Can using Gas detectors simplify hazardous area classification?

Hazardous Area Classification

Is it possible that if we use gas detectors to continuosly monitor the explosive limits in a classified (hazardous) location, we could manage it better?

Of course! If you recall, the area classification concept itself is based on the amount of time in a year, an explosive gas mixture (or a combustible dust-air mixture) is likely to be present in a given hazardous area. Thus a Divsion 1 classified location will have more incidences of explosive mixtures being present in a year than Division 2. Alternatively in the IEC system we have three Zones, which are Zone 0, Zone 1 and Zone 2. If you recall the definitions, Zone 0 is a place where hazardous gas/vapor and air mixtures are likely to be present for more than 100 hours in a year.

Why I am I again drumming in definitions that all of you already know? Because if you read the above carefully, it talks of a gas or vapor-air mixture as “likely” to be present.

Well, if you install an explosive gas detector in the area, you could actually measure if any such mixtures are actually present. Not likelihoods, but real occurences, if any. This means that from the uncertainty of likelihoods we are now talking about actual hours of explosive gas or vapor mixtures being present.

This is a big leap from earlier years and could lead to a revolutionary change in how hazardous areas are classified in the future.

Read more about it here.

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