Arc Flash Detection

Explosion risk, injury to personnel and costly downtime can be avoided with an Arc-Flash Protection solution for surveillance of switchboards, transformers and capacitor load banks etc. Circuit breakers or overcurrent protection devices alone do not provide optimal protection for your personnel and equipment. An Arc-Flash Relays rapidly detect an arc flash and send a trip signal to interrupt power in milliseconds. This improves personal safety, minimizes production down time, thus reducing damage to material and the additional cost of repair or replacement.

An arc fault is properly the most destructive fault scenario that can happen within an electrical installation. Arcs develop when the insulation between conductors are broken down sufficiently to leave an ionized channel which can carry current. Insulation can be degraded for different reasons, e.g. starting as a ground-fault, conductive dust, moisture etc. If the switchboard is capable of supplying enough energy, a run-away reaction can occur, if this happens the current heats and ionizes more air, carrying even more current, heating up and eventually boiling the conductors. The following explosion will spray the cabinets with molten copper and tear it apart by the rise in pressure – this happens as the arc fault converts the full capacity of the power source to heat.

The damage can be so extensive that it will take days or even weeks to re-establish production. However, even more serious is the risk of personal injury. Arc protection is one way to lower the risk of disaster, even though it is not a replacement for personal protection (PPE equipment).

It is not generally possible to extinguish a developing arc, but the damage can be limited by cutting the power to the switchboard as soon as possible.

In case of an arc flash fault, the arc-flash relay detects and generates a tripping pulse in less than 1 millisecond. This tripping pulse is taken to the circuit breaker(s) that controls the supply to the installation. The trip circuit is based on a solid state semiconductor switch (IGBT), which provides both fast reaction as well as drive capability for even the largest circuit breakers

We provide different Arc-Flash Relays and sensor solutions. All are easily retrofitted into existing switchgear or pre-installed in new equipment with little or no configuration.