Designing to mitigate arc flash problems
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Electrical engineers must understand the codes, standards and design requirements when designing to mitigation arc flash problems. Many factors go into mitigating the danger that electrical workers face; engineers must thoughtfully design systems to reduce and mitigate these incidents in the field.
De-energizing electrical equipment results in the safest conditions for electrical workers. However, in most industry applications, de-energizing the electrical system may not be practical and in some cases, may result in an even greater safety hazard.
Reducing arc flash to electrical personnel is an evolutionary process. No individual solution will eliminate all of the hazards of working on energized equipment. Electrical engineers must understand the codes, standards and design requirements when engineering a facility’s electrical power system distributions for arc flash mitigation. The mitigation techniques involve taking steps to minimize the level of hazard associated with an arc ﬂash event. Many factors go into this process and engineers must thoughtfully consider the design and overall mitigation strategy.
- Understand the various codes and standards related to arc flash mitigation design, such as NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584.1, plus other industry practices.
- Learn design techniques, including pros and cons that will reduce arc flash incident energy.
- Know that mitigating arc flash through design is paramount to electrical safety.
- Review design scenarios in which arc flash problems were removed.
Zia Salami, PhD, Management Specialist – SME: Electrical Power System, CDM Smith, Charlotte, N.C.
Richard A. Vedvik, PE, Senior Electrical Engineer / Acoustics Engineer, IMEG Corp., Rock Island, Illinois
Amara Rozgus, Content Manager, CFE Media and Technology