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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Introduction to Hazardous Areas Explosion Hazards Codes of Practice Equipment Groups Hazardous Area Equipment Area Classification Zone Definitions Codes of Protection Gas Groups Temperature Classification Special Conditions for Safe Use Comp'Ex' ATEX IECEx Scheme National Electric Code Up one level
Introduction to Hazardous Areas
The following information is intended as a guide to provide a minimum insight into Hazardous Area Equipment concepts and practice. National or International guidelines and/or Codes of Practice for Hazardous Area installations should always be referenced to ensure compliance with specific local requirements. Users must familiarise themselves with the relevant codes of practice and construction standards as well as the specific product certification details and any Technical Product Data and Installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. Equipment Manufacturers, who may have a general understanding of Hazardous Area regulations and practices, may give limited advice on requirements related to their own product range but beyond that further expert assistance should be sought. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to presume that personnel working in these areas and who may be responsible for installations or guiding others in such installations, are fully qualified and would be aware of and well acquainted with prevailing regulations pertinent to their
compression. as there is some risk of such a situation taking place. engine exhausts. This can occur during storage. stray electric currents. spark or hot surface during the use of electrically powered equipment. Explosion Hazards The danger of explosion exists when flammable materials are mixed with air. process. Flammable material b. production and manufacture of such flammable materials. The three ingredients which together will give rise to an explosion taking place :a. when they can form an explosive mixture. to prevent the possible ignition of flammable or explosive atmospheres. Other sources of ignition energy are open flame. In addition ignition could also be initiated by frictional sparking and electrostatic action. Hot surfaces sufficient to cause ignition can arise from electrical enclosures or components.situation. special measures need to be taken in respect of electrical apparatus. Such ignition may occur following an arc. spontaneous combustion. friction or heat from mechanical equipment & heat from the sun. heat from chemical reactions. The employment of these measures should safeguard both the installation of the plant and more importantly human life as ignition can only occur when both a flammable atmosphere and the means for an ignition exist simultaneously. Ignition source form what is commonly known as the Fire Triangle. The primary requirement is for the operator to prevent conditions where a flammable mixture is released to the atmosphere. Air and c. Arcs can result from the discharge of stored energy or from switching contacts. movement. lightning. It should be noted that in normal circumstances it is the Plant Owner or Operator (or the User) who must take responsibility for the safe operation of the plant. Codes of Practice 2 . However.
Electrical equipment for mining applications 3 . Codes of practice in the USA & Canada. installation. The two categories recogised under both the CENELEC (European) Normatives and the IEC Standards are stated as being equipment groups or apparatus groups. In Europe the latest industry standard or Code of Practice for the classification of hazardous areas is EN 60079-10 (See also IEC 79-10). See also National Electric Code. The codes of practice will list the generic methods of protection which may be used to achieve an acceptable level of safety. installation and maintenance of suitable equipment to protect against these hazards. The codes of practice may be locally. and are defined as follows :Apparatus Group I . The standard reference document for electrical installation is the National Electric Code (NEC) in USA and the Canadian Electric Code (CEC) in Canada. define the permitted use of electrical equipment and approved wiring methods in industry.Codes of practice have been established for the classification of potential hazards and the selection. Equipment Groups The construction of explosion protected electrical equipment intended for use in potentially flammable atmospheres (hazardous areas) is defined clearly in two separate categories to suit the nature of the hazardous area application. nationally or internationally recognised documents. and maintenance of electrical apparatus in flammable atmospheres can be found under EN 60079-14 (See also IEC 79-14). Similarly the code of practice for the selection. which have differed largely from the unified EN & IEC standards.
