Arc Flash Analysis Software, CSA Z462

By: Etap Canada  09-12-2011
Keywords: Operating Conditions, Power System Analysis, Arc Flash Analysis,

Arc Flash & Shock Hazard Analysis

Arc Flash and Shock Hazard Analysis are an important aspect of modern power system analysis. These calculations performed by electrical engineers provide both electrical and safety-oriented information necessary to minimum risk operation of electrical systems.

Occupational Health and Safety, Canadian Standards Association (CSA Z462), National Fire Protection Association (US), and IEEE have been directly involved with industry to attempt to reduce the number of accidents related to Arc Flash and Shock Hazard.

Arc Flash Analysis Process

Arc Flash and Shock Hazard calculations are performed by electrical engineers to identify the maximum expected incident energy if an Arc Fault were to occur. To perform these calculations, it is necessary to understand the manner and method in which a system is grounded. The potential short circuit levels throughout the system need to be known and a complete set of protective device settings are required. Given this information, engineers perform a series of calculations, looking at different operating conditions, loading levels, and generation levels. Worst case results are compiled. From these results incident energy levels are categorized (currently based upon the NFPA 70E standard) and documented for the entire three-phase electrical system. Labeling is required, to notify all site staff and contractors regarding the potential hazards they might face when working at or near the electrical system.

Arc Flash Software

ETAP provides an automated software tool to perform Arc Flash and Shock Hazard analysis. Once Short Circuit and Device Coordination studies are done, operating conditions are selected, and the Arc Flash calculations are done. The software results include detailed reports and labels. The Arc Flash Software provides a wide variety of label templates (download links at top right) for most of the major label printing systems. In addition, it is easy to customize labels as required.

Standards Include:

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers 1584a 2004
  • National Fire Protection Association 70E 2000, 2004, & 2009
  • Canadian Standards Association Z462 2008
  • Canadian Electrical Code Part I 2006, 2009

New Features:

  • Create Work Permits & Data Sheets
  • Arc Flash Scenario Analyzer
  • Analyze “what if” scenarios at every bus using the “Quick Incident Energy Calculator”
  • Automatically consider Synchronous Generator AC Decay & Decrement Curves
  • Extended search of multiple levels past the point of upstream source contributions
  • Automatically consider AC Motor short-circuit current decay
  • Calculate Arc Flash using a time varying fault clearing time based upon the system bolted SC current decay
  • Perform arc flash calculations for Single Phase and UPS systems

Standard Features:

  • Includes Differential Relays, Maintenance Mode Switches and Arc Flash Light Sensors/Relays
  • Determines the Arcing Fault Clearing Time Automatically
  • Calculates prohibited, restricted, & limited approach boundaries
  • Individual arcing current contributions are calculated
  • Create arc flash labels for each pertinent location
  • Set User-Defined Incident Energy Categories or select tables from existing standards


  • User-Defined clearing time limits for incident energy
  • Built-in flagging for out-of-range calculations
  • Built-in warnings for exceeding calculation limits imposed by the various standards
  • Auto-determine load & line side protective devices
  • Automatically detect 208V buses with less than 125 kVA and/or current less than 10kA
  • Handle mesh and multi-source systems
  • Handle Zone Selective Interlock Protection (ZSIP)

NEW! – Arc Flash Scenario Analyzer

The Scenario Analyzer compares and filters results of multiple studies at a glance.

  • Identify the worst-case incident energy results
  • Determine potential Arc Flash AF mis-coordination
  • Document which protective devices may fail to operate
  • Display equipment with arcing current variation issues

NEW! – Create Work Permits & Data Sheets

  • Created customized energized electrical work permits
  • Compile arc flash study related data sheets
  • Document hazard risk categories based upon your safety program requirements
  • Generate simple summary arc flash reports for non-technical personnel
  • Warnings for Arc Thermal Protective Value rating violations (maximum allowable PPE)
  • Help determine the safest mode of operation for maintenance work

Arc Flash Labeling

  • ANSI Z535 arc flash label templates including user-defined fields / PPE requirements / disclaimers
  • Multiple label sizes including 4″x 6″, 4″x 4″, 3″x 3″
  • Specific templates for Brady®, DuraLabel®, Avery® Systems
  • Multi-language including English, Spanish, Portuguese, & French
  • Hundreds of arc flash templates can be customized to meet your needs

Keywords: Arc Flash Analysis, Operating Conditions, Power System Analysis

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