Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Choosing the Right Ex-Rated Electrical Control Panel Protection

Posted by Alex Dzatko on Fri, Nov 01, 2019

There are many types of protection available for your electrical control panel. Increased Safety (Ex e) and flameproof (Ex d) are two common protection types for electrical control panel enclosures installed in hazardous locations. Choosing the correct type of enclosure can be difficult and depends on many factors, including:

  • The hazardous area classification
  • Internally and externally installed electrical components and their certifications
  • End-user preferences for maintenance and installation
  • Enclosure material preferences

Flameproof (Ex d)

Flameproof enclosures contain any explosion that occurs inside of them. They prevent the flames that could otherwise ignite the potentially explosive atmosphere in the area from escaping the flameproof enclosure. In flameproof applications (suitable for installation in Zone 1 and Zone 2), the enclosure can be outfitted with all types of electrical components, including components that are not rated for hazardous locations. This makes them suitable for power distribution and switchgear applications, which use general-purpose devices such as circuit breakers, contactors, disconnect switches, motor starters, relays, and more.

Ex-rated devices can also be installed and used in combination with flameproof enclosures. For example:

  • Combination Ex d / Ex e flanged solutions offer easier installation and wiring due to the Ex e (increased safety) enclosure being pre-wired to the components inside the Ex d enclosure.
  • Intrinsic safety barriers (certified for installation in Zone 2) are often installed in Pepperl+Fuchs flameproof solutions.
  • Combination Ex d / Ex e flanged solutions offer easier installation and wiring due to the Ex e (increased safety) enclosure being pre-wired to the components inside the Ex d enclosure.

Pepperl+Fuchs offers a wide portfolio of flameproof enclosures that cover all gas groups (IIB+H2 and IIC) and come in both cast aluminum and stainless steel enclosure materials.

Increased Safety (Ex e)

Increased safety enclosures can support applications that are suitable for installation in Zone 1 and Zone 2 depending on the equipment installed inside/on the enclosure. Equipment installed in/on Ex e enclosure must be rated for hazardous areas. Ex e enclosures are lightweight and allow easier maintenance compared to Ex d enclosures because they have fewer cover bolts and thus are less restrictive. They are also offered in GRP (glass-reinforced polyester) material, which is more cost-competitive than metallic enclosures. Most Ex e solutions are terminal junction boxes or local control stations (using Ex-rated operators), but Pepperl+Fuchs has flexible certificates that allow the installation of Ex-rated equipment. Under our power, switchgear, and control certificates, Pepperl+Fuchs can build certified solutions for ATEX and IECEx Zone 1 and Zone 2 that utilize a combination of Ex-rated devices integrated in Ex e enclosures. Under these certificates, Ex e and Ex d enclosures can also be combined to form larger panelboards. There are many Ex-rated electrical devices that can be installed in Ex e enclosures, including:

  • Ex-rated PLCs
  • Ex-rated power supplies
  • Ex-rated circuit breakers
  • Ex-rated HMIs
  • Ex-rated intrinsic safety barriers
  • Ex-rated relays
  • Ex-rated remote I/O systems
  • Ex-rated pneumatic manifolds
  • Ex-rated motor controllers
  • Ex-rated operators (push buttons, pilot lights, selector switches, etc.)
  • Ex-rated heaters
  • Ex-rated panel indicators
  • Ex-rated process automation equipment

Our certificates allow for a high degree of flexibility, which ensures that your control panel is tailored to fit all of your needs. Learn more about our .


Topics: Explosion Protection Equipment, Explosion Protection

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