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What makes a quality vendor of arc flash services?

Posted on July 31, 2012 11:24 am

Ask for a copy of a previous study report from the vendor to see what it looks like and what is included.

What to look for:

  1. Clarity – For most engineers, it is easier to write in disjointed, engineering gobbley gook than to write with clarity, using plan language. Granted an arc flash hazard analysis can be complex, involve mathematical calculations, unfamiliar electrical principles and lots of details. However, the report should be easy to read and understand.
  2. Executive Summary – All engineering studies should include an Executive Summary in the beginning of the report. It is what it sounds like, a summary that any executive can read and quickly gather the scope and findings of the study.
  3. Maintenance Issues – Although not included in many arc flash studies, issues such as equipment damage, water infiltration, excessive dirt and grime on energized equipment parts should be reported.
  4. Equipment Rating Issues – Sometimes electrical equipment gets installed but has insufficient interrupt ratings for the application. These protective devices are a hazard and should be reported as part of the arc flash study.
  5. Protective Device Coordination Issues – Circuit breakers, fuses and relays that are not coordinated will result in nuisance tripping and unnecessary production shutdowns. Arc flash studies should include this evaluation and report any issues.
  6. National Electrical Code (NEC) violations – These should include often overlooked items such as improper work space around electrical equipment, insufficient lighting around electrical equipment, lack of equipment identification, along with the more typical items of insufficient cable protection.
  7. Recommendations – A clear, prioritized list of recommendations can be one of the most important parts of an arc flash study. These recommendations should be compiled all together in one list so that the plant can check them off as they are implemented. Recommendations should include the following.
    1. Recommendations to address any maintenance issues.
    2. Recommendations to address equipment rating issues.
    3. Recommended protective device settings to correct any coordination issues.
    4. Recommendations to correct any NEC violations.



This entry was posted in Arc Flash


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