Oil & Gas
Cooling oil drilling electronics in Class 1, Division 2 environments
A a well-known global provider of industrial equipment, machinery, instruments, apparatus and supplies was looking for a cost-effective air conditioning solution for enclosures to be used to protect electronics in drilling rig equipment. The customer serves clients in the petroleum extraction/refining, mining and hydrocarbon industries. Among the types of equipment being used were mud-pumps, drilling motors, and TDSUs (top dry systems units).
The electronics and circuitry in the equipment is occasionally exposed to explosive atmospheres requiring Class 1, Division 2 products. Typical Class I locations include petroleum refineries, gasoline storage and dispensing areas, spray finishing areas, aircraft hangars and fuel servicing areas. Within Class 1 locations, Division 2 hazardous conditions are those not normally present. For example, a Division 2 condition is created when a flammable gas or vapor exists due to an accidental leak in a storage container. It was critically important that the temperature inside the electronics enclosures was maintained at optimum operational levels that would not harm sensitive devices and circuitry.
The equipment sites included transformer enclosures, control enclosures, motor control centers, circuit breakers, relays, start/stop switches and other heat-generating devices. When assembled together in an enclosed cabinet, these types of devices can create significant heat build up that can either permanently damage sensitive electronic gear or cause it to malfunction.
EIC proposed the ThermoTEC Class I, Division 2 Series thermoelectric air conditioners for hazardous locations. ThermoTEC air conditioners meet NEMA 4X standards for both indoor and outdoor installations. Flexible mounting options and EIC’s customization capabilities facilitate rapid response to unique customer needs. Three models of EIC’s ThermoTEC Class 1 Division 2 thermoelectric air conditioners — 400, 800 and 1500 BTU — provide a comprehensive range of cooling power. The EIC coolers are certified for use in all Class I, Division 2 applications in locations such as refineries, offshore drilling rigs, utility gas plants and others.
The enclosures, cooled with EIC ThermoTEC thermoelectric air conditioners, met the customer’s need for protection and cooling of the electronics and controls in an environment subject to NEMA 4X certification. EIC’s experience and knowledge in the protection of electronics in Class 1, Division 2 hazardous locations helped the customer successfully manage the complexities involved in material acquisitions of this type. With no compressors, refrigerant or filters, and no moving parts except for cooling fans, thermoelectric units are renowned for low maintenance. Another performance characteristic of thermoelectric air conditioners is low power consumption which helps control energy costs. Besides new installations, ThermoTEC thermoelectric air conditioners for hazardous locations may be integrated into existing enclosures or transit cases.
The customer was thereby assured of a maintenance-free energy efficient solution not only on new installations, but also on retrofit solutions for older equipment. Using thermoelectric air conditioners from EIC Solutions assured the customer that valuable electronics and devices would be maintained at constant, specified operating temperatures for proper functioning and reduced risk of failure. With all three Class 1, Division 2 ThermoTEC models NEMA 4X rated, specifying an air conditioner for each enclosure was simplified. EIC sales engineers determined the correct Class 1, Division 2 solution to meet the customer’s goals keeping in mind that form, fit and function were essential.