Arc Flash Study Data Collection Effort

Arc Flash Study data collection usually requires a tremendous effort.  What is the typical effort for data collection?  Jim Phillips conducted a survey at and asked what percentage of the entire arc flash study time was devoted to data collection.

Video Transcript

When you’re performing an arc flash study, the data collection process can just be a tremendous effort. Depending on the age of your facility, depending on the available drawings and documentation, it can take a pretty large part of the overall study effort.

You need to determine things like the protective devices that are out there, because the protective devices are used to define the arc duration. And you need to determine the transformer information, transformer data, because this is going to be used as part of the short circuit part of the arc flash study. Motor contribution as well. All kinds of data is going to be required to perform an arc flash study.

So I started thinking about this one again, about what percentage of the overall study effort goes for just simply collecting the data, trying to determine all the data that’s going to be required. And so I asked this question at the Arc Flash Forum, and the way that I worded the question, I said “on average,” because people will perform many, many studies, especially like consultants. And so I said, on average, what percentage of the arc flash study effort is for data collection, and there were several different answers that people could select.

The first one is less than 20% of the overall effort. 1%. 20% to 40%, 10% of the respondents said that that was their answer. 40% to 60% was the overwhelming response. 66% of the people said 40% to 60%. More than 60% of the total study effort going to data collection, that was 23% of the people.

If you’re just beginning performing your first arc flash study, and you’re thinking, oh my gosh, this data collection is just absolutely overwhelming, well, you’re in pretty good company, because 66% of the people say that 40% to 60% of the overall effort is for data collection.

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