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Arc-Flash Overview

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

This article provides an overview of how arc-flash calculations work in Design Master Electrical. The goal of arc-flash calculations is to calculate the incident energy at a specific distance from the equipment during an arc-flash event. The calculated energy is used to determine how to keep workers safe while working on the equipment live. The arc-flash-protection boundary is the distance unprotected works must keep between themselves and the equipment to limit the injury to second-degree burns.

There are four steps to performing arc-flash calculations:

  1. The Arc-Flash Settings dialog box is used to specify the additional information about panels required to perform arc-flash calculations. Most of the work related to arc-flash is done using this dialog box. To access it, run the Panels (or other distribution equipment) command and press the Arc-Flash Settings button.
    • Ribbon: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment->  dm_elec-old-panel Panels

    • Pulldown Menu: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment->Panels

  2. The Insert Arc-Flash Schedule command will print a schedule on the drawing documenting the arc-flash calculations.
    • Ribbon: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment-> dm_elec-insertAFSch Insert Arc-Flash Schedule

    • Pulldown Menu: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment Schedules->Insert Arc-Flash Schedule

  3. The Print Arc-Flash Stickers command will create stickers for each of your panels and display them in your web browser. You can then print them using a color printer and sticker paper and attach them to your panels in the field.
    • Ribbon: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment-> dm_elec-createAFSticker Print Arc-Flash Stickers

    • Pulldown Menu: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment Schedules->Print Arc-Flash Stickers

Arc-Flash Settings

When you press the Arc-Flash Settings button, the dialog box shown below is opened.

Use this dialog box to specify information about the device. You can also set the arcing time manually, or have it set automatically based upon the time-current curves for the distribution equipment.

For more information about this dialog box, visit the Arc-Flash Settings page in the user manual.

Insert Arc-Flash Schedule

The Insert Arc-Flash Schedule command will insert a schedule on the drawing displaying the results of the arc-flash calculation. The schedule can include all of the information in the Arc-Flash Settings dialog box. The default schedule displays only the most relevant fields.

For more information about this dialog box, visit the Insert Arc-Flash Schedule page in the user manual.

Create Arc-Flash Stickers

The Print Arc-Flash Stickers command will create a sticker, such as the one shown below, for each distribution equipment that has Calculate Arc-Flash set to Yes in the Arc-Flash Settings dialog box.

In addition to arc-flash information, the sticker will display the shock protection information for the equipment. Shock protection is a function of the voltage of the equipment. The values are based upon NFPA 70E-2012, Table 130.4(C)(a).

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