NEN 3140 AND ARC FLASH

Arc Flash incident energy standards like NEN 3140 impose numerous duties on employers and employees engaging in any work activity involving electricity. Employers must make a suitable and adequate assessment of the risks to health and safety involved in working with electricity, including Arc Flash, and put in place the necessary preventive and protective measures. Employees engaged in any work activity involving electricity must be competent to prevent danger, should have appropriate technical knowledge, and also an understanding of the hazards, risks, and work precautions to be observed. Premium Power has worked with numerous pharmaceutical and data center clients based in the Netherlands, assessing arc flash hazard and implementing the appropriate risk controls.

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WHAT IS ARC FLASH?

Arc Flash is an explosive release of energy caused by an electrical short circuit between two energized conductors or an energized conductor and earth.
The discharge of electrical energy causes an explosion of light and sound. The temperatures inside are extremely hot and cause the conductors to vaporize. The explosion causes shrapnel to escape at high speeds potentially causing severe injury to anyone nearby.
Most incidents happen when the electrical system is being worked on and “live” and thus Arc Flash presents a serious risk to the employees.

The level of damage in an arc flash incident does not necessarily depend on the system voltage because the lower the voltage, the more current there can be in the system and the higher current levels create the high amounts of energy that is dissipated in an arc flash incident in an electrical system.

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ELECTRICAL NETWORK ASSESSMENT

Taking a proactive approach we identify issues onsite before they become a costly problem. Using SKM software we build a model of your electrical network to identify the maximum incident energy, arc flash boundary and hazards at every point of the network.

We can determine protection coordination issues, load distribution problems, issues with undersized cables or busbars, and fault current ratings across the site.

We also ensure that you avoid unnecessary downtime by having all your circuit breakers and protection devices in sync so that when or if a fault occurs, only the breaker nearest the fault trips open.

STANDARDS WE WORK WITH

  • NEN 3140+A3 – Operation of electrical installations-Low voltage
  • IEEE 1584 – Calculation method for arc flash incident energy
  • NFPA 70E – Electrical Safety in the Workplace
  • EN50110 – Operation of electrical installations
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HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

When conducting hazard identification and risk assessments we work closely with our clients to ensure total accurately. The results of the risk assessments help us develop the subsequent safety procedures, permit systems, training and competence requirements, and maintenance procedures relating to

LIVE WORKING SUCH AS TESTING, FAULT-FINDING & COMMISSIONING

WORK IN THE VICINITY OF LIVE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

DEAD WORKING, INCLUDING LOCK-OUT & TAG-OUT

ARC FLASH SOLUTIONS

Generally, Premium Power recommends the development of arc flash risk assessments to minimise arc flash hazards. Other than de-energising the electrical conductors, a number of engineering solutions can be utilised to overcome incident energy levels posing a potential problem or concern.

It should be noted that PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) must always be considered as the last line of defence.

Engineering solutions that typically provide arc flash mitigation are:
  • Arc Resistant Switchgear
  • Protection Setting Adjustment
  • Remote Switching
  • Arc Detection Systems, and
  • Arc Suppression Blankets
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FEATURED CASE STUDY
GAS TURBINE POWER STATION - ARC FLASH HAZARDS & RISK ASSESSMENT

This plant had a corporate requirement to assess arc flash hazards. Compliance with technical company standards was required with respect to specific corporate methodology. The facility required electrical risk assessments to be produced to ensure work is carried out in a safe manner and electrical safety training was required for operative staff.

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"This plant is a good example of a facility tasked with carrying out an arc flash hazard assessment while keeping within specific corporate methodology. It's very satisfying as electrical safety specialists to see procedural changes as a result of arc flash assessment as well as improved electrical reliability"

George MoklEngineering Manager

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EFFECTIVE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM?

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