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Electrical Equipment In
Hazardous Atmospheres

Basic Principles
Topics Covered

 Principles of Explosion Protection

 Zones of Use
 Gas Groups
 Temperature Classes
 Explosion Protection Categories
Conditions For An Explosion
 Three simultaneous conditions are
required and are often shown in the form
of an ignition triangle.

Ignition or Fire Triangle
 In Order for Combustion (Fire or Explosion) to
Occur, 3 elements must be Present:

– Fuel
– Source of Ignition
– Oxygen or Air
Ignition Triangle

+ +

Fuel Ignition Source

(Gas, Vapor + Dust (Sparks + Hot surface)
+ Fibre & Flyings)
Ignition Triangle
Primary Explosion Protection
 Elimination of Ignition Source, or
 Elimination of Fuel, orOxygen
 Elimination Oxygen

Fuel Ignition Source

Ignition Source (Energy)
 Heat
– Light Fixtures (Lamp / Ballast)
 Arcing / Sparking
– Switches / Relays
– Plugs and Receptacles
 Potential Source
– Terminals
– Tools
Hazardous Area Zones
 Three Zones

– How Likely?
– For How Long?
Hazardous Area Zones

Safe Area
Examples of Zoning
 Petrol Station Forecourt

Safe Area

Zone 2

Zone 1
Examples of Zoning
 LPG Tanker Zone 2

Zone 1

Zone 0
Definition of Zones
 Zone 0

Zone in which an explosive atmosphere is

continuously present, or present for long

How Likely? - very likely For How Long? > 1000 hrs/yr
Definition of Zones
 Zone 1

Zone in which an explosive atmosphere is

likely to occur in normal operation.

How Likely? - likely For How Long? >10 hrs < 1000 hrs/yr
Definition of Zones
 Zone 2

Zone in which an explosive atmosphere is

not likely to occur in normal operation, and if
it occurs it will exist only for a short time.
Sometimes referred to as: “The
remotely Hazardous Area”
How Likely? - Unlikely For How Long? < 10 hrs/yr
Definition of Zones
- Occurrence of Gas /Vapor & for How long

Descriptions How Likely? For how long?

Zone 0 Very likely > 1000 hrs/year

Zone 1 Likely > 10 < 1000 hrs/yr

Zone 2 Not Likely < 10 hrs /year

Electrical Equipment In
Hazardous Area
 Concentrates on the ignition source

 Different methods employed for

Principles Involved
 Containment of explosion within
Ex d
Types of Protection and
Explosion Protection Symbol
 Containment of Explosion in
– Flameproof (Ex d)

Hazardous Gas,
Vapor, Dust etc.
Methods Of Protection That
“Contain an Explosion”

All Bolts Must

Be Installed
Metal To Metal Joints &
Extra Care must be
Taken to prevent Correctly
Corrosion Housing “Contains”
• Joints on covers or openings • Does not prevent explosion occurring
are protected by the but contains the explosion and prevents
‘flame-path’ ignition of surrounding atmosphere.

Enclosure Wall
Flame-paths • Flame paths Must be free from
corrosion !!!
• All bolts Must be tightened down
correctly !!!

238 Exd Wellglass

Ex de certified
Flameproof and Increased Safety Floodlight

Increased Safety (Exe)

Terminal Box

Flameproof Enclosure (Exd)

• Lamp and sparking • Wiring enters enclosure via
devices are contained within flameproof barrier gland
flameproof enclosure

Cables connected
To Exe Terminal

Enclosure Wall

Flameproof (Exd) EN50018

Types of Protection and Symbol
 Avoidance of ignition condition
 Increased Safety (Ex e)
 Non - Sparking (Ex N, n)

Hazardous Area
Method Of Protection Ex “e”

Increased Safety

 Additional Protection Is Given to
Components to Prevent Excessive High Temperatures
Temperatures or Arcs and Sparks
 Terminals Cannot Vibrate Loose, Deform
Conductors and have Increased Creepage

and Clearances

 Other Factors
How does it work
Increased Safety (Ex e) / Non - Sparking (Ex n, N)
 Increased creepage and clearance distances for electrical connections.

 Reduction or controlling operating temperature of components

(eg. Lamps & ballast)
 No Sparking components allowed, unless protected by another
protection method, ie. Ex m, Exq or Ex d
 Conditioning Test required if plastic parts used
 Impact Test required on diffusers and enclosure bodies
 Increased moisture/dirt ingress protection, ie. IP rating
Comparison Table – Ex e versus Ex n

The reference standards are EN 50019 and EN 50021.

