Air conditioning evaporator units for use in Zone 1
Zone 1 air conditioning units are not only used to create a comfortable climate but mostly for temperature control of storage rooms for volatile substances and the use in battery rooms. The demand for these air conditioning units is gradually increasing and the number of practically applicable systems is scarce. With the introduction of the China Export marking, systems from the Far East are often mistrusted and the industry is looking for reliable partners.
Artidor Explosion Safety’s director Mr. Marc Moolenaar is driven by the idea that people should enjoy their work and therefore must be able to work safely, also in hazardous areas. “The necessary solutions should be so affordable that they withhold no one from taking proper precautions.” Last year, he decided to set a challenge to come up with a range of high-quality yet affordable Zone 1 air conditioning evaporator units.
There are strict safety requirements for electrical and mechanical category 2 products intended for use in Zone 1. The design must comply with the European ATEX directive and with the applicable harmonized technical standards as published in the Official Journal of the European Union. After completion of the Technical Construction File, including proof that the design meets the requirements, the manufacturer can reach out to a Notified Body and apply for an EU Type Examination Certificate. In addition, there are strict requirements for the manufacturer’s quality management system to ensure that the units produced exactly match the certified design.
The design of the new Zone 1 evaporator units consists of a metal enclosure, one or more Ex d or Ex de electric fans, a mechanical expansion valve and an intrinsically-safe thermostat. For inspection on-site, it is important to have an Ex marking including the protection methods applied. As a consequence, the internal production control according Annex VIII of the ATEX directive and communication of the technical documentation to a Notified Body by the original equipment manufacturer of mechanical explosion-safe parts is no longer sufficient since they might as well have filed a copy of the Donald Duck. This can only be solved by using certified mechanical Ex parts or to have the parts included in the design and be part of the certification by the Notified Body.
The required explosion-safety level of the indoor units is determined by the hazardous area they will be used in and very little can be done to reduce the classification of the area in a cost effective manner. Explosion-safe condenser units on the other hand are quite expensive and from an explosion safety point of view it is better to have them located in a Zone 2 or safe area. In the end, there is no safer hazardous area than one without electrical equipment.
The result of Artidor’s design process is a range of ATEX certified evaporator / indoor units with a capacity of 2 kW up to 14 kW, suitable for use in Zone 1. The units are certified by Dutch Notified Body Kiwa ExVision and marked “II 2 G Ex db eb h ia IIB T4 Gb”. The units are suitable for use at an ambient temperature range from -20 °C up to +55 °C. A full range of explosion-safe condenser / outdoor units is available to complete the system.
Artidor Explosion Safety B.V. was founded in 1986 and designs, manufactures and sells explosion-safe products in accordance with the European ATEX directive and the global IECEx standards. Artidor is member of the Dutch standards committee on Explosion Safety of Electrical Equipment.