Intrinsic safety is one of the most effective protection techniques for equipment operating in hazardous areas. It works by removing, rather than containing, the factors that could cause an explosive mixture to ignite.
The IS solution could represent significant cost savings due to a reduction in inspections, maintenance, and machinery down time.
The short life and high maintenance of a flameproof system makes it far more expensive than an equivalent intrinsically safe lighting solution. The long-life LED lamp in an IS system lasts for 20,000 hours compared to 2,000 hours for a halogen lamp. Furthermore, the IS system boasts an ingress protection of IP67 compared to IP54 for Ex d, reducing the need for change outs and maintenance caused by contaminants.
Nautitech® CUBEx lights can suit many mine applications and although financial modelling across these scenarios varies, conservative estimates place the lifetime cost of an Ex d system to be 270% higher than IS.
Operational benefits of an IS lighting system:
- No special competencies or tools are required to change out a light fitting or replace a section of damaged harness
- Improved photometric at low temperatures (from the one amp maximum demand) allows the IS lamp to run in high ambient without the need for high temperature and potentially brittle lenses
- The CUBEx Light fittings can be retro-fitted to existing light brackets and have a low mass of 1700g compared to 7000g for a similar Ex d fitting
- The CUBEx Light Interface Module (LIM) has a Bluetooth communications port allowing the user to program the light module via a free Windows application on a laptop
As a lighting solution in underground mining, the CUBEx IS lights offer a far more advanced solution than any Ex d system, as they can reduce maintenance cost, improve machine availability, and reduce potential safety incidents and their associated costs.
Typical applications may include longwall shearers, BSL, continuous miners, shuttle cars, loaders, personnel carriers, diesel machines, and other mobile machinery.
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