The Purpose of Arc Flash Reduction Maintenance Switch Systems

Recognizing the need for enhanced safety measures, engineers have developed the Arc Flash Reduction System to address the risks associated with arc flashes. Arc flash reduction systems are an advanced technology integrated into modern circuit breakers to minimize the occurrence and severity of arc flash events. It operates by detecting the onset of an arc flash and rapidly extinguishing it before it can escalate into a full-blown incident.

What are the risks associated with arc flash?

Arc flash events pose significant risks to both personnel and equipment within an electrical system. Some of the key risks associated with arc flash include:

Severe Burns

The intense heat generated during an arc flash can cause severe burns to anyone in close proximity to the event. These burns can be thermal in nature, resulting from exposure to high temperatures, or electrical burns caused by the passage of current through the body.

Explosive Blast

Arc flashes produce a rapid expansion of superheated air, creating a blast wave with considerable force. This blast can propel nearby objects, equipment, and debris with lethal velocity, causing blunt force trauma and injuries to personnel.

Flying Debris

The explosive force of an arc flash can dislodge and propel fragments of equipment, tools, and surrounding materials at high speeds. These flying debris pose a significant risk of penetrating clothing, protective gear, and even the human body, leading to severe injuries and lacerations.

Hearing Damage

The loud noise generated during an arc flash event can exceed safe levels, potentially causing temporary or permanent hearing damage to individuals in the vicinity. The sudden and intense sound pressure levels can rupture eardrums and lead to long-term hearing impairment.

Vision Impairment

The intense light emitted during an arc flash can cause temporary or permanent vision impairment, ranging from photokeratitis (welders’ flash) to retinal burns. Direct exposure to the arc can result in flash blindness, causing temporary loss of vision or visual distortion.

Respiratory Hazards

Arc flash events can produce toxic gases, fumes, and smoke due to the vaporization of materials such as insulation, wiring, and circuit components. Inhalation of these toxic byproducts can lead to respiratory irritation, chemical burns, and long-term health effects.

Secondary Hazards

Arc flash incidents can trigger secondary hazards such as electrical fires, explosions, and equipment damage. These cascading events can further exacerbate risks to personnel, property, and the surrounding environment.

How Arc Flash Reduction Maintenance Switch Works

An Arc Flash Reduction system typically works by continuously checking for the event of an arc flash when activated. In the event of an arc flash, the system detects it, and signals the trip unit to open effectively reducing the available incident energy. In the interest of overcurrent coordination, this feature is not continuously activated, but only when the system is armed. This mode is intended to be used during maintenance and can be turned off directly after to maintain coordination with downstream breakers after maintenance is complete.

NOARK’s solution to Arc Flash Reduction

NOARK Electric recognizes the need for a method of arc flash reduction and its requirement per NEC article 240.87. Arc flash reduction is required in applications where the overcurrent device is rated at 1200A and above or can be adjusted to 1200A and above. We have developed an Arc Flash Reduction system for our Power Circuit breaker family, A40, A32 and soon to come A25 to satisfy this need. Our revolutionary Energy-limiting Maintenance Switch (ELM10) combined with programmable trip units, offers a comprehensive safeguarding mechanism.

By integrating these advanced features into our breakers, we empower users to effectively mitigate arc hazards, thereby ensuring heightened levels of personal safety during routine product maintenance activities. This innovative system underscores NOARK Electric’s unwavering commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that prioritize both performance and safety in the electrical industry.

Learn More About NOARK’s Safeguard Products

NOARK Electric understands the need to keep your facilities, power systems, and most importantly, people, safe. That’s why NOARK components are designed with safety first in mind. You can learn more about our line of products by signing up for our monthly newsletter.


Trip Curves Explained How NOARK Electric Ensures Your Safety

Understanding trip curves is essential for selecting the right circuit breaker to protect your electrical system.

Understanding Ground Fault Protection: Importance and Implementation

In this blog, we will delve into the significance of ground fault protection and explore the various methods of implementation.

The Purpose of Arc Flash Reduction Maintenance Switch Systems

Recognizing the need for enhanced safety measures, engineers have developed the Arc Flash Reduction System…


Subscribe to our NOARK newsletter today to receive exclusive product releases, industry tech tips, company updates, and more.