Using EasyPower Software for Arc Flash Analysis

Posted on April 10, 2024 written by Cole Busch

EasyPower™ Software offers powerful electrical software tools for designing, analyzing, and monitoring electrical power systems. One specific analysis feature of the EasyPower software is the ability to perform an Arc Flash Analysis. In this brief article, I'll cover some basics (what is an arc flash? why does it happen? why do an arc flash analysis?) before outline four reasons to use EasyPower for arc flash analysis.

What is an arc flash and why does it happen? 

An arc flash of heat and light are created when energy is released by a live conductor to another conductor. This release of energy is often referred to, or measured as, Arc Flash Incident Energy and it can be incredible dangerous, destructive and even deadly. It's estimated that in North America there is 1 to 2 fatalities every day because of arc flash incidents. Without proper analysis, installation, maintenance of electrical equipment, the risk arc flash incidents increase and become a significant safety hazard to workers.

Why do an arc flash analysis? 

During an arc flash there is huge release of energy into the surrounding area. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, "During an arc flash, the energy released heats the air to extreme temperatures such as almost 20 000 °C (35 000 °F). At these high temperatures, items within a metre (3 feet) such as clothing and skin will catch fire, melt, or vaporize. In addition, an arc flash will create an arc blast - the heated air expands suddenly and creates a powerful pressure wave (a blast)." 

Doing an arc flash analysis does the following:

1) Assess for potential arc flash hazards

2) Considers the likelihood of an arc flash incident 

3) Predicts energy release if such an event would occur.

4) Provides recommendations for proper protections to be put in place either through elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls and/or personal protective equipment (PPE). 

When do you need an arc flash analysis?

According to the Canadian CSA Z462 Electrical Safety Standard, arc flash analysis should be done when a renovation or major modification happens and must be reviewed periodically, at intervals not to exceed five years, to account for changes in the electrical distribution system that could affect the result of the analysis.

(CSA Z462-15, section 4.3.5 1.b)

Four reasons to use EasyPower Software for arc flash analysis. 

The team at Delta Wye performs arc flash analysis and summarizes the results into arc flash studies. These studies helps industrial facilities properly protect themselves from arc flash events. When doing these studies, our teams uses EasyPower because of some of its great features (no this post is not sponsored by EasyPower). Here are some of the things we like about the EasyPower software for arc flash analysis:

EasyPower does the calculations. 

EasyPower does the calculations for you! If you have your protective devices modelled properly EasyPower gives you an Arc Flash Incident Energy based off the standard of calculation you choose. 

EasyPower is flexible. 

EasyPower gives you many options such as maximum arcing time, using different calculation methods (such as Momentary or Integrated) and units to ensure your results match what your client wants to see. 

Easy power can run scenarios. 

EasyPower gives you flexibility to easily output the arc flash results from worst case scenarios using EasyPower's Scenario Comparison Report feature. This allows you to quickly see and compare the results in various different operating conditions for industrial facilities. 

EasyPower makes Arc Flash Labels.

Once your analysis is complete, EasyPower allows you to create Arc Flash Labels that are fully customizable to include all the relevant information your clients need (like the picture below).


Improvements we’d like EasyPower Software to consider: 

One feature we'd like to see is the inclusion of main breakers and feeders when using the scenario comparison, to ensure you can print a separate main breaker Arc Flash label as sometimes clients want both.  

Need an arc flash study for your facility? Contact Us to schedule one in.