DIN Rail Power supplies are found in almost every industrial process control system. They may be required to provide power to electronic controls, relays and contactors, for PoE communication systems or for motor drives. During the conversion from AC mains to lower DC power outputs, switch mode power supplies produce high voltages and currents that, if incorrectly designed, may cause sparks and may also generate excess heat through inefficient design topologies being used.Certification of equipment and protective systems for use in hazardous areas has been in force for many years and there is a well-established supply chain for electrical equipment designed to meet the regulatory requirements. Hazardous areas in the workplace are mainly the result of explosive atmospheres which can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts. If enough of the substance is mixed with air, a source of ignition is likely to cause an explosion resulting in damage, potential injury and in the worst-case possible loss of life.Many workplaces may contain, or have activities that produce, explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres. Examples include places where work activities create or release flammable gases or vapours, such as vehicle paint spraying, or in workplaces handling fine organic dusts such as grain, flour or wood.Preventing the creation of explosive atmospheres and eliminating sources of ignition are the two main ways of reducing risk. Ensuring the correct equipment is installed in the system can help greatly in this. In addition, there is a duty placed on employers (The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002) to eliminate or control the risks from explosive atmospheres in the workplace.
Read the full article in the January 2020 issue of PBSI
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