Intrinsic Safety versus Explosion Proof & How it Applies to Inuktun Inspection Robots

We received some great questions about our IM3™ technology in a recent webinar, and we look forward to answering them over the coming weeks. In this week’s blog, we tackle whether any of Eddyfi Technologies’ Inuktun cameras are Intrinsically Safe. Thanks for the question, Diversified Project Services International!

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Before we can answer, let’s take a moment to clarify our terminology; specifically, Intrinsic Safety (IS) versus Explosion Proof (EX). We hear the term “Intrinsically Safe” thrown around a lot in our industries, but what we think our clients are really asking is about Explosion Proof. Intrinsic Safety is one of several protection concepts used to achieve an EX rating. Having EX certification means that the device is incapable of producing an internal spark or, should sparking occur, it ensures that any explosion will be contained within the enclosure; there are different methods to achieve this. A device that is not capable of causing an explosion, one usually requiring minimal amounts of power to operate and be controlled at the component level, can use the IS concept. But, because of the power restrictions with IS, it is not used for higher powered systems like Inuktun cameras and robots.

In addition, depending on the environment a device can be rated for different zones.

Zone

Definition

Zone 0

In which ignitable concentrations of flammable gases or vapors are present continuously or for long periods of time

Zone 1

In which ignitable concentrations of flammable gases or vapors are likely to exist under normal operating conditions or may exist frequently because of repair, maintenance operations or leakages

Zone 2

In which ignitable concentrations of flammable gases or vapors are not likely to occur in normal operation, occur for only a short period of time, or become hazardous only in case of an accident or some unusual operating condition

Per NEC article 505-9, CEC Section 18, EN 60079-10, IEC 60079-10

Intertek provides a useful Guide to Explosive Atmospheres and Hazardous Locations that can be found here.

So - the short answer to the question of whether Inuktun cameras are Intrinsically Safe is a simple “no”; however, we are actively working on achieving an EX certification for our Inuktun Spectrum 120HD™ inspection camera. Even though the current camera design is both sealed (waterproof) and nitrogen purged, the hurdle of achieving a zone rating is still challenging.

Inuktun Spectrum 120HD™ inspection camera

Inuktun Spectrum 120HD™ inspection camera

In some special cases, Inuktun inspection cameras have already been incorporated into client systems that required Zone 1 and Zone 0 environment operations. For example, when remote visual inspection (RVI) of a turret on an FPSO in Norway was required, LateraL AS turned to us for a solution. With some custom engineering to temporarily disable power to their Inuktun Spectrum 120™ camera, they successfully performed the structural integrity assessment. Check out the story here.

Similarly, denying power to an Inuktun Spectrum 90™ camera until it was fully submerged allowed for its integration of an IECEx Zone 1 rated application involving the RVI of an FPSO in the Timor sea. A specialized control interface that worked with Oceanvision’s EX rated PC system yielded such successful results that it is available commercially worldwide today. Learn more about it here and here.

We look forward to offering an Explosion Proof robotic camera solution for your zone rated applications very soon. Want to be informed of when it’s available? Contact us today requesting more info, and one of our experts will be happy to answer your questions.


WE’RE MOVING! To all our loyal followers, we are migrating to Eddyfi Technologies’ blog and will be deactivating this blog in August 2019. To stay informed of all the latest news by Inuktun, make sure to follow us here. We look forward to continuing to share the advanced nondestructive testing (NDT) content you’re interested in on Eddyfi Technologies’ blog channel and are always just an email away!