DC arc flash calculator

DC-Arc-Flash-Analytics v1.0 (DCAFA v1.0) software has been developed as an easy to use and comprehensive tool for calculating arc incident energy and arc flash boundary, and for determining hazard risk category in DC power systems when work is to be performed on or near the energized equipment. DCAFA v1.0 will also assist you to select proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to generate arc flash & shock hazard warning labels based on a DC power system voltage, available short circuit current and time constant values, electrode material, fixed or variable gap between electrodes and protective device characteristics.

The calculator takes system voltage, prospective short circuit current, gap between electrodes, circuit time constant, electrode material, protective device type and rating or a preset arc duration value, and determines incident energy, hazard risk category at working distance and flash protection boundary.

For systems with fixed gap between electrodes, arcing voltage can be expressed as a sum of voltage drops across anodic, cathodic regions and positive column. Then, arcing current is calculated as a function of system voltage, arcing voltage and available short circuit current. Next, the program will determine arc duration based on protective device time-current characteristics and circuit time-constant. Lastly, the program will calculate incident energy at working distance, flash protection boundary and determine hazard risk category.

For systems with variable gap between electrodes, for example when gap is not fixed and distance between electrodes is anticipated to increase by separation of contacts, the program will examine power and energy released by an arc as a function of system voltage, available short circuit current, protective device type, electrode materials, varying gap between electrodes, and calculate maximum incident energy that could be released by the arc within two (2) seconds time interval. A person exposed to an arc flash will move away quickly if it is physically possible and two seconds is generally accepted as a reasonable maximum time for arc flash calculations.