How to use Wireless Asset Monitoring Solutions in Hazardous Locations:

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CSA Hazardous certification is required on asset monitoring equipment installed in locations that may be exposed to products like crude oil, gasoline, natural gas, propane, chemicals, saw dust  or other combustible products.  There are many criteria for consideration when installing asset monitoring solutions in hazardous locations to ensure the installation meets the safety requirements for that site.


What are some of the common hazardous ratings?


“Work with an experienced master electrician.”


The most common hazardous ratings are Class 1 Division 1 and Class 1 Division 2.  The primary difference is Class 1 Division 1 will be exposed to combustible material most or all of the time, and Class 1 Division 2 has the potential to be exposed to combustible gas and therefore has less strict requirements.  Always consult with a qualified master electrician to determine the required ratings.  Not all master electricians are knowledgeable enough to make this decision so do your due diligence to work with an experienced master electrician when determining your requirements.


Can I put a wireless asset monitoring solution in an explosion proof enclosure?


 “No, It is strongly recommended that you investigate the CSA requirements…”


You can put a cellular modem, or wireless modem in an explosion proof enclosure if your master electrician is willing to accept the responsibility.  However, this solution is not CSA approved and a master electrician is not qualified to determine if the antenna solution is intrinsically safe so they cannot locate the antenna in the hazardous location without accepting the risk that it could ignite combustible material from radiated or conducted energy.

Additionally, the master electrician is not qualified to determine if the antenna output is fault tolerant, as required for the hazardous location.  Therefore, the only way an electrician would do an installation like this is if they run the antenna cable through a conduit and out of the hazardous location.  There will be substantial signal loss on the long antenna cable runs which will degrade your reliability with the wireless modem.  The installation with conduit and explosion proof enclosure is very expensive and will result in less than optimal performance.  It is strongly recommended that you investigate the CSA requirements before you consider this approach.


Can I use intrinsic safety barriers or zener barriers with my asset monitoring solution?


 “No, this will not work or allow you to use a non certified wireless modems in a hazardous area.”


Intrinsic safety barriers and zener barriers are intended to protect power and signal type connections between electronic devices/sensors located in hazardous areas and non-hazardous areas.  They provide a safety barrier between the electronics located in hazardous and non-hazardous areas but this topology will not allow you to use a non certified wireless modem in a hazardous area without an explosion proof enclosure.  Additionally, antennas cannot be run through barriers.

The only way a barrier could be used with a wireless modem is to connect an RS232 port between a non certified modem in a non hazardous area and a certified device in the hazardous area.  There are not too many situations where this would be helpful since most hazardous certified devices do not have the ability to work with modems and RS232 is not good over long cable runs.  Typically, sensors are located in the hazardous area and run through barriers and then connect with an asset monitoring solution or cellular modem located in a non hazardous area.  Barriers are very expensive, and can cost between $150-500 for a typical sensor installation on an asset monitoring system.


eSensordata Solution:


 “A cellular modem and data acquisition system certified for use in hazardous areas.”

eSensordata is a comprehensive asset monitoring solution with an integrated cellular modem and data acquisition system.  The device is Class 1 Division 2 CSA certified for use with sensors located in Class 1 Division 1 areas.  No barriers or explosion proof housings are required.  eSensordata has a PTCRB, FCC, IC certified cellular modem as well as carrier certification for use in North America.  eSensordata is a fully certified solution for asset monitoring in hazardous areas.

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