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Short Circuit Study

Recent Short Circuit
& Arc Flash Study Projects

Whenever a fault occurs in an electrical power system, relatively high currents flow, producing large amounts of destructive energy in the forms of heat and magnetic forces. A short circuit study ensures that protective device ratings within a power system are adequate for maximum currents that flow during a fault. 

A short circuit study is performed to: 

    Make certain protective devices have adequate interrupting current capability; 

  1. Ensure power system components can withstand mechanical and thermal stresses that occur during a fault; and

  3. Calculate current data for protective device coordination studies. 

Computer-based modeling is used to calculate maximum three phase short circuit currents which are compared to protective device component short circuit currents' ratings. 

Arc Flash Study



There is a difference between traditional faults and arcing faults.  Traditional short circuit studies are performed for faults caused by conductors coming in direct contact with each other.  An arcing fault occurs when the current passes through a gap between two conducting materials.  This arcing fault emits a high temperature which can cause serious burns to anyone standing near the arc.  A further hazard exists from the molten material that is sprayed over the surrounding area.  A large percentage of electrical injuries are accounted to burns resulting from arcing current. 

An arc flash study is performed to:

  1. Determine safe working distance
  2. Estimate the incident energy that workers may be exposed to when working on or near electrical equipment
  1. Specify the required protective clothing


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