Do you have Wi-Fi here? What’s the password? Sitting in an airport, hotel, restaurant or café, this is probably the most common question you will hear. We are getting used to having instant high-speed access to the Internet wherever we are. The reasons are plentiful, we like to communicate, share and retrieve more information faster than ever. Increasingly our devices are becoming more and more connected. Your TV, radio, cellphone and even toaster have Wi-Fi. Wireless technology opens up for new usage scenarios for Internet enabled devices. Wireless networks simplifies access to the Internet, it is reliable, high-speed and secure. This development started in the consumer space, and we now see the same development in the office and in industrial applications, such as oil and gas installations.
As remote- and integrated operations are becoming more widespread, an ever-increasing amount of information is being exchanged from offshore to onshore facilities A growing number of intrinsically safe smartphones, tablets, PCs, cameras, control and monitoring systems are offered with integrated wireless networking. As the number of sensors installed at remote locations increases, there is a high cost of connecting these to the network and the onshore operations center. Having wireless infrastructure available decreases the cost of this deployment of these devices. By installing wireless networks, organizations can immediately start taking advantage of these new technologies.
By installing wireless networks, organizations can immediately start taking advantage of new innovative mobile applications
The information flow is often critical and therefore needs to be reliable, available and high speed. To date, the information has been sent using wired networks. Laying cables to each device is both costly and unnecessary. For hazardous environments, Wi-Fi offers many benefits. Wi-Fi is more cost efficient than laying expensive intrinsically safe cables to the places where connectivity is needed. Wi-Fi is more flexible since one access point can serve many different clients and processes at once. Also having Wi-Fi coverage opens up for the use of new technologies such as wireless video collaboration systems for remote problem solving and monitoring.
Benefits from having wireless infrastructure
As described briefly in the introduction, wireless networking opens up possibilities and reduces costs. Wi-Fi is the best way of providing connectivity to the growing number of connected devices. For industrial and hazardous environments, the benefits are even more obvious. These environments are more demanding, meaning that a proven solution that is customized to the application is needed. Installing wireless networks instead of cabled networks cuts cabling cost and enables temporary network connections while maintaining communication speed and security. The cost/benefit of introducing wireless networks is even greater in hazardous and offshore environments, where cables, throughputs, glands and manpower are very expensive. There are several reasons for choosing wireless infrastructure for hazardous area:
- Ease of installation
- Reduced installation costs
- Increase HSE
- Flexible placement of access points
- Short time from installation to commissioning
- Lower footprint and weight compared with wired networks
- No wiring and cable trays leads to increased safety
- Reduce the need for personnel offshore
- Bringing the problem to the expert, not the other way around
- Support multiple locations, operations and processes at once
- Accelerate decision making
- Access to operational data in real time
- Reduce unscheduled downtime on assets
- Coexistence with WirelessHART and other technologies,
- Cisco and Emerson has proven successful coexstence with 802.11 and 802.15.4 technologies
Characteristics of a smart wireless network
A smart wireless network is reliable, secure and easy to deploy. A smart wireless infrastructure allows the user to remotely manage and configure usage and settings. You also want to ensure that the infrastructure supports common standards and enable a wide range of devices to be connected simultaneously and seamlessly. You want the network to be ready for the future, meaning that you want the newest and most up to date technology available. Also, the network should be self-healing and self-optimizing. New installations should embrace the 801.11AC standard since it offers Gigabit Ethernet speeds and excellent flexibility. In addition it cuts down on the number of antennas required reducing the cost compared to the older 802.11n standard.
Reliable, secure and easy
Self-healing and self-optimizing
Wi-Fi has become a standard for mission critical information and Wi-Fi is now a trusted industry standard. Eliminating costly cable installations is a great benefit, both during constructions and for future add-ons and modifications. Wireless is more scalable than wired networks. BARTEC PIXAVI is the only vendor that can offer the 802.11AC standard with enhanced security, range and data rate. A key enabler is the BARTEC PIXAVI brand new dual band Xbeam antenna, which offers true MIMO multiband performance in harmony with the 802.11AC standard. Combined with the EX-AP-A and our halogen free and flameproof cable offerings we can provide a turnkey solution for the customers.
