Arc Flash/Power Distribution/Lo, Med, Hi Voltage

Arc Flash Expertise

Arc flash (also known as arc blast) is a phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air (electric short circuit in air) between phase, or phase and neutral, or phase and ground conductors. It is a type of electrical explosion that results from a low impedance connection to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system.

An arc is produced by flow of electrical current through ionized air after an initial flashover or short circuit.  Causes of arc flash include:  

  • Electrical equipment and insulation failure
  • Accidents, such as:
    • Dropped tools
    • Accidental contact with electrical systems
    • Buildup of conductive dust, dirt, corrosion and particles
  • Improperly designed or utilized equipment
  • Improper work procedures

How can we help?

Through an arc flash safety analysis, Optimation's skilled engineers can offer alternatives to help your organization become more aware of possibilities to reduce your employee's exposure to arc flash energy. We can help you by:

  • Designing power systems that are safer and assist with regulatory standard compliance
  • Providing integrated short circuit, time current coordination, equipment, arc flash evaluation and arc flash labels
  • Providing arc flash hazard analysis for flash protection and approach boundaries
  • Selecting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for electrical safety
  • Assisting in the implementation of a solution(s) to reduce arc flash exposure
  • Providing critical arc flash hazard training for your internal team

Why is an Arc Flash Safety Analysis important to your organization?

It's a regulatory requirement.

80% of electrical workplace accidents are burns or injuries caused by intense heat, tremendous pressure and sound blast due to molten metal or debris shower associated with arc flash. These accidents are the fourth leading cause of traumatic occupational fatalities in the U.S.  Electrical workplace accidents lead to injury and sometimes death, however these accidents can be prevented.

In an effort to prevent electrical workplace accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA 1910) which covers electrical safety in the workplace in addition to workplace safety topics.

In addition, the National Fire and Protection Agency (NFPA) has published the "Standard for Electrical Safety in Workplace" (NFPA 70E). The NFPA 70E standard responds to electrical safety challenges, making it easier to ensure an electrically safe working area. OSHA 1910 references NFPA 70E for specifics on electrical safety.

Implementing NFPA 70E by becoming OSHA 1910 compliant, is highly recommended for a safe workplace.

What can you expect from a Arc Flash Safety Analysis?

Typical deliverables resulting from an Arc Flash Safety Analysis conducted by Optimation include:

  • A single line electrical distribution drawing with short circuit values of connected components
  • Calculations of the magnitude of arc flash hazards
  • Arc flash labels
  • Hazard analysis for flash protection and approach boundaries
  • Hazard/risk categorization and subsequent selection of electrical safety PPE
  • Arc flash hazard training with information on the latest standards and practices
  • Application training to implement the arc flash solution
  • A review of your safety program to integrate arc flash requirements
  • On-site engineering support to assist in performance of arc flash studies
  • NFPA 70E compliance audit

Low, Medium, High Voltage Expertise

When you hire Optimation for low, medium, high voltage work, you're getting the full value of a team of electrical engineers plus high voltage electricians to tackle your project from every angle. Our full system approach to your project results in swift, quality results.

Optimation has expertise in medium voltage power systems (480v through 34kv), including power generation, electrical distribution and transmission, and medium voltage motor installations.

Our High Voltage Proficiency:

  • Installation of high voltage cables (35KV)
  • Transformer installations
  • Substation work
  • Lead splicing
  • Short circuit studies
  • Arc Flash studies
  • System coordination
  • Lighting
  • High voltage technical support

Power System Distribution Expertise

Put Optimation’s team of electrical engineers and technicians to work using their power system distribution expertise to:

  • Save you money on energy costs with lighting system evaluations
  • Programming and analyzing power quality
  • Performing power systems studies including
    • System protective relay coordination
    • Protection
    • Electrical capacity analysis
  • Interpret codes
  • Implement new plans and equipment to help you meet those codes.

Optimation's experience with underground distribution systems, manholes and ductbanks leaves us prepared to serve the electrical needs of hospitals, university campuses and large companies.

Were able to meet any challenge associated with your power distribution systems, including:

  • Confined Spaces
  • Entry
  • PILC cables - lead covered, paper insulated

Electrical Safety

Optimation places the safety of your employees and ours above all other aspects of the project. Our engineers are experienced with electrical safety standards, including:

  • OSHA (29-CFR, Part 1910): Addresses Standards for Work Practices and references NFPA 70E
  • NFPA 70E: Provides guidance on implementing appropriate work practices
  • NEC (Article 110.16): Requirements for Warning Labels
  • IEEE Std. 1584: Guide to Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations
Electrical safety training is a priority, our engineers and journeymen safety training includes where applicable:
  • OSHA 1910.269 Compliance
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Confined Space 
  • CPR/First Aid
  • High Voltage
  • Lead Monitoring