The equivalent I EC standards are IEC 60079-7 and I EC 60079-15

Test Ex e Ex n Remarks

I ncreased For example at 275V For example at 250V the I n general the
Creepage & the min creepage for min creepage for group I I EC 664-
Clearance group I material is material is 3.2mm, the 1values are
distances of 8mm, the min min clearance is 2.5mm used with
electrical clearance is 6mm in air. in air. added factors

Reduction or Greater control over The components are As well as

Control of component tested within the being required
Temperature of temperatures, luminaire and cannot for T rating,
Components materials & exceed the reduced
construction of manufacturers max temperatures
components. (Certified rating. They must also mean longer
components normally not exceed the T-rating. life.
used.). Ex e refers back Ex n mainly refers back A common rule
to the explosive to the product standard; of thumb is
atmospheres general in our case for that +10ºK
requirements EN luminaires halves the life.
50014. EN 60598.
Comparison Table – Ex e versus Ex n

Test Requirements Ex e Ex n Remarks

I mpact Low High Low Risk High Risk The risk

Test Risk Risk mentioned is
Light 2J 4J 1J 2J that of
transmitti mechanical
ng parts damage.
without I EC 60079-15
guards. has higher
values for Ex n
Enclosures 4 J 7J 2J 3.5 J

I P rating I P 54 min. I P 54
(Can be marked I P4X but
would have special
conditions for safe use.)
No sparking Sparking Ex n also permits protection The Ex n
components allowed components methods such as methods have
unless protected by must be hermetically sealed, sub-groups
another protection protected by encapsulated, simplified marked i.e. nR
method eg. Exd Exd, Exm, Exq. pressurisation, restricted
breathing etc, which are
described within EN50021.
Comparison Table – Ex e versus Ex n

Test Requirements Ex e Ex n Remarks

Conditioning Test For plastic parts; For plastic parts; RH =

4 weeks at 90% RH & 2 weeks at 90% RH & Relative
20ºK above max service 10ºK above max Humidity
temp. Or if greater than service temp. Or if
75ºC two weeks at 95ºC & greater than 85ºC one K = Kelvin
90% RH followed by two week at 95ºC &
weeks at 20ºK above max 90% RH followed by
service temp. one week at 10ºK
above max service
Zone of Use and Zone = 1 and 2 Zone = 2 only

Summary Gives increased security I n normal operation

against the possibility of the apparatus is not
excessive temperatures likely to ignite a
and of the occurrence of surrounding explosive
arcs & sparks inside and atmosphere.
on external parts of Ex n ensures that a
electrical apparatus which fault is not likely to
does not produce arcs or occur in normal
sparks in normal service operation.
Method Of Protection Ex “q”
Prevention of fuel coming into contact with ignition source

 Powder or Sand Filled

– The Enclosure Is Filled With Sand or
Ground Glass
– Displaces Hazardous Gases
– Isolates Hot or Arcing Components
– Zone 1 and 2 Applicable
Types of Protection and Explosion Protection
 Prevention of fuel coming into contact
with ignition source
- Encapsulation (Ex m) - Potted capacitors, ballast, etc.
- Oil Immersion (Ex o) - Oil filled capacitors, windings, etc.
- Powder Filling (Ex q) - Electronic Ballast, capacitors, etc

Hazardous Area
What type of Protection to use?
 The hazardous zones are decided by local
authorities, not the equipment manufacturer.
 Different Protection methods are suitable for
different zones.
Apparatus Suitable for Zone 0

 Intrinsically Safe Apparatus Type Ex i (a)

 Special for zone 0 Type Ex s
Apparatus Suitable for Zone 1
 Any Apparatus Suitable for Zone 0 and
– Flameproof Apparatus Type Ex d
– Increased Safety Apparatus Type Ex e
– Intrinsically Safe Apparatus Type Ex i (b)
– Encapsulated Apparatus Type Ex
– Pressurized Apparatus Type Ex p
– Sand Filled Apparatus Type Ex q
– Special for zone 1 Type Ex s
Apparatus Suitable for Zone 2
Any Apparatus suitable for Zone 0 and
Any Apparatus suitable for Zone 1 and

 Non-sparking apparatus Type Ex N

Type Ex n
 Oil Immersed Apparatus Type Ex o
Gas Groups
Gas Groups
 Gases are divided into two major groups

– Group I - Mining

– Group II - Other
(Above Ground)
Gas Groups
 Gas Group II is further sub-divided:-
- IIA (Propane)
- IIB (Ethylene)
- IIC (Hydrogen & Acetylene)