which allow manufacturers to make apparatus of a uniform type and have this equipment or apparatus tested & certified for compliance with the standards. By way of 4 . The principle methods of protection are summarised as follows :METHOD TYPE OF PROTECTION Designed to prevent the flammable Ex ‘N’ or Ex ‘nR’ (Restricted mixture reaching a means of ignition.Apparatus Group II . under either Apparatus Group I or Apparatus Group II is permitted to carry the approval mark of the European Union as shown below. other than mining applications Equipment that is approved in accordance with European Normatives. These have been adopted into construction standards. This Area Classification process will be carried out in accordance with prevailing standards appropriate to the location of the plant.Electrical equipment for surface industry hazardous areas. and/or existing legislation. Breathing) Ex ‘m’ Encapsulation Ex ‘p’ Pressurisation Ex ‘o’ Oil Immersion Designed to prevent any ignition from Ex ‘e’ Increased Safety arising Ex ‘N’ or Ex ‘nA’ Non Sparking Ex ‘m’ Encapsulation Designed to prevent any ignition from Ex ‘d’ Flameproof Enclosure spreading Ex ‘q’ Powder or Sand Filling Designed to limit the ignition energy Ex ‘i’ Intrinsic Safety of the circuit. Area Classification Hazardous Area Classification The process of classifying an installation or plant into Zones where the probability of flammable atmospheres (or hazardous areas) is assessed is known as Area Classification. a number of standard methods of protection against ignition have been established. or codes. Hazardous Area Equipment For equipment which is to be used in areas where flammable atmospheres may occur.
Ex ‘m’. Under IEC area classification rules the responsible team must take into account the sources of release. The second edition of this Model Code (August 2002) provides a demonstrable methodology to comply with the area classification requirements under the UK’s new Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). Zone 1 is where Flammable Atmospheres are likely to occur during normal operation. otherwise known as ATEX 137. Permitted form of protection : Ex ‘ia’. which may involve detailed and lengthy calculations on the probability of a flammable atmosphere occurring. Permitted forms of protection :Any type of protection suitable for Zone 0 and Ex ‘d’. Ex ‘e’. or present for long periods. 5 . within the UK.e. There would normally be a hazardous area review team appointed having joint responsibility for area clasification and the ongoing process of it's review. i. which implement the safety aspects of the European Chemical Agents Directive (CAD) and Explosive Atmospheres (Protection of Workers) Directive. and ventillation in determining the zone and its extent. Ex ‘ib’.e.example the current European Normative for Area Classification is EN 60079-10 and the relevant IEC standard is IEC 79-10. Typically. Ex ‘p’. the Institute of Petroleum (IP) is a source of practical guides and codes that are adopted by industry and address many issues that need to be resolved with the hazardous area. Ex ‘s’. grade or frequency of release. Greater than 1000 hours per year. Zone Definitions Zoning of Hazardous Areas In European terms the definitions of the Zoning of Hazardous Areas and the forms of protection which are permitted to be used within them in accordance with EN 60079-14 are typically as follows :Zone 0 is where Flammable Atmospheres are continuously present. Whilst these standards are in existance to guide the user in the area classification process. By way of example the Model Code of Safe Practice Part 15 : Area Classification Code for Installations Handling Flammable Fluids (IP15) is the industry standard reference document widely used and followed when establishing hazardous area operations. 10-1000 hours per year. other documents such as model codes of practice may also be referenced to achieve safe results. i.
CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘e’ :Increased Safety Type ‘e’ Equipment. The level of protection against the ingress of dirt and moisture ensures that the prospect of component 6 . Electrical connections and insulation are selected for high reliability and effectiveness. Ex may also be considered as EEx. Permitted forms of protection :Any type of protection suitable for Zone 0 and 1 and Ex ‘N’ or Ex ‘n’. Ex ‘q’. Less than 10 hours per year. The (non-incendive) components used in the apparatus shall not produce arcs or sparks or dangerous temperatures in normal working conditions. Ex ‘o’. is significantly reduced by the following measures. Codes of Protection CODES OF PROTECTION TO IEC STANDARDS Protection methods may be described as ‘Ex’ which suggests compliance with a National or International Standard. CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘d’ :Flameproof Type ‘d’ Equipment which may include arcing and sparking (or incendive) devices and can have explosive mixtures present internally.e. i. The enclosure construction is designed to contain an internal explosion and prevent transmission of sufficient energy to cause an explosion external to the equipment. or alternatively the ‘EEx’ may be used to confirm compliance with a European Harmonised Standard. the enclosure is not designed to withstand an internal explosion. Instead the likelihood of a fault condition. In the following notes.Zone 2 is where Flammable Atmospheres are not likely to occur during normal operation and if they occur will only exist for a short time. Often referred to as the ‘Remotely Hazardous Area’. which could result in ignition of explosive mixtures. The apparatus or equipment usually has a maximum voltage rating of 11kV. Whilst explosive mixtures may enter the equipment.
