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Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

People are your most valuable asset.

Safety conscious operators need workers who carry out the operations and maintenance of electrical plant to be fully informed of the potential hazards posed by electrical arcing faults. AEE’s arc flash hazard analysis will make this possible.

The arc flash study guidelines developed by AEE have been well accepted by some of the country’s leading electrical engineering enterprises. They have been successfully applied to power stations, mines, refineries, materials handling systems, factories and buildings.

Based on the North American standards, NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584, the guidelines provide a consistent, unambiguous and pragmatic means of providing the arc flash hazard information needed by electrical workers. Sufficient flexibility is incorporated to adapt to the particular arc flash ratings of clients’ available PPE. They are based on the hierarchy of elimination and control, employing the following techniques:

  • Reducing arcing fault duration by improving the response time of overcurrent protection devices,
  • Supplementing existing protection schemes with optical arc flash detection systems where required,
  • Employing switchgear interlocks or administrative instructions to prohibit unfavourable switchgear configurations,
  • Temporarily applying ‘maintenance settings’ on relays during switching or electrical work, and
  • Recommending PPE appropriate to the specific arc flash hazard levels.

AEE will also check for compliance with AS/NZS 3000 clause 2.5.5.3 which is a mandatory standard applicable to low voltage heavy current switchboards with internal separation of less than Form 3b.

Howsoever operators need their arc flash hazards to be managed, AEE’s solutions are carefully considered to optimise protection grading while protecting workers. The additional benefits of this approach are the minimisation of both:

  • downtime due to extensive arcing damage following switchgear faults, &
  • process disruptions due to nuisance circuit breaker tripping.

AEE will also assess the capability of a switchboard’s internal arcing fault classification under service conditions.