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Arc flash mitigation products and solutions

Nothing is more important than worker safety, but if you haven’t taken the proper steps to mitigate the risks of arc flash, you’re jeopardizing what matters most. Start with a comprehensive arc flash study from Eaton to determine incident energy for proper labeling and personal protective equipment (PPE), and provide employee training. Then, further improve safety with our extensive portfolio of arc flash mitigation solutions.

There are three distinct ways to mitigate arc flash: 

  1. Modify your work practices
  2. Modify your equipment or system 
  3. Install new equipment

After you've had an arc flash study, apply the products and solutions below to help reset safety in your facilty. 

Modify your work practices

Work on gear only when de-energized

Safety switches

Applied as service entrance and branch circuit protection as well as motor disconnects for safe switching and lock-out, tag-out (LOTO) applications. Available designs include double door line-side isolation switch, general duty, heavy duty, auxiliary power, double throw and shunt trip.

Visible blade viewing windows 

Provide a highly observable means of disconnect to help improve personnel safety and equipment protection in industrial, commercial and institutional applications. This feature is available on many Eaton switches and switchgear.

LED indication of voltage 
 

Provides visual verification of the presence of voltage, a standard feature provided on most surge devices and relays.

Voltage testing ports
 

Means to test for the absence of voltage without having to expose the worker to potentially high hazard components

Limit source power

De-energizing part of the system
 

Operating scenarios include normal utility operation and alternative sources of power such as diesel standby generators.

Modify standard work documents and practices

Proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures 
 

Safeguard workers from hazardous energy releases. Eaton provides many products with lock-out tag-out provision including switchboards, safety switches and more.

Sequence of operation 
 

Changing the system operating configuration (switching to an alternate feeder or engaging maintenance mode settings) may reduce the arc flash hazard. 

Portable and integrated remote racking 
 

Enables personnel to stand outside the arc-flash protection boundary when inserting or removing (racking) power breakers or MCC units from low- or medium-voltage equipment. 

  • Remote Power Racking system (RPR-2): provides a means of remotely racking most breakers that use the rotation of a shaft for insertion or removal
  • MRR1000: available for use with Magnum DS breakers 
  • Motorized Remote Racking (MR2): optional system integral to medium voltage metal-clad switchgear 
  • RotoTract: unique assembly for FlashGard MCC’s enables removal or engagement of stabs from vertical bus while the unit’s door is closed 
  • Remote switch operator for medium-voltage motor control 

 

Safely interact with equipment to perform preventative maintenance or electrical inspection of the gear

Infrared (IR) windows 

Allow an operator to complete a thermal inspection of electrical switchgear without opening cabinets or doors. Using infrared thermography technology, the operator is able to safely and quickly assess potential problems in the equipment while the circuits are energized and under load.

Visible blade viewing windows 

Provide a highly observable means of disconnect to help improve personnel safety and equipment protection in industrial, commercial and institutional applications. This feature is available on many Eaton switches and switchgear.

Double-door line isolation switch 

The industry’s first compartmentalized fusible safety switch with a two-door design that includes an internal barrier separating the upper switching compartment from the lower fuse compartment. This allows operators to access the fuse compartment with no exposure to line-side power, providing enhanced safety during fuse replacement.

InsulGard predictive diagnostic solution 

Provides continuous, non-invasive online monitoring of medium-voltage generators, motors, switchgear, unit substation dry-type transformers, bus duct and cable connections. 

Kirk Key Interlock Systems

Ensures that a specific sequence of operations is followed to avoid human error. Eaton can engineer a specific configuration of interlocked breakers that can be energized only with a key. This eliminates excessive fault current that could result from unintentional paralleling of transformers and helps  to keep personnel safe.

Equipment or system modifications

Arcflash Reduction Maintenance System

Available as a retrofit to a low-voltage power breaker and uses patented technology to reduce fault clearing time and lower the available arc-flash energy at the connected downstream devices. The system may be activated at the breaker or from a remote location. The result is a reduction of the incident energy during equipment maintenance, allowing for improved personnel safety while eliminating the need for higher levels of costly personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Zone Selective Interlocking (ZSI) 

Deactivates the preset delay on the circuit breaker closest to the fault, which then trips with no intentional delay. This reduces the amount of time current flows and the amount of arc flash energy and stress (I2t) the system encounters during fault conditions, resulting in improved personal protection and prolonged equipment life.

