Using Explosion Proof LED in Oil and Gas Refining and Processing Facilities

Using Explosion Proof LED in Oil and Gas Refining and Processing Facilities

Using Dangerous Chemicals compounds in Oil and gas processing units makes the premises risky. To handle this danger, companies in this field mostly use explosion proof lighting systems. This arrangement minimizes the risk of electrical sparks that are created from the electrical equipment.

LED Applications for Oil and Gas Refining and Processing Units

Using Dangerous Chemicals compounds in Oil and gas processing units makes the premises risky. To handle this danger, companies in this field mostly use explosion proof lighting systems. This arrangement minimizes the risk of electrical sparks that are created from the electrical equipment. Implementing the LED Petroleum refineries has provided a great support to key safety measures that were difficult to handle in case of untimely light failure. This has also helped to address issues like heavy costly maintenance and random work environments. Using New and effective LED Lighting system is gaining popularity due to its benefits and it is replacing the old conventional lighting systems. This trend will continue to increase in future.

Ignitable Compounds in Oil and Gas Processing

Workers in Oil and Gas Refineries has to face a lot of safety issues. The existence of harmful compounds in these facilities make the environment more challenging. Specially, some chemical reactions require a highly stable environment such as the processing of hydrocarbons, like fossil fuels, propane, methane and ethane. Unfortunately, these processing facilities do not have such stable environment. Routine practices in processing units are carries out in the dark, tight tanks used to stock flammable products. Hydrocarbons are highly volatile, and this compound can mix with air and can generate chemical reactions with any flammable chemical compounds in the premises nearby. Keeping in mind that hydrocarbons are the biggest source used to create electric energy and thermal energy. Heavy usage and need of this hydrocarbon demands a huge level of production from these oil and gas refineries.

What we call petroleum is basically the liquid form of these extracted hydrocarbons. An international organization called National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), has rated this liquid as a Class I-A, which means it is highly flammable. Another dangerous gas known as carbon monoxide is easily produced from the concentrated petroleum stored. Moreover, petroleum should be stored away from fluorine compounds, as this could result in the formation of hydrofluoric acid, a toxic agent that is highly destructive, and is used to dissolve oxide-based materials. Different studies have proved that the hydrocarbons which have some order are highly cancer-causing. Extra measures should be taken by individuals to limit the exposure rates as minimum as possible and should use all safety equipment when handling hydrocarbons.

Explosion Proof LED Standards (C1D1 and C1D2)

There is always a chance of ignition in electrical devices and lighting systems. And this issue gets more vital when dealing flammable compounds, such as hydrocarbons. A risk of getting ignition from nearby electronic devices and machines is always there. Lighting systems implementation in such refineries without any proper safety measures may cause an ignition through sparking in these electrical devices in operation. To minimize this dangerous issue of combustion, such companies should use lighting fixtures with Class 1 Division 1 (C1D1) and Class 1 Division 2 (C1D2) approval ratings inside the facility. The organization named National Electric Code (NEC) have mentioned in  Article 501 in the guide clarifies that the classifications refer to hazardous locations where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases and volatile liquid-produced vapors may exist on a regular basis or during abnormal work conditions (C1D2). These instructions also describe the chances  of combustion from leakage during repair or maintenance work (C1D1).

Explosion proof features is not all that is required in oil and gas refineries. There are other requirements in such facilities in addition to explosion proof ratings. Fixtures with water-tight and corrosion-resistant features are valuable because these facilities are regularly exposed to rough cleaning solutions during hose-down process. Light fixture have to deal with water and corrosive agents constantly and it may result in lights to fail early than expected, resulting in even more dangerous situation, particularly for workers inside storage tanks and other curbed spaces. This Water-tight feature is covered under International Protection (IP) ratings, with IP67 being the general standard in the sector. Water and dust protection is offered by Units with IP67 ratings as low as one meter for 30 minutes.

 LED Energy Savings

It is a proved study that replacing the old and out dated lighting systems to LED system results in enormous advantages. The northeastern petroleum companies in particular who relied on high-pressure sodium and incandescent lamps for lighting around the facility. The challenging environment in such sites results in quick permanent failure of Lights, which causes extra maintenance and replacement labors as there no chance to leave the lights off and keep the facility operational. In this particular project 200-watt old lamps were replaced with 22-watt explosion proof LEDs with class-1, Division-2 ratings.

Using LED explosion proof lighting system resulted in astonishing results. The company saved up to $34,668 in energy consumption annually just by replacing the old system. Moreover, maintaining cost have decreased $766,647 per year. LED life is 150,000+ hours which means once implemented explosion proof LED lamps you get 10 years of maintenance-free lighting.

Industrial LED Trends

PennEnergy, a publication that emphases on the industrial energy sector, predicted a huge volume of Oil and Gas refinery industry will shift to explosion proof LED technology. They explained that switching to LED Technology was started in 2008, approaching towards a more effective, stable standard for widespread industrial application. Stating all this yet interestingly, less than one percent of the hazardous locations market has fully switched to explosion proof LEDs technology. In petroleum field, especially on drilling sites the ratio of converting to LED technology system is very high.

Here are few names that are high in demand these days in Oil and Gas refineries: high mast, wall packs, high bays, low bays, eye wash station lights and flood lights. PennEnergy showed that the main idea behind these companies to switch to LEDs is due to huge maintenance costs. Old Lighting systems, like metal halide and incandescent lamps are observed that they get failed permanently very easily in harsh environments.

Once damaged, repairing such sites become even more painstaking. In such harsh environment repairing is not a one man show extra man power and services are bound to avoid any surprises.

The U.S. Department of Energy states that switching to LED technology in coming twenty years could result is saving the country over $250 billion in energy costs. At the same time, we will lower the emission of carbon by 1,800 million metric tons.

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