IRISS VPFR infrared window passes 50kA Arc Flash test

September 17, 2008 - IRISS announces that its VPFR infrared window has successfully passed a 50,000 Amp 6 cycle arc resistance test conducted to the required IEC 62271-200 standards on marine switchgear at a test facility in Germany.

Arc flash incidents cost American corporations hundreds of millions of dollars annually. These potentially catastrophic electrical short circuits can produce temperatures in excess of 35,000°F, causing explosions (“arc blasts”) which produce molten shrapnel carried by pressure waves measured in thousands of pounds of force. In addition to the damage to plant assets and lost production time, companies send more than 2,000 workers to burn centers for treatment each year as a result of an estimated 5 to 10 serious arc flash incidents occurring daily across North America alone.

Standards organizations such as IEC and IEEE have prescribed test procedures to certify certain types of electrical distribution equipment, such as metal clad switchgear, “for resistance to the effects of arcing due to an internal fault.” Switchgear passing such test with various accessories (such as infrared windows) in place are termed “Arc Resistant” by these standards, and are proven to contain the effects of arc blast, thereby minimizing additional destruction of plant assets and human life.

IRISS VPFR infrared windows were recently used as accessories in a 50,000 Amp 6 cycle arc resistance test, and the windows, as part of the switchgear system, were shown to contain the effects of the blast. “This shows what we have been saying for years” said Martin Robinson, President of IRISS. “Arc Resistant switchgear is designed to redirect the heat and power of an arc flash away from panel doors and covers. The VPFR is by far the strongest IR window on the market so it is no surprise that it passes these tests; after all, the real energy absorption is being done by the switchgear design – similar to the way an automobile is designed to redirect forces away from vehicle occupants.”

“We are very excited to have this confirmation of our design” said Tim Rohrer, VP of Sales & Marketing. “But people really need to understand what these tests actually mean: namely that our industrial-grade IR windows were shown to help contain an arc blast as part of this system – as with any window or component that passes similar (arc resistance) tests, it does NOT give a general or generic ‘arc rating’ to the component or for use in non-resistant gear. That being said, it is a great confirmation of our best-in-class design.”

About IRISS inc.
Established in 2007, IRISS, inc. is a privately held company whose mission is to enable companies to “save time, save money and save lives.” As manufacturer of the world’s first and only industrial-grade infrared windows, IRISS’s end-user-designed products are the culmination of more than 14 years experience using and designing infrared windows, and launching infrared window programs around the world. IRISS products are the heart of efficient and safe work processes for infrared electrical surveys and thereby provide the means with which companies can reduce and eliminate risk to plant assets and personnel.

By facilitating closed-panel inspections, use of IRISS infrared windows eliminate 99.9% of arc flash triggers during IR electrical surveys and help companies to comply with NFPA and OSHA mandates.