When Ralph Lee first called attention to the threat of arc-flash explosions in the early 1980s, he noted that an electric arc between metals is four times as hot as the surface of the sun. Perhaps because the concept of electric arcing seemed as fantastical as a supernova, it took over a decade for Lee’s concepts to gain mainstream acceptance.
While IEEE and NFPA acknowledge that there’s more to learn about “arc-flash phenomena,” we have a growing body of research and evidence on which to build arc-flash standards, safety policies and protection strategies. In addition, there are a number of videos that give us insight into the raw power of arc-flash energy, as well as the human toll of arc-flash accidents. Here are a few of them.