Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons have become a valuable technology for adding location tracking capabilities to your hazardous areas. With the right planning and configuration, BLE beacons can provide accurate indoor and outdoor location. This allows organisations to cost-effectively add location tracking of personnel and assets whilst reducing the total cost of ownership.  This article provides practical guidance on deploying BLE beacons to achieve optimal tracking performance. It covers indoor and outdoor setup considerations, best practices for beacon placement, and configuration tips for maximizing location accuracy.  What is the difference between a beacon and anchor?  For trilateration purposes it is recommended to use beacons. A beacon is simply a term used to describe a fixed beacon that is contributing to a tag’s position. An anchor is typically the term used when discussing Wirepas Mesh networks.   […]

Solar insolation is not insulation! Sometimes these two terms can get confused.  Solar insolation is the incident solar radiation onto an object.  Specifically, it is a measure of the solar energy incident on an area over a period of time.  Typically expressed as either:  Kilowatt-hours per square metre (kWh/m2); or  Watts per square metre (W/m2)  The energy from solar radiation can either be absorbed or reflected by an object. When the radiation is absorbed, it is converted into thermal energy and the object will heat up. If you have ever sat on a hot metal park bench in summer and burnt the back of your knees, then you have experienced firsthand the effects of radiation absorption. The metal structure of the bench has absorbed the solar radiation, which has heated the material making it hot […]

There are many misconceptions when it comes to hazardous area wireless installations. As experts in this field, we notice the same questions recurring time-and-again. Notably: As an end user, can I buy and install non-certified wireless equipment inside a pre-certified hazardous area enclosure myself? This Q&A is based on a discussion we had on our recent podcast, which focused on this misunderstanding and what you can and cannot do under global Ex directives and health and safety legislation. What is a pre-certified wireless enclosure? Before resolving the misconception, it makes sense to set the groundwork of what a pre-certified wireless enclosure is. There is a lot of wireless technology out there, and customers want the latest generation. They also want to deploy this technology in potentially explosive atmospheres. However, there is a lag between the […]

Customers often ask us if they can install a standard wireless device inside a hazardous area enclosure themselves. It is a reasonable query. The short answer is no, you can’t. But the short answer does not tell the full story. There are some fundamental reasons for this, and these reasons are effectively the same for all hazardous area certification schemes around the world, including ATEX, IECEx, and North American standards under the jurisdiction of OSHA. We have written this article to explain some of these fundamental reasons in more depth.  Device Certification  Getting a device certified is called the type approval process, and it is just one part of the requirement. Depending on the requirement the following are applied; Annex III of the 2014/34/EU ATEX, IECEx has the requirement to follow several IECEx Operational Documents […]

There are a few important steps to go through when determining the suitability of an Ex certified wireless enclosure system for the chosen wireless device. It is important to ensure it is still compliant to the Ex certification, does not invalidate other product certification such as product safety and make sure that the wireless device performs as the original manufacturer intended, especially from the RF signal perspective. The key points you must go through when installing an Ex wireless solution into a hazardous area are summarised in this article. 1 – Does the wireless device meet the parameters set out by the Ex certification requirements? Operating voltage Regulatory compliance, such as product safety e.g. EN62368 Maximum power dissipation allowed in the enclosure Cross sectional area and volume stipulations for Ex d explosion proof certified enclosures. […]

There are many factors to consider when installing wireless devices into a hazardous area. One area that should not be overlooked is the impact of the environment in which your chosen device is going to be deployed in. In this article we consider key factors that can affect the success of a hazardous area wireless installation.  1 – Materials of Construction Often hazardous areas are also subject to extreme weather conditions or corrosive substances. It is therefore extremely important that the materials of construction used in any Ex enclosure be carefully considered to ensure the product can withstand the extreme condition long term. For instance, when installing an Ex wireless enclosure into a marine environment the material of the enclosure becomes paramount for a successful installation. When we think about marine environments in the process […]