Hazardous area equipment is often discussed in relation to risks like an explosion and electric shock, especially in areas where human access is required and potentially flammable vapours are present. However, one application that is also important in exposed locations is hazardous area equipment with good wind resistance. In such locations – especially at high altitudes or on structures like masts and towers – hazardous area equipment should be tested against strong gusts and prolonged high winds.
There are several ways to protect against damage due to wind; a more aerodynamic outer casing can help to carve the wind around the equipment, to reduce the forces applied to the more delicate components. Alternatively, the exterior casing can simply be built more solidly and with the strength, it needs to withstand an exposed location. This allows, for example, mast lighting with a slim form factor that poses little resistance to wind, but with bright luminaires and reflectors to direct the illumination over a large area.
Finally, in environments where the wind speed is significant, installing an illuminated wind sock is a great way to physically indicate strong gusts and provide instant information to ground crew and helicopter pilots coming into land.