A Survey Of European And American Standards Concerning Electrical Systems In Potentially Explosive Atmospheres
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The technical and legal standards presently enforced in Europe and North America in connection with electrical systems in potentially explosive atmospheres are analyzed and compared so as to supply useful information about the classification of potentially explosive environments and the consequent design and update of electrical systems. Before European Directives 94/9/CE and 99/92/CE were enacted, safety in these environments was assured only on a national level, which involved different safety regulations for each State of the European Union and hindered free movement of products in the single local market. For this reason, the European Parliament established safety directives valid all over the European Union that each State was required to enforce passing specific local laws, standards and guidelines in substitution of the previous ones. Actually, the new European directives and consequently the new local rules leave the designer a wide range of choices and possibilities, including appropriate, individual approaches; for this reason the knowledge of American standards can help to develop the best solutions complying with the prescribed requirements within affordable costs. In this context, this paper aims at supplying useful practical procedures and suggestions to correctly apply the present prescriptions by highlighting the differences between European old and new approaches and the standards presently enforced in North America (the U.S.A. and Canada). Keywords: electrical plants in explosive atmosphere, safety in industrial environment. 1 Introduction European Directives are issued by the European Parliament and directed to member states with the aim to supply the minimum essential safety requirements
electrical plants in explosive atmosphere, safety in industrial environment.