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Version 6.10
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Arc Flash Analysis  

Download in PDF Format


The simple fact is that an arc flash is dangerous. Every year people are injured, burned or killed in arc flash accidents with explosions that can reach up to 35,000°F. Arc flash happens fast, and in four thousandths of a second molten metal, shrapnel and toxic gas can be hurtling through the air devastating anyone in their path. But it doesn't have to be that way, at least not on your watch, not on your project or design. By using Volts to calculate your arc flash values and flash boundaries, you can be certain nobody gets burned.

NFPA 70E vs. IEEE Standard 1584
NFPA 70E is the general go-to source for figuring flash boundaries and PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements. The problem is that the figures gotten through this source are overly liberal and generalized. The plain truth is they aren't accurate enough when dealing with temperatures that rival the surface of the sun. Using these figures allows engineers and contractors to meet the letter of the law, but it also gives them a false sense of security. If a flash boundary is off by even an inch, someone will get hurt.

IEEE-1584 is the source of formulae that allow for accurate computations for arc flash values and blast radii. But these formulae are complex, and too often for that reason they aren't being used. People are put at risk because the math is just too hard. But not with Volts. Volts uses the more precise IEEE-1584 formulae in all its arc flash computations, which means your flash boundaries will be calculated with absolute accuracy. Why settle for anything less?
Even More Precise
Using IEEE standard 1584, the base energy values of an arc flash study are derived from the system's symmetrical short circuit ampacity values. The more accurate the short circuit SCA values, the more accurate the arcs flash values.

Volts' short circuit SCA values are precise since Volts computes the LRA values for EACH motor in the system and accounts for each cable using your specified ambient temperature. Therefore, Volts' computed arc flash energies and boundaries are also precise.
In addition to perfect accuracy, Volts is compliant with the regulations that impact the electrical industry. With NEC®, NOM, OSHA and NFPA 70E-2000 and 2002 included in all its reports, calculations and simulations,
Volts has everything you need.

Run arc flash simulations on your system and Volts will prepare a professional report and customizable, industrial standard labels showing not only the blast boundaries and factors needed to determine the correct levels of PPE, but also the force of the resulting arc pressure for each panel board and device. Total compliance and totally safety are as easy a click away (English or Spanish).

With Volts you can print compliant Arc Flash labels for all panelboards, step transformers and motorized devices.


Our Arc Flash Labels Are 100% Customizable

  Arc Blast Pressure

Arc pressure is an under-considered aspect of arc flash that is emerging as a major concern in the electrical industry. For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, arc pressure is the outward force created by expanding gas that results when arc flash occurs. Not simply the “blast wave” that results from an arc explosion (though in some ways it may seem similar) arc pressure can build inside panels, junction and devices boxes and rupture them like an over-inflated balloon. Anyone in the area of this invisible wave of force, or in the vicinity when the box explodes, risks injury not only from flying objects but from becoming a flying object themselves.

Admittedly, this is a cutting edge concern but, frankly, Volts is cutting edge software. Arc pressure is calculated with the same degree of accuracy and thoroughness as are the other elements more commonly in mind when considering arc flash. Volts can run detailed arc pressure simulations for every panel board, junction and device box in your system, so you know exactly how much pressure the system is capable of building up. If you haven't seen or heard much about arc pressure before, you will over the next few years. As a Volts user, when new arc pressure based regulations come into play, you'll already be a step ahead.


It simply cannot be any easier or more accurate to obtain the correct information the first time.


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Reprinted with permission from NFPA 70 2008, NEC® copyright© 2008, National Fire Protection Association. This is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject which is represented only by the standard in its entirety. The title National Electric Code® and the acronym NEC® are registered trademarks of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Volts is a registered trademark of Dolphins Software

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