Arc flash mitigation
1 AIA CES approved LU|HSW available for attendees upon successful completion of an exam
De-energizing electrical equipment results in the safest conditions for electrical workers. However, in most industry applications, de-energizing the electrical system may not be practical, and in some cases, may result in an even greater safety hazard.
Reducing arc flash to electrical personnel is an evolutionary process. No individual solution will eliminate all of the hazards of working on energized equipment. Electrical engineers must understand the codes, standards and design requirements when engineering a facility’s electrical power system distributions for arc flash mitigation. The mitigation techniques involve taking steps to minimize the level of hazard associated with an arc ﬂash event. Many factors go into this process and engineers must thoughtfully consider the design and overall mitigation strategy.
In general, owners, facility managers, engineers and contractors can all contribute to providing a safer place for personnel to work. The process starts with adequate and reliable engineering design, followed by proper installation of equipment, training and maintenance procedures.
- Understand major codes and standards related to arc flash mitigation design, such as NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584.1, plus other industry practices.
- Learn design techniques, including pros and cons, that will reduce arc flash incident energy.
- Use electrical power system software to simulate different mitigation approaches and system operations.
- Know that mitigating arc flash through design is paramount to electrical safety.
Zia Salami, PhD, Management Specialist – SME: Electrical Power System, CDM Smith, Charlotte, N.C.
Tracy Wagoner, Senior Electrical Systems Manager, Associate, Henderson Building Solutions, Lenexa, Kansas
Amara Rozgus, Content Manager, CFE Media & Technology