Ex e or Ex d. which often leads to lower cost. This example has been included to demonstrate a commonly used application of the concept.g. ‘line barriers’ would normally be utilised between the Type ‘d’ and Type ‘e’ compartments creating an indirect cable entry interface. CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘ i ’ :Intrinsically Safe Apparatus (Sub grouped into Ex ia and Ex ib) of these types incorporate circuits which due to their low spark energy potential are not capable of igniting an explosive mixture. CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘m’ :Encapsulation of arcing and sparking components or apparatus in a fashion which ensures that there is no exposure to explosive mixtures which may be present. NOTE : Other forms of primary and secondary protection methods exist. Consequently this would permit the use of Cable Glands with Increased Safety Type ‘e’ form of protection. although this need not always be an approved item in its own right. Ex ia equipment is safe under two fault conditions and can be used in Zone 0 Areas. In the case of Flameproof Type ‘d’ Enclosures having an Increased Safety Type ‘e’ Terminal Chamber. and the surface temperature is controlled under normal and fault conditions. 7 . In this case it is important that the integrity of the enclosure housing be maintained in accordance with the form of protection pertaining to it. Ex ib equipment is safe under one fault condition and can be used in Zone 1 Areas. As this form of protection can be used in both Zone 1 and Zone 2 Areas. and have an Impact Strength of 7Nm minimum. Two fundamental requirements of Ex ‘e’ protection are that the equipment shall be protected to IP54 minimum (for gaseous atmospheres). it is often preferred to Ex ‘d’ due to the need for reduced levels of maintenance and inspection.contamination is substantially reduced. Another major consideration is that Ex ‘e’ apparatus is generally constructed from lighter weight materials. The Intrinsically Safe components or circuitry may be housed in an enclosure having another form of protection e. Codes of Protection Page 2 of 4 CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘de’ :Primary Flameproof Type ‘d’ Enclosure with Secondary Increased Safety Type ‘e’ Protection. allowing reduced frequency of periodic maintenance and inspection cycle because of the ‘e’ philosophy strategically employed. thus preventing ignition from occurring.
This effectively excludes any external explosive mixtures which may be present from entering the enclosure and reaching the hot components. Codes of Protection Page 4 of 4 CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘o’ :Permitted only in areas where the likelihood of a flammable atmosphere is remote (Zone 2). for example in early forms of switch gear. Internal component temperatures must be controlled and wiring connections and terminals selected with ‘Non-sparking’ in mind. In cases where the internal surface temperatures of components cannot be controlled in line with prescribed T ratings. With this form of protection the user is responsible for ensuring that the Cable entry device (Cable Gland) provides an adequate gas tight seal and maintains the integrity of the equipment protection code as detailed under the applicable standard to which it was tested and certified.Type ‘N’ Apparatus does not usually generate arcs or sparks or dangerous temperatures in normal service. The ‘Restricted Breathing Enclosure’ technique is typically used in the design and construction of certain types of Lighting Equipment for Zone 2 Areas where the operating temperature of the lamp would otherwise be dangerously high. CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘p’ :Pressurised or purged Apparatus Type ‘p’ rely on a combination of a positive static pressure applied inside the enclosure and a continuous flow of air or inert gas to 8 . the Restricted Breathing method (Ex nR) is adopted whereby joints and covers have tightly fitted seals and gaskets to provide the additional protection. The concept shares similarities with the Ex e philosophy but is not to the same high standard of protection.Type ‘o’ Apparatus where the sparking components are immersed in Oil and controlled venting is also a feature.Codes of Protection Page 3 of 4 CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘N’ :Permitted only in areas where the likelihood of a flammable atmosphere is remote (Zone 2).
CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘q’ :Powder or Sand filled Enclosures Type ‘q’ which house arcing and sparking (or incendive) devices and include a vent. or chemical and dusts would normally be found in the appropriate National or International Code of Practice related to the users location. Gas Groups The categorisation of Gas Groups for Electrical Apparatus which includes all potentially explosive gases. Nevertheless the equipment or component will have been proven to be safe in normal use. Whilst demonstrating a required level of safety under test conditions. vapours. the component or equipment cannot be incorporated into any one of the normally recognised forms of protection.expel any explosive mixture which may have entered. CODE OF PROTECTION Ex ‘ s ’ :Apparatus or components with Special Protection Type ‘s’ which have been assessed to comply with an applicable standard but which do not precisely meet all of the necessary criteria. For example under UK legislation the DSEAR regulations explicitly set out the criteria under which flammable substances are categorised and the conditions that apply with their use. 9 . A selection of typical gas groups under the current European Normatives (CENELEC) which are reflected under IEC standards is as follows. The system relies essentially on purging schedules and monitoring systems to ensure the reliability and effectiveness of the overall protection. Often used to contain the energy released from the failure of electrical or electronic components such as the breaking of a fuse. In addition to the prevalent codes of practice local regulations may also need to be complied with. This form of protection is often associated with components inside Ex e apparatus for example lighting control gear.
vapours and liquids) is defined in EN 60079. unless otherwise stated on the product certification. A given piece of Electrical Equipment will be approved for a stated maximum ambient temperature in which it is safe to operate. Petroleum & Hydrocarbons IIB Ethylene. along with their corresponding gas group. Town Gas. or in the presence of. Propane.Gas Group Typical Gas I Methane (Firedamp) .Mining IIA Industrial Methane. Coke Oven Gas IIC Hydrogen. Carbon Di-Sulphide Temperature Classification Page 1 of 3 AMBIENT TEMPERATURES (Ta) The Ambient Temperature is the Surrounding Temperature of the environment in which the equipment is installed. The Ignition Temperature of flammable materials (gases. For example under the EN50014 series the normal ambient temperature range for Ex d equipment would be -20ºC to +40ºC. whether indoors or outdoors. The maximum (or minimum) ambient temperature will be stated on the hazardous area certificate. Acetylene. AUTO IGNITION TEMPERATURE Ignition temperature is defined as the lowest temperature determined by a standardised method. a heated surface. described as T amb. In some cases the maximum (or minimum) permitted ambient temperature will be adjusted taking into account any temperature rise under normal operation and the surface temperature rating of the equipment. if it differs from the upper or lower limits of the European standards. Examples of ignition temperatures for commonly occurring 10 . at which the most explosive mixture of the given substance and air will automatically ignite when in contact with.
and petrol/air which ignites at approximately 250ºC. the maximum Ambient Temperature is taken as being 40ºC. This is not always the case. he must ensure that the maximum Surface Temperature (T) Rating of the Equipment or Apparatus selected is lower than the limiting Temperature of the flammable atmosphere 11 . in line with European Normatives). In some cases the external surface temperature measurement is used to determine the T rating.The following Temperature Classifications are those defined in the European (EN50014) and IEC Standards for Group II Electrical Apparatus :- Temperature Classification Maximum Surface Temperature T1 450o C T2 300o C T3 200o C T4 135o C T5 100o C T6 85o C (Unless otherwise specified on apparatus selected. which are used to determine the Zonal classification of the explosive mixture. temperature of ignition by hot surfaces and the spark energy to ignite the mixture. Classification of Maximum Surface Temperatures has been established internationally to create a uniform reference table. With the Ignition Temperature of the flammable mixture known by the user. Other important characteristics are the specific gravity and flash point. Often this takes into account such things as Maximum Ambient Temperature and Maximum Operating Voltage with a +10% over voltage or an overload condition applied. The purpose of the Temperature Classification is to place Apparatus into an appropriate category according to its’ specific thermal properties when exposed to the worst case conditions. however. since certain forms of equipment protection have their temperature measurement taken internally as is the case with most Ex e apparatus.flammable mixtures are town gas (surface methane)/air. but the European and North American numbering systems have not been fully harmonised to date. which ignites at over 600ºC. SURFACE TEMPERATURE RATING Any flammable mixture can be classified for explosion protection under two main characteristics.
