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Arc-Flash Overview

Posted on July 1st, 2012. Last updated on June 14th, 2023.

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.
  2. The Insert Arc-Flash Schedule command will print a schedule on the drawing documenting the arc-flash calculations.
  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.

Arc-Flash Settings

When you press the Arc-Flash Settings button, the dialog box shown below will open.

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.

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.

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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