So much of our critical infrastructure today relies on remote monitoring and data transmission that it only makes sense for companies in the Industrial Internet of Things space to develop the technology needed to deliver a sensor-to-server deployment.
In many of these scenarios, the data is being collected in hazardous environments. In the oil and gas industry, for instance, some of the remote polling is done in a setting that has the potential for explosions or gas leaks making it unrealistic to have a human in the vicinity. For these types of environments wireless M2M and IIoT communications providers deploy Class 1/Division 1 (C1D1) hardware.
What Does C1D1 Mean?
C1D1 refers to a specific location classification that rates the different hazard levels of a work environment. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates three different types of Class locations:
- Class 1: locations in which flammable vapors and gas may be present;
- Class 2: locations in which combustible dust may be found;
- Class 3: locations that contain the presence of easily ignitable fibers.
Each class is then further divided into two Division designations:
- Division 1: In which ignitable concentrations of hazards exists under normal operation conditions and/or where hazard is caused by frequent maintenance or repair work or frequent equipment failures.
- Division 2: In which ignitable concentrations of hazards are handled, processed or used, but which are normally in closed containers or closed systems from which they can only escape through accidental rupture or breakdown of such containers or systems.
Essentially, what this means is that places around oil wells, wastewater treatment facilities with flammable chemicals, or other similar settings are routinely hazardous on a daily basis due to the nature of the setting, and require data transmission hardware that can function without fail in these environments.
Wireless I/O modules that are C1D1 certified can be placed in settings to transmit data from sensors to back-end servers, eliminating both the need for human intervention and any worry that the hardware will fail in the event of an explosion.
Earlier in September, our CMO, Scott Allen, sat down with Donny Jackson of Urgent Communications to discuss the need for wireless I/O in C1D1 environments at a high level, as well as some of the solutions that FreeWave has deployed in the field across a wide range of industrial settings.
You can find the full interview at the Urgent Communications website.
We’d like to hear your thoughts on critical communications in hazardous environments – what kinds of solutions have you encountered? Do you see any new trends or technologies that facilitate data collection in these environments? Tell us what you think!