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4 Arc Flash Prevention Tips

An arc flash is nearly impossible to predict, but there are a few steps you can take to prevent one from happening at your facility.


First, why do arc flashes occur? They can happen for several reasons. The following are a few of the most common reasons an arc flash would occur:


• Build up of dust or corrosion on the insulating surfaces
• Rodents, bees, birds snapping leads at connections
• Human error
• Insulation failure

Keep reading to learn about some steps you can take to prevent an arc flash at your facility.

1. Invest in Effective Training


This is probably one of the best ways to prevent an arc flash. Make sure all of your workers that are working on energized electrical systems are qualified to do so. OSHA requires this training too. Lack of training is often cited as a reason for fines from OSHA. When you do this training make sure to document it thoroughly.

2. Perform an Arc Flash Study


An arc flash study can help to determine the incident energy level at all working locations. This will also help to determine the levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed

3. Wear Appropriate PPE


Wearing the proper clothing is key to protecting yourself it an arc flash would happen.
Some of the different types of PPE that you should consider wearing are listed below:
• Flame-resistant clothing
• Helmet or headgear
• Face shield
• Safety glasses
• Insulating gloves
• Shoes appropriate for electrical work (that contain no metal)

4. Mark Your Equipment


Make sure to mark your equipment to warn of hazards. This is a revision to NFPA 70 that took place in 2002. This will help your workers to be aware of where the hazards exist.

By taking these prevention steps, you can reduce the chance of an arc flash happening at your facility.

The infographic below sumarizes the top 4 ways to prevent an arc flash:

4 Ways_to_Prevent_an_Arc_Flash

 

Do You Need an Electrical Drawing?

Electrical Drawing

You may be thinking an electrical drawing is just another expense. Maybe you think that you would never use an electrical drawing. Keep reading to find out why you really do need an updated and accurate electrical drawing for your site.

What is an electrical drawing?

Maybe you don’t even know what an electrical drawing is much less why you should have one. An electrical drawing is a technical drawing that consists of lines and symbols to represent the engineer’s electrical design to the people that will be installing the electrical drawing on the site.

What does an electrical drawing consist of?

An accurate electrical drawing will commonly consist of several different things.  They will show the incoming lines including their voltage, size, capacity, and rating. They also show power transformers; listing their rating, winding connection and grounding means. In addition, they show incoming main switches and main and tie breakers. One of the most important things an electrical drawing may show is all of the main cable and wire runs with their associated isolating switches. Electrical drawings also show the feeder breakers and fused switches. Lastly, electrical drawings show all of the critical equipment; such as, batteries, generators, air conditioning, et cetera, and their voltage and size.

What are some electrical drawing services?

Some of the most important and common services included in an electrical drawings are as follows: short circuit calculations, coordination studies, load flow studies, safety evaluation studies, electrical safety procedures, efficient maintenance, and other engineering studies.

So, why do I need an electrical drawing?

Now you know what an electrical drawing is and what it may consist of, but you may still be wondering why you need to spend money on an accurate electrical drawing.  Electrical drawings are absolutely crucial for documenting, troubleshooting, and communicating information about your power systems on your site. They can help to ensure your system runs smoothly, efficiently, and most importantly: safely. They can even help you highlight potential risks that you can correct before a problem occurs. If all of these benefits don’t convince you that you need an accurate and updated electrical drawing, maybe this will: electrical drawings that are updated and accurate keep your facility compliant with all of the code regulations.

Overall, having an electrical drawing is something you should have. There are tons of benefits to you as a company to have an updated and accurate drawing done.

Contact us today to get more information on the electrical drawing services we offer. 

 

Why Is Generator Maintenance Important?

Generator Maintenance

You may have heard that you should be performing maintenance tasks on your generator at least once a year. Maybe you have fallen behind and forgotten about your generator for a few years. You may be wondering why generator maintenance is so important. Keep reading to find out the benefits to performing generator maintenance tasks.

