Yes, you may conduct your own arc flash study, however, there are many IMPORTANT issues to
Conducting an arc flash study / analysis is a complex process and requires engineers familiar with
conducting power analysis studies and arc flash analysis in particular. Properly collecting all the data
is the first phase of the project, which is difficult for anyone to do if they are not first familiar with all
the potential outcomes and pitfalls of conducting an arc flash analysis. The engineer that conducts
the study needs to proficient in conducting short circuit studies, protective device coordination
studies and have a strong understanding of NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584.
Beyond technical qualifications, in-house assessments are something that plant managers or
engineers have little time for, often resulting in the project not getting completed or conditions of the
electrical equipment changing before completion, making the results void.
The biggest reason not to do the study internally is the cost of getting it wrong. If someone is injured
or killed due to an arc flash and the analysis was incorrect and done by someone who is not
considered qualified to conduct the study, the liability will rest with the person or group that
performed the study.
For some larger organizations that have multiple and large facilities and are willing to invest in
developing a team to perform the analysis and are comfortable with the liability, conducting the
studies internally can help save money. For all other organizations, conducting an arc flash analysis
internally typically has little or no upside compared to any cost savings.