Arc Advisor: Arc Flash Analysis and Label Maker Software Company Spotlight:

Every so often, eLocal will showcase a business that can be of additional value to its contractors.

This month we focus on ARCAD, an online resource for electricians to find online tools and PC software to aid them in arc flash analysis and label making.

Online and PC Based Software Tools for Short Circuit, Arc Flash Analysis and Label Making: A Resource for Professional Electrical Contractors

ARCAD helps facilities create safer working environments for individuals who service electrical systems by providing online and PC-based software tools for short circuit and arc flash hazard analysis. NFPA requires that any panel likely to be serviced by a worker must be surveyed and labeled. ARCAD provides resources and tools allowing electrical contractors to perform these tests, including short circuit, incident energy, arc flash protection boundary, and risk category calculations. Plus, its tools let electricians create customized arc flash warning labels themselves, reducing the cost of obtaining compliance with OSHA, NFPA70E and Canadian CSA Z462 standards.

ARCAD’s Online Short Circuit Calculator offers unique, one-of-a-kind online tools for fault current analysis. Advantages are:

1. No need for software installation. This means there is no risk associated with virus threat.
2. The system can be accessed, operated, and shared from anywhere, anytime, and on any platform connected to Internet by anybody who is granted access
3. Access to the most recent services and updates.
4. Routine data backup.

ARCAD Short Circuit Calculator performs more than calculations. It has a unique input data error analysis to ensure accurate output values. The calculator validation procedure, input data analysis and algorithm for capacity calculations ensure that the results are not more precise than is justified by input data accuracy. Error in science and engineering does not usually mean a mistake. It rather means inevitable uncertainty that happens because of empirical measurements. Thus, it cannot be perfectly corrected. All measurements in practice and even in principle have some error associated with them; no measured quantity can be determined with infinite precision and zero deviation.

Without proper error analysis, no valid scientific conclusions can be drawn. In fact, wrong results can happen if error analysis is ignored. Most calculators don’t account for this proper error analysis. Also, upon request, ARCAD will review free of charge your project and notify you should any adjustment need to be done and the reason why. In this way, you can gain more confidence in utilizing MVA method for short circuit analysis and it’s online implementation.

ARCAD Free Online IEEE 1584 Based Arc Flash Calculator was developed as an easy to use and comprehensive tool for calculating arc incident energy, flash protection boundary and risk category required by NEC and CEC when work is to be performed on or near energized equipment. The calculator takes equipment configuration, gap between electrodes, grounding type, short circuit fault current value and system voltage on input, and determines arcing fault current at potential point of fault. Next, the incident energy, flash protection boundary and level of personnel protective equipment are determined based on equipment configuration, arc duration and working distance. Besides identifying the hazards, the calculator will also create detailed warning label in electronic GIF format. To achieve maximum safety, these labels should be installed on all existing enclosure doors, removable panels, etc.

ARCAD has recently announced the release of the ARC FLASH ANALYTIC (AFA V4.1) standalone PC program for arc flash and shock hazard analysis. Calculator-style interface makes complex calculations easy to understand. Detailed procedure for IEEE 1584 based arc flash calculations has been included in the calculator. An effective arc flash safety program must be designed on a reliable foundation. Arc flash studies must be performed by qualified persons using a quality analysis tool which provide accurate results that you can trust and rely on.

For more information about ARCAD, resources for arc flash, and short circuit analysis, please visit