BARTEC PIXAVI pioneered Wi-Fi for hazardous areas
BARTEC PIXAVI started developing intrinsically safe, IECEx certified wireless infrastructure as far back as in 2002. This gives BARTEC PIXAVI over a decade of experience with wireless networking in hazardous environments. The primary reason for the development of these first Wi-Fi products was to support the use of mobile device for hazardous areas, also developed by BARTEC PIXAVI. The problem was that there was no Ex certified wireless access points available in 2002. BARTEC PIXAVI wanted to make an access point which could easily be retrofitted to existing installations, directly to in the Ex zone. This will decrease installation costs for both retrofitting and new builds. The access points also needed to be customizable and support the latest communication standards. The IECEx and ATEX Zone 1 certification is key for most installations offshore. Increased focus on HSE, ease of installation, and the need to use the access point during an emergency makes this an absolute requirement for most usage scenarios offshore.
BARTEC PIXAVI has been, and will be, a pioneer within wireless infrastructure for hazardous environments. BARTEC PIXAVI was first to introduce dual band access points. Wireless networking infrastructure installations should be ready for tomorrow’s devices. The bandwidth and capability of today’s technology is growing rapidly. Since BARTEC PIXAVI is leading the development for Wireless infrastructure in hazardous environments our customers are always one step ahead of the development. We guarantee that we will keep up, and even push forward the development, making sure our customers have the most recent technology. With BARTEC PIXAVI solutions you are one step ahead of the game.
How to implement a Wi-Fi solution in your organization
The most versatile product for IECEx and ATEX Zone1 applications is the BARTEC PIXAVI EX-AP-A ATEX Wi-Fi access point. The EX-AP-A is highly customizable and can be delivered with everything from 1 up to 6 antennas (2,4 GHz and 5 GHz). We can also deliver with fiber or Ethernet (POE) cable interface. The EX AP A access points comes with several antennas for optimal coverage. BARTEC PIXAVI has experience in getting coverage in the most places. Using a combination of experience and the newest technology available we advice our customers on the best solutions.
The EX-AP-A also supports both multimode mode and single mode fiber in addition to POE. The access point allows for a multitude of cable types and antenna configurations enabling wide range of applications. BARTEC PIXAVI have IECEx certified omnidirectional antennas for many frequencies. The included Xbeam A antennas can connect with up to 30 meters of antenna cable without significant loss of signal. The antennas have a wide-angle beam, providing better coverage in multipath environments (metal walls etc.) that involves signal reflections rather than line of sight transmission. The EX-AP-A Access Point can be configured as both a mesh endpoint and a standalone access point. Another benefit is that only one cable is needed to connect the access point to the network containing both power lines and Ethernet (POE).
The advantage of the EX-AP-A is that the en solution is IECEx and ATEX Zone 1 certified, meaning it can be installed directly in the EX Zone 1. This feature makes planning and installation easier and therefore cheaper. The dual band 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz Ex d /EEx de access point has been custom designed to accommodate a wide range of configurations and features like an EX-e junction box, Gigabit fiber support, PoE/cat5, lightning pro n, amplification and several antenna connections and configurations. With the EX-AP-A you can create a state of the art wireless infrastructure directly in hazardous area with minimal efforts. The EX-AP-A has a dual radio design that enables coexistence of 802.11n, 802.11g and 802.11a networks. Wireless networks help organizations cut cabling cost and increase connectivity within their own facilities to start utilizing a wide range of wireless applications.
BARTEC PIXAVI has a frame agreement with Statoil for Wireless infrastructure. This means that BARTEC PIXAVI is the preferred supplier of wireless network hardware coverage to Statoil. BARTEC PIXAVI typically work closely with the customer to find the best solutions. BARTEC PIXAVI can also mount free issue equipment inside the enclosure, to provide EX-certification to a wide range of products. Examples of equipment found inside BARTEC PIXAVI IECEx enclosures are: repeaters, gateways, servers, computers and other types communications hardware.
The ever-increasing need for connectivity between all devices means that wireless networking technology is here to stay. The need for connectivity is even greater in hazardous environments where control over people, processes and equipment is absolutely crucial. Creating coverage in a hazardous environment should be as easy as in your home. This whitepaper have revealed that a wireless networks can reduce network deployment costs, increase safety, and enable integrated operations.
Do you want to learn more about Wi-Fi for hazardous area? Check out these great online resources!