Conference Paper

Conversion from Division to Zone electrical classification-why and how the worlds largest oil company made the change

Saudi Aramco, Dhahran
DOI: 10.1109/PCICON.2000.882757 Conference: Petroleum and Chemical Industry Conference, 2000. Record of Conference Papers. Industry Applications Society 47th Annual
Source: IEEE Xplore

ABSTRACT The introduction in the late 1990s of the Zone electrical area
classification concept into North American standards provided the
catalyst for a major international oil company based in Saudi Arabia to
convert from the “Division” to the “Zone” method
of area classification. The company initially relied on North American
standards to purchase materials but, over the years, sourcing of
materials, and design and construction services gradually shifted away
from North America. This required the company to restructure their
standards and accept materials and installation practices from all over
the world. Today, the company standards accept materials and
installation techniques from a variety of international sources. The
Zone classification system was considered to provide the maximum
flexibility and safety in hazardous locations. Therefore, it was
considered preferable over the Division system from a cost, safety,
maintenance and reliability viewpoint. In late 1999, the company decided
to convert from a Division to Zone Classification system. This paper
discusses details of why and how the company made the change and the
impact of the migration on electrical and instrumentation installations
within the company

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    ABSTRACT: The Zone method of area classification of hazardous locations is now allowed in the US, and thus the adoption of the methods of protection employed under IEC are now permitted by application of NEC [1] Article 505. Although the Zone products have been available in Europe and elsewhere in the world, their level of availability and methods of application in the US have provided a unique experience adapting the available products to NEC allowed wiring methods. Completion of the first Zone project in the US provides the first opportunity to see if this Zone method should be further developed and supported. A description of problems encountered during design and installation, methods used to solve the problems and the end results are presented here. An evaluation of the end result, compared with traditional Division installation and presentation of the areas of change that are yet required to make the Zone method of classification and protection truly viable, are also provided
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