Maintenance and spill control
Published: 2 January 2012 - Joe Bush
Newson Gale has launched its new truck mounted static ground verification system, the Earth-Rite. The new offering is designed to enhance safety during transfer of flammable or combustible materials. In cleaning, maintenance or spill control operations in the petrochemical industry, vacuum trucks are often used to collect waste or contaminated products for disposal.
With the operation taking place in a hazardous area, the need to control all types of ignition sources is vital. However, the vacuum transfer process of potentially low conductivity liquids or highly resistive loose solids can generate large amounts of static electricity, meaning that all equipment, including the truck should be properly bonded to a verified earth point (ground).
API and NFPA guidelines recommend that such bonding connections are tested to verify an adequately low resistance to earth/ground prior to starting-up the recover/transfer process. However, until now the equipment required to do this needed specialist training and may not always have been suitable for safe use within the hazardous atmosphere.
The new truck mounted Earth-Rite MGV (patent pending) derives its power source from the vehicle battery, and uses certified Intrinsically Safe monitoring techniques to verify not only a good bond to a valid ground point, but more importantly, confirmation that the ground point to which it is attached represents a satisfactorily low resistance to true earth.
The unit provides confirmation of positive bonding and grounding and a pair of change over contacts (DPDT) for connection to additional safety devices (strobe lights, audible alarms) or for interlocking with the vacuum pump or control valve.
Units have obtained Intrinsically Safe certification for use in the global petrochemical industries, according to the requirements of IECEX, ATEX, CSA/US and NEPSI (China), and may be used in all common gas, vapour or dust explosive environments.