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Operating Ideas - June 2017


Dewatering Considerations for ExplosionProof Submersible Slurry Pumps

Explosion prevention is a primary safety concern for many industries that depend on electrically driven pumps. In the case of chemical plants, refineries and hydrocarbon processors, the risks are many and high. A deadly and destructive explosion is only waiting for a tiny spark or sufficiently hot surface to ignite. In the case of mining and oil and gas exploration, the potential fuel source for an explosion is escaping underground gas found in subsurface pockets frequently under extreme pressure. Fortunately, electrical equipment, including submersible pump motors, can be designed and manufactured to prevent them from becoming an ignition source in these hazardous environments.

The approach to safety in this case begins with the science of defining the exact nature of the hazardous area. This includes understanding and classifying the explosive material and its potential for being present within defined areas (zones) of the considered site. In the U.S. and some other countries, hazardous locations are defined in an official and comprehensive publication called the National Electric Code (NEC). This guide is produced and maintained by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). The NFPA’s mission includes producing fire safety standards that are used as official codes by governments or other local authorities with interest in safety for construction, commercial, residential and industrial sites.

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