Understanding Explosion Proof Chillers

Some chillers operate in dangerous conditions, such as petrochemical plants. In these situations, an added layer of safety is required and that is where an explosion-proof chiller may be necessary.

What is an Explosion Proof Chiller?

Explosion-proof chillers incorporate a reinforced design that protects the chillers’ electrical components from ambient flammable materials that could cause an explosion.

An explosion-proof chiller must be designed and manufactured to adhere to specific regulations to prevent combustion.

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) outlines regulations for explosion-proof chillers and equipment. The electrical requirements fall under the NFPA’s National Electric Code (NEC).

This code explicitly describes the parameters chillers and other electric equipment must meet for installation in hazardous locations that require explosion proofing. Machinery must use special electrical components that utilize sealed wiring, which protects the dust, air, chemical, and paint from stray sparks that could ignite any vapors or flammable gasses.

How Does an Explosion Proof Chiller Work?

An explosion-proof chiller can be an air-cooled chiller or a water-cooled chiller with either a scroll or screw compressor. The type of condenser or compressor does not determine whether the chiller is explosion-proof.

Instead, it is the design of the chiller and the protection of the components that determines whether a chiller is explosion-proof. Motors encased in air-tight junction boxes, wires sealed in conduit, and seals work in tandem to create an explosion-proof chiller.

Applications and Industries benefitting from Explosion Proof Chillers

Explosion-proof chillers are used in factories and industries that handle materials with an increased risk of fire, explosion, or hazardous environments. The NEC and fire safety codes will determine whether you require explosion-proof equipment. Some industries that typically utilize explosion-proof chillers are:

  • Chemical Processing & Plants– Often, the contents have unknown compositions and may include dangerous materials, and plants may store potentially flammable substances
  • Pharmaceutical – during the production process, the synthesis of raw materials, flammable vapors may be emitted
  • Medical – Labs often emit flammable gasses and vapors
  • Granaries – Flour is highly flammable, and the fine dust in the air needs only a spark.
  • Oil & Gas – Refineries & Plants produce and refine flammable vapors and crude oil, creating the need for explosion-proof equipment

To ensure you have the correct explosion-proof chiller for your application, a member of our experienced sales team will help you determine whether you require a Class 1 Division 1 or Division 2 classification. Contact our team today

Need information specific to your requirements? One of our sales managers can help you. It’s easy, contact our team today.



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