Electrical equipment for hazardous locations
The standard harmonization has been done in the hazardous area and the applicable Ex equipment design, testing, and installation over the last few decades.
There are yet some significant differences in the product design, testing and installation requirements between the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) and the Indian system. This poses a challenge to the international manufacturers and the end-users.
Standardization in the field of Explosion Protection
The roots of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) date back to India’s pre-independence era. During this period the standardization activity was largely sporadic and was confined to a few government organizations. Today, BIS is the national code laying body in India, established under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 1986. Its main objective is the harmonious development of the standardization activities, quality certification of goods and services, and marking.
Standards Development Process
The standards formulation activity within BIS is carried out through 14 Division Councils, each responsible for its respective field of engineering, science, and technology. The Electro-technical Division Council ETDC is carried out through 37 Sectional is responsible for the standardization in the field of electrical power generation, T&D and utilization equipment, insulating materials, winding wires, measuring and process control instruments and primary and secondary batteries.
One of the EDTC Sectional Committees, ET 22 is for “Electrical Apparatus for Explosive Atmospheres”. Scope: To prepare the guidelines and requirements for electrical equipment for use in explosive atmospheres. India is an active member of the IEC Technical Committee TC 31 “Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres”.
International Codes and Standards and their Relevance in the Indian System
IEC is the international body for developing codes and standards for electrical apparatus used in hazardous areas. CENELEC has this role in Europe. The situation is slightly different in the USA, where the National Electrical Code (NEC) covers the installation requirements, and product codes and standards are formulated by organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the International Society of Automation (ISA), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
At present, some of the Indian codes and standards for explosion protected equipment are old. Many of the codes and standards are based on European EN, International IEC, British or German VDE standards which have undergone multiple changes and updates in the last few decades. Europe, for example, has adopted the ATEX Directives 94/9/EC for manufacturers and 99/92/EC for end-users, and the CENELEC standards are completely harmonized with the IEC standards.
Product testing and certification
The testing and certification of explosion protected products in India are being conducted to the relevant Indian standards under the product licensing scheme of the Bureau of Indian Standards.
In India, the Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research (CIMFR) in Dhanbad, the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) in Bangalore, the Electronics Regional Testing Lab (ERTL) in Kolkata, Karandikar Laboratories Pvt. Ltd. (KLPL) and Intertek Lab offer product testing and certification facilities for explosion protected equipment. Karandikar Laboratories also has a technical cooperation with BASEEFA in England.
Product Conformity Assessment
The Bureau of Indian Standards BIS is empowered to license manufacturers for the use of the Indian Standards Quality Mark for explosion protected equipment and is governed by the provisions of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 1986. Such a manufacturing license is only needed for equipment with types of protection Flameproof Enclosures “d” and Intrinsic Safety “i”. Other types of protection are not covered under the BIS quality license and mark scheme.
Petroleum Explosive Safety Organisation
The objective of The Petroleum Explosive Safety Organization (PESO) – formerly Department of Explosives – is to ensure safety and security of public and property from fire and explosion.
The approval of the Chief Controller of Explosives (CCoE) is mandatory for all electrical equipment installed in potentially explosive atmospheres. Rule 106 of the Petroleum Rules 2002 defines that all electrical equipment used in hazardous locations requires a CCoE approval. The approval of such equipment is therefore limited to only such areas falling within the jurisdiction of the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization.
The Chief Controller of Explosives permits the use of equipment with types of protection Flameproof Enclosures “d”, Intrinsic Safety “i”, and Encapsulation “m” for use in Zone 1 hazardous areas. Non-sparking “n” and Increased Safety “e” equipment are permitted in Zone 2 areas only.
Selection of Electrical Equipment
The following information is required for proper selection of explosion protected equipment in hazardous areas:
• Classification of hazardous area
• Temperature class and ambient temperature
• Gas group classification
• Environmental condition
Selection of Electrical Equipment per Zone
Indian statutory and regulatory organizations like PESO and BIS as well as consultants like Engineers India Limited (EIL) follow the Indian Standard IS 5571-2009 “Guide for Selection and Installation of Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas (other than Mines)” for selecting and installing equipment in hazardous locations.
Installation of Electrical Equipment
The electrical apparatus follow IS 5571-2000 “Guide for selection of electrical equipment for hazardous area” in conjunction with IS 13408-1992 “Code of practice for the selection, installation, and maintenance of electrical apparatus for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (other than mining application or explosive processing manufacture)”.
The installations in hazardous locations have to be approved by statutory authorities like the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), the Director General of Mines Safety (DGMS) or the Director General of Factory Advise Service and Labor Institute (DGFASLI), depending on the hazardous area. This is very often a complicated and time-consuming process.
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