View the video in the link below to show just how catastrophic an arc flash can be, the Elecsis arc containment switchboards prevent the arc escaping other than through the specially designed arc vents in the roof and away from the operator thus preventing serious injury or death.
Arc fault is the most catastrophic event that can occur in electrical enclosure.When an arc fault occurs, thermal energy up to five times the surface temperature of the sun (20,000°C) is released.
For the optimum personnel protection Elecsis has designed and type tested a range of fully welded switchgear to IEC/TR 61641 to withstand the effects of internal arc faults. In the event of an internal arc the panel construction manages the arc venting the energy through carefully designed sections of the switchboard and out via arc flaps mounted in the roof of the switchboard, thus ensuring minimum downtime and maximum operators safety.
The switchgear has to manage the internal arc faults and keep the effects of arc confined within the place of occurrence in order to thus provide continuous operation of the remaining functions not associated with the fault and give maximum personnel protection
To fulfil the demand of different standards special measures have to be taken and the switchgear has to be conceived with separate segregated compartments for each function. Special attention has to be given to the design of the doors and the covers which will withstand severe stresses and cannot allow any damaging effects outside.
Care also has to be taken to design the pressure relief flaps for busbar and distribution compartments so that when the flap of compartment opens it will not contaminate adjacent compartments. Measures also have to be taken to avoid any burn through in order to provide ultimate safety in the accessible parts. The design also does not to allow any part or piece of the equipment to fly away during such a fault and ensures safe walkways on front, rear and on sides for maximum operator protection.
To see the switchboard being tested click the picture on the right :-