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Electric Arc Flash

Electric Arc Flash can severely burn or kill anyone exposed to it.

There have been a reported 5-10 arc flash incidents occurring daily. Efforts are under way to cut this figure down. According to the NFPA, arc flash is “a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.” When an arc flash occurs, there may be 1 to 2 explosions within milliseconds, which can generate temperatures between 5,000 and 35,000° F. The pressure wave from an arc blast can be very similar to an explosion from a hand grenade.

When it is necessary to understand whether or not an arc flash condition is present, a multi technology approach is recommended. Integrating Infrared and ultrasound can be useful in determining equipment condition. If there are no infrared scan ports in the equipment, it will be difficult to detect arcing or tracking with infrared. Corona cannot be detected relying on infrared alone. Incorporating ultrasound to scan around door seals and air vents will help detect the presence of conditions that produce arc flash hazard potential in enclosed, energized electrical equipment.

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