Arc Flash Analysis: Step by Step Guide to complete Arc Flash Analysis #1

Arc Flash Analysis: Step by Step Guide to complete Arc Flash Analysis #1

In order to properly identify and calculate Arc Flash Incident Energy certain steps need to be done. Here are some key reference point:

  • IEEE 1584 - IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations
  • 1 IEEE Guide for the Specification of Scope and Deliverable Requirements for an Arc-Flash Hazard Calculation Study in Accordance with IEEE Std 1584™
  • Practical experience 

What should the process look like?  

Arc Flash Process

We can bring recommended steps into analysis and calculations. Recommended steps will allow you to identify Arc Flash Incident Energy, Arc Flash Boundary and will provide recommendations for improvements. While IEEE1584 and IEEE1584.1 already provides useful guides, I adjusted it a bit more based on my experience to show how to go through Arc Flash Analysis in the most useful and practical way.

We can split it into 16 steps.

The first 8 steps are minimum to identify existing Arc Flash Incident Energy in our electrical system. It is acceptable but there is a better way, at MR Power Tech their aim is to identify and improve situations at customer installation thus it is good practice to include further steps. This means to adjust model a bit more to allow for best solutions and cover topic from A to Z.

Here is an overview of all steps:

Step 1. Scope of Study

Which part of the installation? What is the goal? improvements approach

Step 2. Data Collection

Collect data by visiting the site, gathering documentation and creating operation scenarios

Step 3. System Modelling

  • 3a. Determine enclosure type, dimensions and typical gap
  • 3b. Determine electrode configuration
  • 3c. Determine working distance
  • 3d. Model protective device characteristics

Step 4. Perform Short Circuit Current Analysis

IEC 60909, ANSI, IEC 61660 (DC) etc.

Step 5. Perform Selectivity Analysis

Existing situation identification, creating a reference base for recommendations and comments

Step 6. Equipment Withstand Rating Evaluation

Verify if the Switchgears, Breakers, Fuses are within calculated short circuit currents

Step 7. Perform Arc Flash Analysis

Existing situation results and comments for improvements in line with the scope of work acc. IEEE-1584-2018 (Germany - DGUV Information 203-077)

Step 8. Review Results

Verification of all identifies issues related to system protection, selectivity, withstand rating and Arc Flash Hazard

Step 9. Perform Selectivity Analysis

Recommendation for improvements of protective device settings, suggestions for hardware and software modernizations or exchange.

Step 10. Perform Arc Flash Analysis

Recommendations related to selectivity analysis, possible improvements by using available techniques in line with the scope of work

Step 11. Final Report.

Create a Final Report which Includes all results, comments, assumptions and recommendations

Step 12. Arc Flash Training

On-site training at the customer's location to identify needs for knowledge and discussion about safety

Step 13. Equipment Labelling

Installing labels on the equipment during the site visit or allow the customer to do it

Step 14. Arc and FR PPE Selection

Source solutions with Arc Flash and Flame Resistant PPE Provider ensuring the clothing meets the project requirements. 

See our Collection of Arc Flash and FR Clothing here.

Step 15. Recommendations, Follow up and Actions

All activities related should provide recommendations, supporting electrical engineering design activities based on the model

Step 16. Review every 5 years or every major change 

Maintaining and keeping the model up to date. Ensuring all the latest standards are up to date after any modifications or changes.  


Created by Marcin Ruta
Power System Engineer at MR Power Tech