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Ex wall sockets with LED status indicators enable fast, easy plug-in and disconnection in hazardous areas

Marianne Evans, Digital Editor

05/09/2014

Tags: Hazardous Area Equipment

Topics: Hazardous Area Equipment, Safety in Engineering

Power management company Eaton has announced that its Crouse-Hinds division has launched a new range of explosion-protected wall sockets with LED status indicators for use in Zone 1, 2, 21 and 22 hazardous areas.

The new GHG51 series of wall sockets with LED status indicators have an interlocking switch design and are protected by a high impact resistant, glass-fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) housing. The wall sockets are both durable and robust, offering high chemical resistance and high ingress protection (IP66), even in their plugged-in state. This is achieved by using a self-cleaning, multi-lamellar contact design with low transition resistance. The sockets are also fast and easy to plug-in/disconnect and provide full AC-3 switching capability according to EN 60947-3 standards.

The sockets are suitable for a wide range of hazardous areas, including applications in chemical, petrochemical, onshore/offshore oil and gas, heavy duty/harsh environments, renewable energy, power generation and wastewater treatment.

Available in 16A, 32A, 63A and 125A, up to 415V, in 3, 4 and 5-pole versions, Series 1 wall sockets are suitable for a wide range of international applications. The sockets are fully compatible with the existing proven GHG51 series sockets. Permissible ambient operating temperatures are from -20°C to +40°C. However, wall sockets can be tailored to meet individual customer requirements, including versions with extended temperature ranges and voltages.

Rapid, low cost maintenance of electrical equipment

For many companies, the replacement, repair, servicing and maintenance of electrical equipment that is located within a potentially explosive atmosphere, is often time consuming and costly.

Before any electrical apparatus – including electric motors, variable speed drives, valves, actuators and active/passive sensors – can be installed or maintained in a hazardous area, plant engineers and maintenance technicians need to ensure that the electrical connection or disconnection procedure is carried out safely, with all electrical apparatus isolated from the power supply.

Such measures are necessary because the explosion-protection of the apparatus becomes ineffective once the enclosure is opened. Furthermore, complex, time consuming preparations may also be required, such as fencing off a working area, gas detection, safe isolation of the electrical power supply, disconnection procedures or the prevention of an explosive atmosphere by maintenance measures. This type of work normally requires a ‘Hot Work Permit’, which in many cases can take up to 24 hours to issue. Even if the permit arrives in a few hours, the cost of production downtime can be significant.

The new Series 1 wall sockets enable the connection and disconnection of electrical apparatus in potentially explosive environments, without the use of tools and without the engineer having to isolate the apparatus from the mains or disconnect the terminals.

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