Burns, cracked eardrums, burnt corneas, inhalation of toxic gases and flying metal parts. For those who happen to be standing nearby, an arc accident is like an explosion.
Arc flashes constitutes almost a third (31.8%) of all electrical accidents that resulted in sick leave of electricians during the 2000s. Despite this, the danger of arc flashes is surprisingly unknown, even in the energy industry. Many companies lack proper safety measures.
What is an arc flash?
It looks like a bolt of lightning strikes the electrical equipment. When the voltage in the equipment ionizes the air so that it becomes electrically conductive, strong electrical discharge can occur.
Most often, a short circuit is the triggering factor. The cause may be a technical error, but in most cases a human error is behind it.
Enormous amounts of energy are released in the form of heat, light, sound and shock waves. For example, solid copper can expand 67,000 times when the metal in an explosion is converted from solid to gas. The temperature can reach 10-20 thousand degrees.