1. Keeps your generator running when you need it most

You most likely have a generator on your property to use in the event of an unexpected power outage. Of course, you want your generator to be working when you need it most. When the power goes out unexpectedly, that is the last time you would want to find out there is an issue with your generator. If you perform generator maintenance tasks you will ensure that your generator will run when you need it.

2. Prevents fuel problems

Without proper maintenance generators are more susceptible to fuel problems like algae build up on the fuel system, clogged fuel injectors, and dead batteries. These types of problems can even ruin your generator itself if they are let go for too long.

3. Saves you money in the long run

Although ignoring generator maintenance may save you a few bucks in the short-term, if you ignore maintenance for too long you will end up with costly repairs in the long run. You might even have to replace your whole generator unit.

4. Keeps your generator running for longer

A generator can be a large expense, and one you don’t want to make too often. By keeping your generator properly maintained you will be able to keep your generator running smoothly for longer than if you ignored maintenance tasks.

5. Increases efficiency

If you do have to run your generator, of course you would want it to run efficiently as possible. Generator maintenance tasks help your generator to reach its highest efficient potential.

Overall, generator maintenance will help to keep your generator in mint condition for years to come. This in turn, will save you time and money.

 

What are Short Circuit Currents?

A short circuit, also known as a fault, is a specific type of current that introduces a significant amount of damaging energy in the form of heat and magnetic force into a power system. In other words, it is a low-resistance path of energy that bypasses part of a circuit; causing the bypassed portion of the circuit to cease to function. The skipping of the portion of the circuit can cause a large amount of current to start to flow which, in turn, causes heat in the wires which can lead to several problems.

short circuit current

Some of the risks of short circuit currents are as follows:
• Production downtime
• Fires
• Damage or deterioration of your equipment
• Injuries or death of the maintenance personnel


By fixing short circuit currents you can reduce the risks stated previously and avoid those tragic losses. It will also provide equipment reliability, increase safety, reduce equipment damage, improve sustainability, and increase power system stability. 
For more information or to schedule a short circuit analysis with Electrical Testing Solutions, please contact us.

 

 Electrical Testing Solutions | What is Infrared Thermography?

infrared thermography

Infrared Thermography is a cost-effective, non-destructive way to detect problems in electrical connections, mechanics, and even on rooftops. It discovers hidden issues before they become a headache, increasing safety as well as the size of your wallet.

What is it used for?
Infrared Thermography is used for a wide variety of inspections including finding faulty electrical connections, detecting problem areas in mechanics, as well as finding damaged areas on a flat roof caused by water retention.
Infrared Thermography identifies the differences in temperature of an object which is then converted by a camera-like technology into a thermal map, making the variations visible to the human eye. These images allow one to clearly see the normal patterns of heat emitted by the object, and also makes apparent any area which is overheating (“hot spots”). “Hot spots” are created by resistance from components that are mismatched or not installed properly and can lead to equipment failure. With Infrared Thermography and the early detection of “hot spots” the problem can be fixed before it becomes dangerous.

thermography

The Benefits of Infrared Thermography
Changes in temperature can indicate possible defects, faults, moisture intrusion and inefficiencies. Therefore, the detection of “hot spots” prevents a number of inefficient and possibly dangerous situations.
Infrared Thermography:

  • Prevents the sudden failure of machinery and equipment
  • Prevents fires caused by overheating or faulty wiring
  • Saves the cost of replacing entire units – makes it possible to fix the problem before it damages or destroys the entire machine
  • Prevents downtime for machinery
  • Creates an overall safer and more efficient work environment

 

Identifying a problem area or “hot spot” is essential for safety and efficiency, however it is also important to know how to fix the problem when it arises. Infrared Thermography is only as effective as the thermographer. Therefore make sure you choose a company that is qualified to both read an infrared thermographic map and know solutions to fix the problem area. It is also recommended to periodically get a screening as a preventative measure and to ensure machinery and electrical units are running properly.

 
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