What is arc flash? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Data centers glossary:

An arc flash is an undesired electric discharge that travels through the air between conductors or from a conductor to a ground. The resulting explosion can cause fires and serious harm to equipment and people.

The temperature of an arc flash may exceed 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is capable of vaporizing metal and sending a blast of plasma and molten metal in all directions with extreme force. Generally, an electrical system must run at more than 480 V to supply an arc flash; the higher the voltage, the higher the risk. Damage is caused both by the explosion of the arc flash and by the heat radiating from the blast.

It is possible to protect against arc flash with the proper protective equipment and, more importantly, safety procedures and training. The IEEE has created a set arc flash standards that companies can use during facilities planning to help minimize the risk of arc flash in the first place.

This was last updated in May 2012
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • Tesla Powerwall

    - Powerwall, which is aimed at the residential market, is designed to store power generated by solar panels or wind turbines at peak time for use during power outages and out-of-peak time, including ... (WhatIs.com)

  • SAN/NAS convergence

    - SAN/NAS convergence is the merging of network attached storage (NAS) with storage area network (SAN) technologies through the use of newer techniques that overcome incompatibilities between the two. (WhatIs.com)

  • load-sharing mirror

    - A load-sharing mirror or load-balancing mirror is a mirror image copy of a site or service that not only acts as a backup but actively shares in serving a portion of traffic. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Data centers

    - Terms related to data centers, including definitions about network operations centers (NOCs) and words and phrases about the storage, management and the transmission of data.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About arc flashPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.