Some limtations may relate to temperature ratings or time delays before opening the equipment enclosure after isolation of the power supply. Special Conditions for Safe Use It is important to note that Special Conditions for Safe Use may exist for a product or piece of equipment which set conditions or limitations that if not observed will usually invalidate the hazardous area certification. Please ask for this information from all manufacturers in advance of purchasing product. As all Special Conditions for Safe Use should be considered and taken into account during the selection process for any hazardous area equipment.identified as being present. CMP promote the following recommendation. and may have an impact on the operational efficiency of the process. before it is too late! 12 .
ATEX What is ATEX ? What is ATEX ? ATEX is the name given to a set of European Directives relating to Hazardous Area Installations (Flammable Atmospheres) that takes it’s name from the French “Atmosphères Explosibles”. conformity assessment. 13 .eu. Two separate directives have been introduced covering Equipment (94/9/EC) and Safety of Working Operations (1999/92/EC).htm Why was ATEX introduced ? The ATEX Directive 94/9/EC (commonly referred to as ATEX 95) is a directive adopted by the European Union (EU) to facilitate free trade in the EU by aligning the technical and legal requirements in the member states for products intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres within the EC. This requires manufacturers to adhere strictly to the latest European Normatives (EN Standards) in respect of design construction & certification. and spells out a set of Essential Health & Safety Requirements (EHSR) which when followed should enable everyone in the industry operate safely and to avoid incident.New Approach and Global Approach. legislation and standardisation”. These directives form part of what is known as the “Single Market . Information about the New Approach or Global Approach can be obtained from http://europa.int/comm/enterprise/newapproach/index.
Comitato Elettrotecnico Italiano) Korea (IECEx Council of the Republic of Korea) Netherlands (Netherlands National Committee of the IEC) Norway (Norsk Elektroteknisk Komite (NEK)) New Zealand (Standards New Zealand) Romania (INSEMEX PETROSANI) Russia (The Gosstandart of Russia (GOST)) 14 . and to use one international certificate and mark accepted by all participating countries. 1996. with the following primary objectives : Reduction in testing and certification costs to manufacturer. Effective July 1. 2003.When Does the ATEX Directive Go Into Effect ? The ATEX 95 Directive took effect on a voluntary basis on March 1. all products placed on the market or put into service in the EU for use in potentially explosive atmospheres must comply with the ATEX directive Further information on the subject can be found at the following European Commission weblink IECEx Scheme IECEx Scheme The IECEx Scheme exists to facilitate international trade in electrical equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres (Explosion protected equipment). Currently the participating countries include :Australia (Standards Australia) Canada (Canadian National Committee (CNC/IEC)) China (Chinese National Committee of the IEC CSBTS) Denmark (Dansk Standard) Finland (Finnish Electrotechnical Standards Association SESKO) France (Laboratories Central des Industries Electriques LCIE) Germany (Deutsches Komitee der IEC) Hungary (Hungarian Standard Institution) Italy (CEI . duplication of testing avoided Reduced time to market International confidence in the product assessment process One international database listing The long term goal is to eliminate the need for multiple national certification while preserving an appropriate level of safety.
combustible or ignitable substances may occur in hazardous amounts. or Vapors and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas. Electrical Equipment used in Ordinary. Typical reference documents are :NFPA 497 . The standard reference document for electrical installation is the National Electric Code (NEC) in USA and the Canadian Electric Code (CEC) in Canada. Gases.Slovenia (Slovenian Institute of Quality and Metrology) South Africa (South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)) Sweden (SEK) Switzerland (Electrosuisse) United Kingdom (British Electrotechnical Committee) United States of America (US National Committee of the IECEx) Yugoslavia (Federal Institution for Standardisation) National Electric Code Introduction North American Installation Codes of Practice (Electrical) Codes of practice in the USA & Canada. which have differed largely from the unified IEC standards.Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas The hazardous locations include areas in which flammable. NFPA 499 . Wet and Hazardous (or Classified) Locations must be ‘listed’ by an accredited approval agency for use in the intended location.Recommended Practice for the Classification of Flammable Liquids. In USA the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) is the body that establishes codes of practice for safe working operations in Hazardous Locations. define the permitted use of electrical equipment and approved wiring methods in industry. 15 .
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