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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 personal protection equipment (PPE) required for the person working on the equipment is based upon the incident energy at the working distance from the equipment. The arc-flash-protection boundary is the distance unprotected works must keep between themselves and the equipment.

In both cases, the calculated energy values will limit the injury to the worker to second-degree burns.

There are three commands you will use when performing arc-flash calculations:

  1. The Set Arc-Flash Values command 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 command.
    • Ribbon: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment-> dm_elec-arcFlashDialog Set Arc-Flash Values

    • Pulldown Menu: DM Electrical->Distribution Equipment->Set Arc-Flash Values

  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

Set Arc-Flash Values

When you run the Set Arc-Flash Values command, the dialog box shown below is opened. Press the image to see a full-size version, or run the command in Design Master Electrical.

Each distribution equipment is listed as a row in the grid. The bold columns are calculated for you by the software. You are responsible for filling in the other values.

For more information about this dialog box, visit the Set Arc-Flash Values topic 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 grid in the Set Arc-Flash Values command. The default schedule displays only the most relevant fields.

The dialog used to insert the schedule works like all of the other schedule insertion dialog boxes in Design Master Electrical.

Arc-Flash Schedule

Create Arc-Flash Stickers

The Print Arc-Flash Stickers command will create a sticker for each distribution equipment that has Calculate Arc-Flash checked using the Set Arc-Flash Values command.

If the incident energy at the device is less than 40 J / cm2, a warning label will be printed. If the incident energy is greater than 40 J/cm², a danger label will be printed.

The sticker also 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).

Examples of the two types of stickers created are shown below.

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