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Challenges of air conditioning in hazardous areas

Author : Gido van Tienhoven, M.Sc. ATEX Specialist and IECEx Certified Person

30 October 2019

This paper focuses on the three main challenges of HVAC equipment in hazardous areas. It explains how to technically deal with these issues, eventually reducing total lifetime cost.

Corrosion - Air conditioning units are well maintainable as all moving parts and electrical parts can be easily replaced on site at a relatively low cost. However, two exceptions that cannot be maintained are the structure and casing of a condensing unit and the condenser itself. Both are sensitive to corrosion which is the main reason for the end of life of an air conditioning system.

Hazardous area classification and investment cost - This part of the paper explains how the hazardous area classes for both the indoor unit and outdoor unit of a split system air conditioner influence equipment cost. It results in a matrix with evaporators and condensers vs. the area classes. The end of this section gives tips on how to reduce the area classification for both condensers and/or evaporators.

Calculation of cooling capacity and selection of proper refrigerant - Cooling capacities of air conditioners in hazardous areas are more difficult to calculate compared to standard HVAC systems, especially in off-shore situations. The cooling capacity as calculated in BTU/Hr, RT or kW seems to be the main factor, but needs interpretation. Examples and definitions will be presented briefly leading to a correct cooling capacity. Based on these definitions some easy rules of the thumb that can serve as a guideline will be presented. 

Gido van Tienhoven, M.Sc. ATEX Specialist and IECEx Certified Person

Gido van Tienhoven, M.Sc. ATEX Specialist and IECEx Certified Person
Gido van Tienhoven, M.Sc. ATEX Specialist and IECEx Certified Person

Gido van Tienhoven is an ATEX and explosion safety specialist who works with purchasers, production managers and college technicians of all industries dealing with gas and dust explosion risks to help them find the best ATEX solutions. As owner of Ex-Machinery, Gido has been awarded with a FD Gazelle 2017 for fastest growing companies in the Netherlands. Gido studied engineering at Delft University, the Netherlands and has worked in the field of explosion safety for 15 years.

For more information, visit: https://www.ex-machinery.com/


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