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Electric heaters for hazardous areas

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article image Grimwood’s electric heaters meet Australian and New Zealand safety standards.

GRIMWOOD Heating Pty Ltd is the first company in the world to be certified to manufacture electric heaters for hazardous areas in accordance with the IECEx scheme.

In many industries, ranging from off shore oil platforms, on site heavy fuel oil tank farms, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and paint and chemical works have locations designated as hazardous areas where explosive atmospheres may exist. It is important for the protection of the people who work in these areas and for the protection of the equipment and surrounding facilities, that these are as safe as possible.

Until now there have been difficulties in meeting the requirements of the current Australian and New Zealand standards for the appropriate level of protection in these areas as there was no one able to provide hazardous area heating products certified to the IECEx Scheme.

There is a huge installed base of equipment that was built and commissioned in the last century in accordance with the standards of the times.

Much of this equipment has deteriorated through normal wear and tear to the point where it no longer provides the level of protection required nor meets operational requirements due to burnt out elements or changed process parameters.

It is not possible to repair or overhaul this equipment to bring it up to the required standard. This equipment must be replaced to provide the users and owners with the protection and functionality required.

Occupiers of premises with locations classified as hazardous areas had to do the best they could in finding heating equipment that came as close as possible to meeting the requirements of the Australian and New Zealand standards..

Generally equipment that met the European ATEX or other foreign certification requirements was accepted as being the best available compromise. This requires considerable engineering design input.

In circumstances when customers need to use ATEX, FM, CSA, UL or other Ex equipment not certified to the ANZEx/AUSEx or IECEx schemes, the equipment and its installation must provide an equivalent level of safety to the ANZEx/AUSEx or IECEx schemes. Also the user must obtain a Conformity Assessment document (CAD).

The CAD provides evidence that a certificate of conformity to an alternative standard can be demonstrated to provide an equivalent level of safety to AS/NZS or IEC standards. This normally requires a comparison of the relevant standards and verification that testing has been conducted by a third party. The legal owner must provide justification for the use of the equipment and document the acceptance in the hazardous area dossier

Grimwood Heating Pty Ltd are now certified under the IECEx scheme to manufacture flameproof heaters in accordance with IEC standard 60079, which is identical to the Australian and New Zealand standard.

The first benefit of specifying a Grimwood certified IECEx heater for a hazardous area is providing employees and others on a work site the highest possible level of protection against a heater related accident.

The second benefit is strict compliance with regulations.

The third benefit is dealing with a local Australian owned company who can engineer and manufacture the product to meet particular requirements.

Grimwood can provide heaters up to 400kW using ANSI B16.5 flanges from 152mm (150NB) up to 355mm (350NB) in classes 150, 300 and 600.

Low temperature applications can be either carbon steel or stainless steel for marine, food and beverage industries and other corrosive atmospheres. Carbon steel heaters are blasted and finished with a solvent borne inorganic zinc silicate coating.

Higher operating temperatures require particular alloy steels to retain strength at elevated temperatures and the terminal enclosure to be offset from the flange to minimise internal temperatures.

The heaters are supplied with a mandatory factory set and locked latching relay to prevent over temperature operation. If required, Grimwood can provide a third party full three phase thyristor power unit. These are available with three wire star or delta, four wire star with neutral and six wire open delta load configurations. These units easily interface with plant PLC and SCADA systems.

Compliance with Australian and New Zealand standards for hazardous area heating is now possible, using a locally designed and manufactured product certified to the most stringent requirements in the world.

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