The 4th Edition of the EI15 (Area Classification Code for Installations Handling Flammable Fluids, previously known as IP15) was released in July 2015.
The EI15 code is a well recognised code in the UK and internationally and provides guidance in determining the extent of areas in which there is a risk of a flammable (or explosive) atmosphere being present. Determination of hazardous areas is a legal requirement under the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations, 2002 (DSEAR).
The new edition places emphasis on the use of the Point Source Approach over the Direct Example Approach. The Point Source Approach takes into account the release rate of the flammable fluid for each identifiable potential release as well as the vaporising potential of the fluid and the degree of ventilation.
The new edition also incorporates key findings from a number of research studies commissioned by the Energy Institute. One of these studies has generated important changes in the assessment of adequate ventilation. The 12 air changes deemed adequate in the third edition have been replaced by a ventilation rate that depends upon fluid properties and leak rate for the specific release. The hazard radii for sample points, pool spills and for secondary releases from pumps, compressors and valves has also been amended following the research studies and analysis of the HSE Hydrocarbon Release Database (OIR12).
The guide has also introduced more guidance on LNG releases and on flammable mists. However, the research to provide specific guidance on the classification of areas for flammable mists is still currently ongoing.
The new edition is in general more comprehensive than the previous one as has been restructured and examples have been included to aid user understanding. The more pragmatic approach taken by the new edition allows the guide to be used more effectively by the chemical, energy and pharmaceutical industries as opposed to only by the petroleum industry, which the guide was originally developed for.