Power Xpert Release (PXR) electronic trip unit

PXR electronic trip units are equipped with the latest microprocessor technology including advanced algorithms that notify you when your power distribution system needs to be maintained or replaced. PXR trip units also offer programmable relay alarms, which provide situational awareness to preempt impending system failures, keeping your facility on-line, safe and productive. 

FlashGard MCC units
 

Upgrade existing motor control centers with a FlashGard MCC replacment unit. All aftermarket units are manufactured per Eaton and UL 845 standards to ensure our customers receive new, genuine and safe products.  Offers protection for enhanced safety during all stages of MCC maintenance with features that work to help prevent an arc flash from occurring.  Prevention begins with the use of shutters to isolate the vertical bus and the stabs when a unit is removed and allowing units to be disconnected from the vertical bus while the door remains closed. 

Current limiting devices 

Connected in series and used to reduce fault currents and to match impedance of parallel feeders.  For example, current limiting reactors can be used to reduce available short-circuit current, providing a reduction in the bolted and arcing fault current at downstream equipment.

Bus differential relay schemes

Coordinated zones of protection within the electrical system. When a fault is detected, tripping occurs instantaneously for faults only within that particular zone, leading to greater reliability throughout the facility, increased personnel safety and elimination of intentional time delay. Eaton can engineer a system of bus differential schemes on new or retrofit equipment.

Arc flash relay

Rapidly detects and clears even the most difficult forms of arc flash events in low-voltage (LV) and medium-voltage (MV) electrical assemblies.

High-resistance grounding (HRG)

 

Limits the magnitude of current during a phase-to-ground fault, thus reducing arc flash energy to increase personnel and equipment protection. Operators are alerted to faulted conditions and can easily locate the ground source via built-in fault tracing. Application of high-resistance grounding systems eliminates the possibility of a line-to-ground fault condition, significantly increasing personnel safety.

Power Xpert Dashboard (HMI)

HMI touch screen interface shows the elevation view and one-line diagram of the switchgear line-up, enabling the user to monitor, diagnose and control switchgear devices from a safe location outside the arc flash boundary. 

Breaker setting adjustments 

Relay and breaker settings can often be optimized to trip quickly to clear an arc flash event but also maintain coordination. When coordination cannot be maintained to achieve desired arc flash results, a maintenance switch can be added.

Bypass isolation automatic transfer switch (ATS)

Improve safety and reduce arc-flash hazards, including dedicated wireway and safety barriers isolating personnel from line and load. 

High and low impedance transformers 

Drastically reduce the available arc-fault current. Lower arc-flash energy in a system generally translates into improved personnel safety. Note that reducing arc current can result in increased trip times for protective devices, resulting in a higher incident energy.

Fused switch to breaker retro fills 

Changing an upstream fused switch to a circuit breaker provides more available settings to increase protection while maintaining coordination and reducing arc flash hazards.

New equipment to enhance arc flash safety

Arc quenching Magnum DS switchgear 

 

The arc quenching Magnum DS switchgear detects and extinguishes an arc flash in less than 4 ms to dramatically reduce incident energy. It reacts 10x faster than systems that rely solely on circuit breakers to clear an arc fault, including maintenance switches, ZSI, bus differential relaying and arc detection relays. It reduces incident energy below 1.2 cal/cm² and may reduce PPE requirements and arc flash boundaries.

Arc-resistant equipment 


Contains and redirects arc energy away from personnel and the facility out of the top of the equipment regardless of the originating location of the arc. Arc-resistant ratings are available for:   

  • LV and MV arc resistant switchgear type 2B
  • MV metal-clad switchgear type 2B
  • Variable frequency drives type 2B
  • LV  motor control centers (MCC) in type 2
  • MV motor control in type 2B

FlashGard technology
 

Offers protection for enhanced safety during all stages of MCC maintenance with features that work to help prevent an arc flash from occurring.  Prevention begins with the use of shutters to isolate the vertical bus and the stabs when a unit is removed and allowing units to be disconnected from the vertical bus while the door remains closed. This technology can be incorporated into an arc-resistant construction for added protection. 

Arc-resistant ratings per IEEE C37.20.7

Type 2B rating provides worker protection from the front, sides and rear of the enclosure, even with the low-voltage control doors open. For low-voltage switchgear, this rating is also applicable to the secondary door. Type 2 arc-resistant ratings in accordance with IEEE standard C37.20.7 provide for arc-resistant protection around the perimeter of the switchgear with the doors closed.
The effectiveness of the mitigation solutions shown on this page will vary depending on system configuration. Get in touch with Eaton to discuss the solution that is best for your electrical system and equipment.