Located in southern Australia, a Victoria-based gas processing facility was dealing with the challenge of enabling continuous connectivity for workers inside the hazardous areas of the plant. Effective network access already existed in nonhazardous areas, but the owner wanted to extend connectivity into hazardous areas to provide Wi-Fi coverage for mobile workers who move between hazardous and nonhazardous areas.
In nonhazardous environments, communication is enabled using a basic transponder, receiver, and transmitter within the work area, but in facilities that include hazardous environments traditional access points —devices that connect to a LAN to provide Wi-Fi coverage—are not suitable. Equipment installed in hazardous areas must be certified for use in these conditions.
The plant owner wanted to ensure connectivity throughout the plant, but no provider had been able to deliver a simple solution to enable comprehensive coverage. For access points to be used in the hazardous areas of a gas plant, they must be certified for sites classed as Zone 0 (areas where an explosive atmosphere is present continuously or frequently present) and Zone 1 (areas where an explosive atmosphere is likely to occur occasionally during normal operation). Most companies that could provide a solution use equipment that has to be certified for each installation, a time-consuming process that does not always deliver the best results.
RSN Solutions took on this project using the Rajant Kinetic Mesh® wireless network, which employs BreadCrumb® radios powered by InstaMesh® networking software to enable real-time data transfer. BreadCrumbs seamlessly integrate with any Wi-Fi or Ethernet-connected device to deliver low latency, high-throughput data as well as voice and video applications across a meshed, self-healing network. Using Rajant’s Kinetic mesh network with the BC|Commander Network Management and BC|Enterprise Network Monitoring Software enables uninterrupted, comprehensive, real-time communication.
Installing Rajant technology in the hazardous areas of this gas plant, the facility owner not only achieved continuous connectivity for the entire plant and expanded the range of activities mobile crew can perform throughout the site, it enabled smarter, faster decision-making and proven the viability of using this system in brownfield site retrofits.