The Fundamentals of Electric Arc Protection and Choosing The Right Kit

The fundamentals of electric arc protection
Professional Clothing Director-e Magazine
Mike Frain
Published: October/November 2012

BRIGHT SPARK and leading consultant Mike Frain explains the fundamentals of Electric Arc protection and choosing the right kit…

What is an electric arc?
Mike Frain: A natural form of an electrical arc is lightning. In electrical equipment, it is the breakdown of air or other insulating gases between conductors such as busbars. Electrical breakdown and ionisation of the air will occur causing high currents to flow into what is essentially a short circuit leading to an ongoing plasma discharge between the conductors. The tips of an arc can reach 20,000 C, which is four times hotter than the sun and all known elements will be rapidly vapourised at these temperatures.