Methods for Evaluating DC Arc Incident Energy in PV Systems: Preprint

William Sekulic, Albert Marroquin, Peter McNutt

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Renewable energy systems continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the energy industry. This paper focuses on the understanding of how photovoltaic (PV) technology behaves under dc arc conditions. Emphasis is placed on the electrical safety aspect of DC arc flash incident energy evaluation. Because of the fast proliferation of PV systems and the lack of formal equivalent calculation guidelines such as IEEE 1584 for AC systems, it has been necessary to rely on different equations and models presented by various researchers over the last few years. This paper discusses the behavior of PV systems under arc conditions and presents the results of available methods to estimate the dc arc flash incident energy. This paper provides a comparative analysis of a proposed arc-flash incident energy calculation method against different laboratory tests including those performed by NREL. Detailed explanations are provided regarding the effect of PV module I-V and P-V curves under arcing conditions. Examples of the application of the proposed calculation method to the test measurements are included.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2021
EventIEEE Electrical Safety Workshop -
Duration: 8 Mar 202112 Mar 2021


ConferenceIEEE Electrical Safety Workshop

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-78331


  • DC arc flash
  • DC incident energy
  • IV-curve
  • photovoltaic
  • PV systems


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