Arc Flash Assessment Software Explained

By R.W. Hurst, The Electricity Forum

arc flash assessment software
Arc Flash Software

Arc flash assessment software automatically estimates the incident energy released in the event of a fault and determines the required Protection Boundary.

Electrical hazards and worker safety continue to be a highly discussed topic. Recent changes to recognized industry codes and standards along with an increased interest by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have highlighted the concern and need to reduce potential hazards. Visual presentations, an explanation of how to reduce hazards by utilizing the proper overcurrent protective device and a review of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safe work practices, can all be used to reduce hazards.

Arc flash assessment software is performed in conjunction with either ANSI/IEEE or IEC 3-phase bolted short circuit calculations. It determines the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Arc Rating (ATPV) along with the suitable NFPA 70E Approach Boundaries to live parts for shock protection.

Arc flash assessment software performs electrical system modeling and analysis that provides an intuitive and efficient interface to design, analyze, operate, and troubleshoot electrical power systems.

Core features include:
• Base Package (for system modeling and data gathering)
• Short Circuit
• Protective Device Coordination
• Arc Flash
• Power Flow
• Harmonics
• Dynamic Stability
• Reliability
• Revit Integration


Arc flash Software Capabilities

  • Automatic measurement of arc fault clearing times (FCT)
  • Use 0.5 cycle or 1.5 to 4 cycle short circuit current
  • Automatically determines individual arcing current contributions
  • System-wide incident energy calculation & flash protection boundary for buses & individual protective devices (PDs)
  • Limits incident energy based on maximum FCT (based on IEEE 1584)
  • Distinguish between line & load side PDs to determine worst case incident energy scenarios
  • Export results to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to interface with third party label printing software
  • Prints assorted sizes (4"x6", 4"x4", 3"x3") of labels to a printer
  • ANSI Z535 label templates available with user-defined text fields & PPE requirements
  • Print labels to label templates
  • Automatic creation of labels for buses & individual protective devices
  • User interface for defining PPE requirements for each hazard risk category
  • Automatic determination of hazard/risk categories for selecting NFPA 70E-based & user-defined PPEs
  • Automatic selection of prohibited, restricted, & limited approach boundaries for NFPA 70E-based shock hazards
  • Complete analysis reports including result summaries
  • Use system-calmaries
  • Use system-calculated or user-defined short circuit currents & system grounding
  • Automatic simultaneous application of calculated & user-defined FCT
  • Automatic application of arcing current variation to identify worst case incident energy scenarios Incident energy calculator (bus page for individual analysis)
  • Complete results tabulated for particular tasks & working distance on the same equipment
  • Plots for the calculated incident energy vs.time & arcing current in device coordination
  • Calculated results are displayed on the one-line diagram together with high incident energy alerts


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