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Intrinsically Safe Lighting in Explosive Environments


Intrinsically Safe Lighting in Explosive Environments ATEX IECEX

Intrinsically Safe Lighting in Explosive Environments

In the petroleum and chemical processing industries, the dangers of explosive environments are obvious. But many other industries can create explosive atmospheres that present a serious danger. 

Five components must be in place for an explosion to occur: oxygen, confined space, ignition source, dispersion, and a fuel source. These elements make up the explosion pentagon. The three elements needed for a fire - fuel source, oxygen, and an ignition source - can create a flash fire within a confined space, resulting in the ingredients for an explosion. Eliminating one of these five elements will prevent an explosion, but eliminating these hazards is not a simple process. Oxygen in confined spaces typically cannot be eliminated. Therefore, managing fuel sources and the use of properly rated equipment to prevent ignition is essential.

 

 

How is Equipment designed to meet the ATEX/Intrinsic Safety Standards?

There are several methods the electronic circuit is designed to limit the electrical or thermal energy that could cause a spark:

  • Current limiting
  • Creating fused isolated areas
  • Using overvoltage protection
  • Minimising the amount of stored energy
  • Reducing the amount of surface static on its enclosure.

The equipment you are using must meet or exceed the standards for the most explosive environment you could face under known or unknown situations. In the United States, Intrinsically Safe (IS) products are tested to the UL 913 5th or 8th edition standards with the UL 913 8th edition being harmonized to the EN/IEC 60079 -01/-11 standard for European Union ATEX certifications and the Australian and remaining countries IECEx certifications.

As an example, using the ATEX classification system, a Zone 2 environment could quickly become a Zone 1 or even a Zone 0 environment, and your equipment must be rated appropriately as you may not be aware that the environment has changed until it is too late. If you are unsure, analyze the work environment, determine the worst-case scenario, and equip your workers based on that.

Atex Zones explained Intrinsical Safety | Henchman

The quality of your equipment is vital in explosive environments. You must ensure it is manufactured by a reputable company with documented experience in creating intrinsically safe products. The ideal situation would be to purchase all of your IS products from a single manufacturer rather than mixing and matching products from several companies. A single source manufacturer ensures consistent quality and safety across the entire product line. Because of the knowledge, time, and expense required to engineer and produce IS products, a very limited number of companies can achieve this.

 

Intrinsically Safe Lighting

In a flammable atmosphere environment, special precautions must be taken to prevent catastrophic explosions. All portable lighting must be specifically engineered to avoid a spark from occurring and igniting any flammable vapors or explosive mists. In some cases, these vapors and mists can be colorless and odorless, making them especially dangerous.

 

Nightstick Torch IECEX Intrinsically Safe

Nightstick Intrinsically Safe Lighting

Nightstick, a global manufacturer of intrinsically safe, professional, portable LED lighting products that exceed industry standards in performance, quality, and user-safety, has over fifty IS products. They have an IS product to meet your needs, from pocket-sized penlights to wide-area floodlights, for use above ground or below ground.

You need to be able to focus on completing your job with confidence, knowing your equipment was designed and rated for the highest levels of safety when your life depends on light. 

The Nightstick XPP-5422GMX is the definition of an intrinsically safe product. This ATEX safety certified Dual-Light™ Flashlight is not capable of releasing enough electrical or thermal energy under normal or abnormal circumstances to cause ignition, even in a Zone 0 environment. The light is rated IP-67 dust/waterproof and puts out 285 lumens with an impressive beam distance of 170 meters. Additionally, the torch includes both a flashlight and downward floodlight, which can be turned on separately or simultaneously.

 

Led Lenser EXH8R Headlamp Rechargeable Intrinsicallly safe

Ledlenser Intrinsically Safe Lighting

The Ledlenser EX and iL series have been specifically designed for contact with explosive gases, vapours and dust and fulfil both the Ex and IECEx standards in every respect. But they aren't just designed with safety in mind. They also deliver excellent performance with high brightness levels, long battery life and Ledlenser‘s patented 'Advanced Focus System' which allows for simple adjustment of the light beam’s illumination area and throw distance.

With 10 products to choose from in the LED Lenser intrinsically safe range, you're sure to find a headlamp or torch that meets your requirements. The EX series is suitable for use in working areas of Ex-Zone 0/20 & Ex-Zone 1/21 and the iL series for use in working areas of Ex-Zone 2/22.