June 2010

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Consider low-voltage AC drives for hazardous areas

Such drives used with electric motors can offer significant process improvements and energy savings for equipment used in explosive zones

Riikonen, J., ABB Oy

Ignition of a hazardous atmosphere can happen easily, without warning and with disastrous consequences. Escaping liquid or vapors, in combination with insufficiently protected equipment can cause a powerful explosion, resulting in injuries, damage to the plant, extended downtime and lost production. The ensuing legal claims can take years to sort out. What may have started as a small fault can turn out to have major consequences for the future of the company. Directives for hazardous areas. Most accidents can be prevented if safety is made a priority throughout the operation. The ATEX1 directives have been implemented in the European Union (EU) to promote such an approach. The same princip

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