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Explosion Proof Lighting


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We are a new distillery in Louisville and are hearing different things when it comes to our lighting in our distillery. We have 45 foot ceilings so our lighting will be at least 20 feet above any piece of equipment so is the xp lighting necessary? We had a lighting company state that we need class 1 lighting because of our distillery while another friend and distiller stated as long as the lighting is above 6 feet from our stills we could use high bay lighting. Thanks for the help!

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Since ethanol vapor is heavier than air it's going want to settle near the floor so I wouldn't think xp lighting is necessary but that decision will fall to your local fire department not the lighting company so I'd recommend contacting them and you'd be bound by their decision assuming your town requires their inspection for change of use/occupancy and all that good stuff. At the very minimum I'd want shatter proof lighting over production and bottling areas.

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We're finalizing our building permit right now and our City inspector told us that we only need explosion proff stuff within 3' of the floor with in 25' of > than 20% alcohol and anything within 5' of our production equipment. So we had to raise one of our bay lights since it was only 4-1/2' about our lyne arm.

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When we helped do the layout for a spirit production facility here in Charleston SC, the fire marshal recommended that no electrical device or connections be within 18" of the highest level of alcohol. This allows for the vapor to settle on the floor without risk of ignition from an electrical circuit. They also installed a huge exhaust system that would evacuate the air from the building if there were a major spill.

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Hot vapor will absolutely rise and an equipment failure could absolutely send hot alcohol vapor straight up, no doubt and if you've got the funds to install explosion proof lighting then there's no argument that it's the ideal situation. Under normal operational conditions, vapor will collect on the floor and so one could argue that when there are budgetary considerations the floor is where you may want to focus any explosion proofing efforts. Following on CCR's comment, we also installed a floor sweeping fan, inlet air comes in on one side of the distillery at floor level and we have an exhaust fan that draws from floor height and turns the volume of the distillery in roughly 1 min., per design of our Fire Safety Engineer.

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