Emerson Technical Sessions Will Teach PCIC 2018 Attendees How to Play it Safe in Hazardous Locations

At this year’s Petroleum and Chemical Industry Committee 2018 (PCIC) in Cincinnati, I will have the pleasure of attending my colleague Rehanul Hasan’s two technical sessions. Rehanul, who serves as Director of Emerson Alignment for Appleton Group, will be discussing the findings of two recent white papers he co-authored that address the changing requirements for power distribution systems in the global petrochemical sector. The sessions target two top-of-mind subjects that are impacting today’s refining and petrochemical landscape, specifically the economics and safety of installing traditional and non-traditional electrical equipment in NEC/CEC rated hazardous locations.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a hazardous location is defined as any environment with concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, mists or combustible dusts. Where these elements are present, electrical equipment must be specially designed to mitigate the effects of an explosion, and be tested to meet a range of requirements that together ensure the safety of personnel and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Refinery explosions may result from inadequately designed electrical equipment generating excessive heat, hot surfaces or electric arcs that act as a source of ignition. Examples of hazardous locations are seen all along the refinery value chain from processing and transformation, to delivery and stocking, underscoring the need to take a longer look at how to keep them safe.

On Monday, September 24, Rehanul will be joined by Rick Mendler of Phillips 66, Behzad Nejad of CSA Group, and Donna Hodgson of Shell to share their joint PCIC whitepaper: “Unexpected Sources of Energies Weeding Through Hazardous Spectrum.” By attending this informative session you’ll learn methods used to determine if non-traditional electrical equipment, such as the sensors, robotics and other networking equipment now powering the IIoT, could become ignition sources for flammable and combustible materials. In addition, they will explore the latest developments in Class I, Division 1 or Division 2 hazardous locations and how new electronics fit into the codes. It is truly a “can’t miss it” event.

On Wednesday, September 26, Mr. Mendler and Mr. Nejad will once again join Rehanul in discussing their second whitepaper: “The Effect of Hazardous Locations on Electrical Equipment Short-Circuit Ratings.” Here they will explore critically dangerous fault issues that can arise from loose connections, insulation deterioration, or moisture accumulation, all of which can lead to destructive overcurrents and arc formation. The presenters will reveal the wide disparity of how protective devices function when used in non-hazardous versus hazardous areas depending on the device’s design, where in the refinery process it is installed, and how it can be positively or negatively effected by different types of enclosures. Of the many sessions planned at PCIC, this one is certain to be a conference highlight and one every safety-conscious engineer should attend.

Please join Rehanul and the entire Emerson team at PCIC for these two important events. The conference is happening September 24-28th in Cincinnati at three hotels  -- the Hilton Netherland Plaza, the Hyatt Regency, and The Westin – all of which are connected. To register, please visit http://2018conference.ieeepcic.com/register.html.

More information on these and other topics will be available at Emerson Exchange in San Antonio, TX on October 1st - 5th.