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ATEX | High Voltage Power, Lighting & Heating for Substation Battery Rooms

Posted on 15 July 2022


ATEX | High Voltage Power, Lighting & Heating for Substation Battery Rooms
Thorne & Derrick, Specialist UK Distributors of LV HV Jointing, Earthing, Substation & Electrical Eqpt up to 66kV, provide expert technical specification, customer support and product supply from stock of an extensive range of Hazardous Area Electrical Equipment – this includes Power, Heating & Lighting products with ATEX Certification for installation in Substation Battery Rooms.
Substation Battery Rooms
What’s The Risk?


Explosive Flammable Gases/Vapours 

UK DNO’s detail safe working procedures and rules in their Document Manuals to be followed when working on alkaline or acid substation batteries and storage rooms located within primary network medium/high voltage substations (MV HV).

Lead-acid type batteries release potentially explosive hydrogen gas when charging – this is the primary explosive risk associated with medium/high voltage substations.


Consequently, these worksite locations are classified as hazardous area Zones according to the ATEX Directive – a “hazardous area” is defined as an area in which the atmosphere contains, or may contain in sufficient quantities, flammable or explosive gases, dusts or vapours. The Zone designation depends on the level of risk and likelihood of flammable gas, vapour or mist forming during normal operation.

ATEX is an abbreviation of “Atmospheres Explosibles” and is a set of European Union regulations that are designed to ensure the safety of electrical products being used in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Thorne & Derrick, Experts in Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres, provide Zone 1/Zone 2 (Flammable Gas) ATEX Compliant electrical equipment for installation in substations and battery rooms to provide heating, lighting and power distribution.

Substation ATEX Electrical Equipment

The Danger Zones ATEX

The main Dangers to Persons carrying out work or testing on batteries and chargers are electric shock, explosion or burns arising from the ignition of flammable gas which is emitted by cells during the charging process.

Flammable gas can be ignited by naked flames (eg “hot-working” by cable jointers), cigarettes or by sparks if cell terminals are accidentally earthed or shorted together.

This short-circuiting releases dangerous levels of heat, light and arc energy.

Consequently, electrical equipment installed in MV HV substation battery rooms should be Zone 1 or Zone 2 certified according to ATEX Directive for safe installation in such potentially explosive atmospheres.

♦ Primary Network Substation: a 132kV, 66kV, 33kV or 25kV substation including directly associated 66kV, 33kV, 25kV, 11kV and 6.6kV switchboards at transformer stations (Definition: WPD Engineering Specification EE Spec 25/5).

ATEX Electrical Equipment


How We Can Help?

♦ Lighting – T&D can provide lighting designs to ensure lux levels are achieved in line with regulations, fittings are located correctly and meet certification requirements – we provide a comprehensive hazardous area lighting system design service.

PIR Motion Sensors

PIR Motion Sensors

♦ Heating – T&D can provide battery room heat loss calculations to ensure the correct heaters are specified and meet ATEX certification requirements to provide adequate comfort heating to the substation.

♦ Power – T&D can specify and supply from stocks Joints & Terminations for the connection and energisation of high voltage power cables to switchgear and transformers up to 66kV.

  • Raytec | Light Fittings
  • Abtech | Junction Boxes
  • Craig & Derricott | Isolators
  • EXHEAT | Heaters
  • Marechal | Plug & Sockets
  • Crowcon | Gas Detectors
  • Technor | ATEX Enclosures & Control Equipment
  • Roxtec | Cable Transits
  • Hawke | Cable Glands

The ATEX PIR detector is a movement sensor that detects a moving body heat (infrared) signature and provides an alarm output signal to the alarm/monitoring system accordingly within the substation battery room.

3M Nexans Pfisterer

Extensive Stocks | Competitive Prices | HV Joints Terminations Connectors for GIS

Lighting Design & Specification Services

Hazardous Area Lighting Design Services

The SPARTAN range of Standard & Emergency ATEX Certified light fittings manufactured by Raytec is designed for lighting hazardous areas which require high performance, high reliability, energy-efficient brilliant “White-Light” illumination using latest LED technology.

Lighting Designs for Hazardous Area Locations & Substations

Hazardous Area Lighting

Pictured | Stocked by Thorne & Derrick, the SPARTAN WL168 Zone 2 Intelligent Emergency Linear Luminaires improve light levels on this substation battery room site. On this project, the lighting brief was to replace x 4 existing 2x58W fluorescent Zone 2 fittings. The customer originally requested 5ft LED Linear alternatives, but due to SPARTAN’s high lumen output and unique modular design – which would make any ongoing maintenance quick and easy – SPARTAN WL168 provided the ideal solution. Discuss your requirements with us.

ATEX Heaters

The EXHEAT range of FAW heaters provides versatile air warming to battery rooms with 250W to 3kW ratings – the electric heaters are certified for use in hazardous areas where the explosive atmosphere is classified as a Zone 1 or 2 (IIA, IIB, IIC) gas group.