Arcteq's arc flash detection system consists of an arc flash relay, detection sensors and an arc quencher, offering both detection and the 'cure' to arc faults.Find out more
An arc protection system is made up of a trip relay, sensors and an arc quenching device. Arc protection systems are hugely important, as arc flash accidents occur approximately 8 to 10 times each week in the UK. Unfortunately, many switchgears are left without arc flash protection, despite its common occurrence and destructive potential.
An arc flash is one of the most destructive electrical faults possible to have. Not only will it cause tremendous damage to equipment, but could also give life changing and even life-threatening injuries to any personnel within a close proximity. See more here.
PPE is essential in helping to protect employees against arc flashes. Reputable arc flash PPE suppliers, such as Tower Supplies will ensure your employees have the level of protection they need.
The NFPA 70E addresses employee workplace electrical safety requirements.
It defines work practices that protect workers from electrical hazards, including arc flashes, during the inspection, operation and maintenance of electrical equipment.
The NFPA 70E standard covers most workplace activities related to electrical energy or equipment. The major exceptions are:
As part of NFPA 70E, an arc flash hazard analysis should be done in order to protect personnel from the possibility of being injured by an arc flash.
There are two distinct mathematical methods of calculating the available arc flash energy present at a specific piece of equipment.
8 to 10 arc flashes occur in the UK every week. Without arc protection in place, the consequences can be very serious.
You only need three components to create a reliable arc protection system:
There are many benefits to fitting arc fault protection:
This short animation shows a basic configuration setup of an arc protection system (without a quencher). This Arcteq system features an AQ110 and 3 AQ101 relays, along with several point sensors. This comprehensive setup will allow for rapid arc detection (just 2 ms). The quick tripping of the circuit breaker will result in less damage from the arc to both equipment and personnel working nearby because it cannot reach full velocity.
It is vital the relay works very quickly because it only takes 300ms for an arc flash to reach maximum velocity.
Here you can see how the severity increases over a short amount of time:
|10-30ms (Compression stage).||Ignition of current flow through ionised air.
Rapid release of energy.
|30-50ms (Expansion stage).||Shock/pressure wave (up to 4 bars).
|50-100ms (Emission stage).||20,000°c temperatures.|
|100-300ms (Thermal or ‘burn through’ stage).||Toxic gases.
Steel and copper fire.