Lower costs and increase safety with Area Classification
Of all the fields covered by ATEX and DSEAR, hazardous area classification is perhaps the most misunderstood. Inexperienced practitioners in area classification simply review areas and allocate a classification in accordance with codes of practice (for example, Zone 1 for 1 meter then Zone 2 for three meters). This can be a costly mistake.
”The approach for calculating Area Classification described in the international standard on area classification, IEC60079:10-1, has frequently been shown to provide zones which are three times bigger than necessary. The Use of software analysis methods as an alternative will therefore save the capital and special maintenance costs of unnecessarily protecting electrical and non-electrical equipment for use in hazardous areas, and allow resources to be directed towards areas of genuine risk”
Example: Using an industry standard code of practice, a Natural Gas release from a CAF Flange at 6 Bar would indicate a 1 meter zone, but when calculating the release, the distance to 50% of the LEL is less than 0.15 Meters and the hypothetical volume is negligible (possibly indicating that a safe area negligible extent may be applied)
Generally, when reviewing a site, almost any hazardous zone (or even safe area) can be achieved, it is an exercise in cost/benefit. For example, you can increase ventilation or add extraction to lower or eliminate a zone, the cost of doing this may be significantly less than ATEX equipment installation and subsequent inspection and maintenance.
Creating a ‘zoned’ area adds initial cost (capital procurement) and significant ongoing costs (specialist training, installation, maintenance and inspections for example). DSEAR also directs sites to try and remove or reduce gas releases before considering ignition control or mitigation.
There are many tools and methodologies that can be used for area classification, our experience includes the following.
- EN60079-10 (Area Classification Standard for ATEX/DSEAR)
- IP15, SR25, API (National Codes of Practice)
- Industry Codes (coal, aviation, water treatment etc.)
- PHAST CFD Software (Qualified User)
- Proprietary software tools
The real skill in area classification is however derived from experience, knowing what can be done and when it will be cost effective, reducing both risk and ongoing maintenance costs. This is how our practical experience benefits your company. We know how and when to reduce zones and what the implication of zoning will be on site risk and DSEAR compliance.
We can deliver your final classification in software, spreadsheets, text or CAD format and always ensure you understand and can update the classification when required.
Our Area Classification Experience
Our Practitioners have significant Area Classification experience
in the following fields:
- Gas Turbines (packaged and Power Station)
- Power Stations (Coal and Gas)
- Engine Testing (Car and Aircraft)
- Paint Spraying
- Packaged Engines for explosive atmospheres
- Chemical Processing
- Control Rooms
- Oils and Gas drilling and refining (on and off shore)
- Drilling and Pipe Handling Equipment
- FSPO’s & Refineries
- Warehousing of Dangerous Substances
- Fuel Farms
- Food Manufacturing (dusts)
- Vehicle Manufacturing
- Airports & Aviation (refuelling and repair)
- Water Treatment and Sewerage
- Medical (DNA splicing etc.)
- Hydrogen Cells and Refuelling
- Garage Forecourts
Confidence in our services
ExVeritas consultants are verified experts in the field of Area Classification as required by the ATEX/DSEAR Directive for EPD Sign off. We have Professional and Public Liability Insurance specifically for Explosive Atmosphere Consultancy and have an extensive and impressive track record of successfully completed projects.