• Qualifying Properties
– Maximum Explosion Pressures
– Clearance of Clamped Joints
Gas Groups
 Any apparatus (lighting fixture) marked for Gas
Group II or IIC can be used in ALL Gas Group
area ie. IIA, IIB & IIC
Gas Groups
 Any apparatus suitable for Gas Group
IIC can be used where Gas Group IIB or
IIA is required
 Any apparatus suitable for Gas Group
IIA cannot be used where Gas Group IIB
or IIC is required
Gas Groups
Gas Group of the Area/Zone
Apparatus Gas Group

II A ➜   

II B ➜   

II C ➜   
Temperature Class
Temperature Class
 Gases are also grouped according to
temperature above which a gas will
instantly ignite. Called the ‘ignition
temperature’ of the gas.
 Apparatus (luminaire) must have a
maximum permissible surface temperature
which is below ignition temperature of gas.
What is the Ignition
of the Gas/Dust
T-Ratings Present?
 T-Rating (Marked on the Fixture)
It is the Maximum Operating Temperature range of a Luminaire
or Fixture

 Must Be Below the Ignition Temp of the

Gas / Dust Present
 Example: If gas present has ignition temp of
215o C, then T- Rating requirement is T3 (200o C).
Temperature Class
Temperature Class Maximum Surface Temperature

T1 450 ºC
T2 300 ºC
T3 200 ºC
T4 135 ºC
T5 100 ºC
T6 85 ºC
Ingress Protection
1st Digit Degree of Protection 2nd Digit Degree of Protection
(Dust) (Liquids)
0 No protection 0 No protection
1 Large foreign bodies 1 Drops of condensed water
2 Ingress of medium sized 2 Liquid falling at angle up to
foreign bodies. 15 degrees from vertical.
3 Ingress of foreign bodies > 3 Rain falling at angle up to
2.5mm dia. 60 degrees from vertical.
4 Ingress of foreign bodies > 4 Protection against liquid
1mm dia. splashing .
5 Dust sufficient to interfere 5 Water projected by nozzle
with operation. from any direction.
6 Complete protection against 6 Conditions on ships decks.
7 7 Immersion in water.
8 8 Indefinite immersion in
water as agreed with
Explosion Protection Category
Explosion Protection Category

■ II 2GD Ex eqm II T4

Approved to ATEX Directive Group II, Category 2, G=Gas, D=Dust

Explosion Protection Category
Coding: Ex eqm II T4

“e” = Increased Safety (Primary Protection Method)

“q” = Powder Filling (High Frequency Electronic Ballast)

“m” = Encapsulation (Isolating Device)

Explosion Protection Category
 II 2GD Ex eqm II T4
– This means that the product has been
certified to ATEX Directive Category 2 for
Gas & Dust application and is suitable
– for use in zone 1 and zone 2 areas,
– for use in Gas groups IIA, IIB or IIC
– and for gases with ignition temperatures
classified as T4 (less than 135 degC)
 Must be fully implemented by July 2003
 New zone classifications
 More stringent than existing standards
 Methods of protection not covered by
existing standards will be allowed.

Zone 0 Category 1

Zone 1 Category 2

Zone 2 Category 3
World Standards
European & IEC
American Standards

Comparison IEC/EN ~ NEC 500

IEC / EN NEC 500

Gas & Vapor - Zone 0, 1 & 2 Class 1 Division 1 & 2

Combustible Dust - Zone 21 & 22 Class 2 Division 1 & 2
Fibres & Flyings Class 3 Division 1 & 2
Comparison IEC/EN ~ NEC 505

IEC / EN NEC 505

Gas & Vapor - Zone 0, 1 & 2 Class 1 Zone 0, 1 & 2

Comparison IEC/EN ~ NEC 505

IEC Permissible Apparatus NEC Permissible Apparatus

Zone 0 Ex ia, Ex s Zone 0 Ex ia

Zone 1 As above Zone 1 As above

Ex e, d, q, m, ib, s Ex d
Zone 2 As above Zone 2 As above
Ex n, N Non Incendive
Comparison NEC vs IEC

Maximum surface IEC NEC

temperature (deg. C)
450 T1 T1
300 T2 T2
280 - T2A
260 - T2B
230 - T2C
215 - T2D
Comparison NEC vs IEC
Maxim um surface IE C NEC
temperature deg.
( C)
20 0 T3 T3
18 0 - T3 A
16 5 - T3B
16 0 - T3C
13 5 T4 T4
12 0 - T4 A
10 0 T5 T5
85 T6 T6
Section 505-5. Gas Grouping
and Classification
Gas Group Gas Group

