This part of IEC 60079 specifies the requirements for the design, construction, testing and marking of electrical equipment and Ex Components with type of protection increased safety “e” intended for use in explosive gas atmospheres.
Electrical equipment and Ex Components of type of protection increased safety “e” are either:
a) Level of Protection “eb” (EPL “Mb” or “Gb”); or
b) Level of Protection “ec” (EPL “Gc”)
Level of Protection “eb” applies to equipment or Ex Components, including their connections, conductors, windings, lamps, and batteries; but not including semiconductors or electrolytic capacitors.
NOTE 1 The use of electronic components, such as semiconductors or electrolytic capacitors, is excluded from Level of Protection “eb” as expected malfunctions could result in excessive temperatures or arcs and sparks if the internal separation distances were not applied. It is not generally practical to maintain those separation distances and maintain the function of the electronic component.
Level of Protection “ec” applies to equipment or Ex Components, including their connections, conductors, windings, lamps, and batteries; and also including semiconductors and electrolytic capacitors.
NOTE 2 The use of electronic components, such as semiconductors or electrolytic capacitors, is permitted in Level of Protection “ec” as these are evaluated under both normal conditions and regular expected occurrences, and are not likely to result in excessive temperatures or arcs and sparks. As the requirements for separation distances are not applied to the internal construction, commercially available electronic components are generally suitable if the external separation distances comply.
The requirements of this standard apply to both Levels of Protection unless otherwise stated.
For Level of Protection “eb”, this standard applies to electrical equipment where the rated voltage does not exceed 11 kV r.m.s., a.c. or d.c.
For Level of Protection “ec”, this standard applies to electrical equipment where the rated voltage does not exceed 15 kV r.m.s., a.c. or d.c.
NOTE 3 Short circuit currents flowing through increased safety connections of mains circuits are not considered to create a significant risk of ignition of an explosive gas atmosphere due to movement of connections as a result of mechanical stresses created by the short circuit current. Normal industrial standards require that the effects of short time high currents on the security of connections be considered. The presence of the explosive gas atmosphere does not adversely affect the security of the connection.
NOTE 4 Any short term thermal excursions that occur as a result of electrical current excursions above normal rated currents, such as those that occur during the starting of motors, are not considered to create a significant risk of ignition of an explosive gas atmosphere due to the relatively short duration of the event and the convection that occurs during the event.
NOTE 5 High-voltage connections and associated wiring (above 1 kV) can be susceptible to increased partial discharge activity that could be a source of ignition. Increased spacings to earthed surfaces or other connections and provision of suitable high-voltage stress relief for the terminations are typically provided.
This standard supplements and modifies the general requirements of IEC 60079-0. Where a requirement of this standard conflicts with a requirement of IEC 60079-0, the requirement of this standard takes precedence.