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Arc Flash Articles

Open the Door to Opportunity through Arc Flash Data Collection – October 2015

An arc flash analysis (AFA) spans a number of tasks, most of them performed by electricians and professional electrical engineers. Data collection – the first phase of an AFA – must be performed by a qualified worker, most appropriately a licensed electrician. Most companies and organizations look to outside contractors to provide AFA services in general, including the data collection. As an electrical contractor, you may be considering branching out into this growing and lucrative field. here you can read about how to propose a project scrope, how to price the project, and how to discover other opportunities that result from data collection.

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For an overview on the different roles involved in an AFA, from beginning to end, refer to “Arc Flash Analysis: A Basic Project Overview for Electrical Contractors” in the May 2015 edition of Electrical Products & Solutions

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Arc Flash Analysis: A Basic Project Overview for Electrical Contractors – May 2015

For those contractors who are considering undertaking an arc flash analysis for a client, the process can be daunting. An arc flash analysis is initiated to evaluate the potential incident energy of an arc flash occurrence. Companies use the findings from an arc flash study to set arc flash protection boundaries and to help prevent injury by designating the appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) required to interface with a particular electrical circuit or conductor.

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Here we’ll cover the basics, enough to get you started on assessing your suitability for performing the study. The goal is to provide you with enough basic information to determine where you may need more training and when it makes sense to subcontract parts of the study to more knowledgeable and experienced electrical safety workers, electricians, and/or engineers.

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Arc Flash Article – A Grounded Approach to Arc Flash Analysis – May 2013

Featured Article – Every arc flash analysis is not created equal.
The only way to know that your organization is getting its money’s worth is to recognize the best features of a sensible arc flash analysis plan and the potential pitfalls of a plan that is not well thought out.Arc Flash

Work with a qualified contractor you trust. The first rule of thumb is to pick a contractor you can be comfortable with over the long term. Right now you may only be concerned with getting an initial analysis done, but compliance is an ongoing requirement. That means every time your facility experiences a change to its electrical system, the NFPA 70E standard requires that all major modifications or renovation shall be updated in the analysis in a timeframe that is “not to exceed five years.”

The alternative to picking a long-term partner is orienting a new contractor every time you need to update your analysis. Each time you work with a new contractor, you increase your potential for wasting time and money. Remember, not every contractor sends out qualified electrical data collectors, and even when they do, the estimating part of arc flash analysis is not an exact science. That’s because data collection points (aka: “points”) can be counted differently by each contractor. One may be estimating based on counting every nameplate or where the label will be placed, while another only estimates for those points with protected devices. The only way to be sure you’re comparing apples to apples when having the project quoted is to
have a clear scope of work defined and a consistent definition of what is to be considered a point.

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