Acetylene Group A
Group IIC
Hydrogen Group B

Groups B + C Group IIB+H2

Ethylene Group C Group IIB

Propane Group D Group IIA

Comparison NEC vs IEC
Product Symbol Zone Group EN Zone Group
Gases The use of electrical devices is 0 open
and not recommended
Class I Division I Group D EEx d 1 IIA
(Zone 0 & 1) Group C IIB
Group B IIB & IIC
Group A IIC

Class I Division II Group D Ex n 2

(Zone 2) Group C Ex N 2 open
Group B
Group A
Nature Of Hazardous
Dust Groups

– Low Resistance / Conduct Electricity

➢ Group F
– Carbonaceous Dusts - Carbon Black, Charcoal,
and Coal
➢ Group G
– Flour, Grain, Plastic, Cocoa, Chemical Dusts
– High Resistance
• Qualifying Properties
– Electrical Conductivity
– Dust Particle Size
Nature Of Hazardous
 Class III

➢ No Groups Established
➢ Fibers and Flyings

• Qualifying Properties
➢ Quantity Present
➢ Effects of Overheating
Methods Of Protection That
“Contain an Explosion”

Miniature Explosion Metal Explosion

Proof Housing Proof Enclosure
Types of Protection and
Explosion Protection Symbol
 Exclusion of Fuel From Atmosphere
– Pressurization Ex p

Hazardous Area
Nature of Hazardous
NEC Gas Groups
• Class I Test Gas
➢ Group A Acetylene
➢ Group B Hydrogen or Gases of Equiv. Hazard
➢ Group C Ethylene
➢ Group D Propane

• Qualifying Properties
–Maximum Explosion Pressures
–Clearance of Clamped Joints
NEC Class I Locations
T Codes (identification numbers)
Identification Max. Temp. Max. Temp.
Number Degrees C Degrees F
T1 450 842
T2 300 572
T2A 280 536
T2B 260 500
T2C 230 446
T2D 215 419
T3 200 392
T3A 180 356
T3B 165 329
T3C 160 320
T4 135 275
T4A 120 248
T5 100 212
T6 85 185
Temperature Class
Temperature Classification of Zone
Apparatus Temperature Class

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6
T1 ➜     
T2 ➜     
T3 ➜     
T4 ➜     
T5 ➜     
T6 ➜     
Temperature Class
 T6 apparatus is suitable for use in a T5, T4,
etc. to T1 areas

 T2 apparatus is suitable for use in T2 and

T1 areas only
Primary Explosion Protection
 Elimination of Fuel

Fuel Ignition Source

Primary Explosion Protection
 Elimination of Oxygen

Fuel Ignition Source

What is the Classification
of the Hazardous
 Class - Type of Fuel Potentially Present
– Class I - Gases, Vapors

– Class II - Ignitable Dusts

– Class III - Fibers & Flyings

(Gases or Vapors)
 Petrochemical  Tank Farm
 Refineries
 Steel Mills
 Fuel Service
 Chemical Plants  Aircraft
 Oil & Gas
 Sewage  Paint Spray
 Power Plants
Class II (Ignitable Dusts)
 Pharmaceutical
 Mines
 Grain Silos
 Coal Fired Power Plants
 Food Processing (Flour, Cocoa, etc.)
 Fertilizer Plants
 Metal Grinding
 Pulp & Paper
Class III (Fibers & Flyings)

 Textile Mills
 Rope Manufacturing
 Lumber & Saw Mills
 Cotton Gins
 Cotton Seed Mills
 Flax Processing Plants
Occurrence of Hazard
 Division 1 / Zone 0 and 1
– Hazardous Substance Present Under Normal Conditions.
Open System
Using Flammable Liquid to Manufacture End Product

 Division 2 / Zone 2
– Hazardous Substance Present Only Under Abnormal Conditions.
Closed System
Storage Tanks
Principles Involved
 Limitation of energy in system to safe
Types of Protection and
Explosion Protection Symbol
Energy Limitation
– Intrinsic Safety Ex i
Ex i - Intrinsic Safety (EN 50020)
 Circuit is controlled to reduce potential spark
energy to below that which would ignite any
flammable gas present.
 Zenner barriers are used to isolate the
intrinsic circuit from non protected circuits
 This includes the occurrence of:-
– ia - 2 fault conditions
– ib - 1 fault condition
Potentially Explosive Atmosphere
 An area in which there can be a flammable
gas, liquid or vapour present at some point
in time.
Hazardous Areas
 An area containing a potentially explosive
atmosphere, which, if ignited, could give rise
to damage to property or injury to persons.