety of ways:
- Just coming close to a high-amp source with a conductive object can cause the electricity to flash over.
- Dropping a tool or otherwise creating a spark can ignite an arc flash.
- Equipment failure due to use of substandard parts, improper installation, or even normal wear and tear.
- Breaks or gaps in insulation.
- Dust, corrosion or other impurities on the surface of the conductor.
Industrial Technology Group (ITG) is a full service engineering firm dedicated to meeting our industrial customers needs including short-circuit, coordination and arc flash analyses. ITG has proven experience in the utilities and industrial industries, performing power engineering studies such as fault studies, coordination studies, relay settings, load flow and harmonic analysis, for many years prior to the recent increased consideration on Arc Flash Analysis.
As part of our full-service engineering to our customers, we monitor changes in codes, laws and industry standards as related to the customers’ needs. ITG participates in discussions with other industry professionals and continuously explores current industry practices with regards to the ongoing changes in NFPA 70E and other standards relating to arc flash. ITG has developed strong relationships with numerous vendors; we don’t sell a product, we serve the customer. We maintain vendor relationships so we can offer a solution that best fits our customers’ needs without restriction to a specific manufacturer. For each industry change, ITG evaluates our customers’ impact and proposes changes or upgrades as required.
OSHA regulations apply to every worker that may approach or be exposed to energized electrical equipment. Failure for an employer to conform and follow OSHA and NEC requirements can lead to employee injuries, fines, penalties, and expensive lawsuits. The 2021 versions of NFPA 70E had several changes, notably the labeling requirement became more stringent calling out that available incident energy or required PPE must be listed specifically on each label and the generic “Arc Flash Hazard” warning label was not acceptable. ITG can help bring your facility into compliance with OSHA regulations and NFPA 70E rules on arc flash. All of our studies are stamped by the licensed, professional engineer who supervises the entire study process.