Why You Need LED Lighting on Your Drilling Rig


18 February 2015

With drill rigs relying on power from generators, a shortage of generating capacity can be a major issue and a huge expense to increase. An alternative solution is to decrease the consumption from existing electrical equipment so it can be utilised elsewhere; this is where LED technology can help.

LED luminaires are able to provide equivalent light output to traditional technology using just a fraction of the power. A typical 400W SON floodlight (which will use up to 440W of power) can be replaced by an equivalent SPARTAN LED unit which will consume just 136W. With a typical rig using around 50 floodlights, switching to LED could save up to 16KW of generating capacity which could be utilised for other equipment, and offer a far cheaper alternative  than  purchasing  a new generator!

While the reduced consumption alone may warrant upgrading to LED luminaires, LED technology also offers a number of other benefits when compared to traditional Ex lighting.

Lighting When You Need It Most

The generators used to power drilling rigs can often be unstable. A loss of power which disables lighting on-site will stop the rig and is a major safety threat. A luminaire with an emergency battery backup, which maintains output when mains power fails, should therefore be an essential component of any drill rig and this means choosing LED technology. Traditional Ex lights are not available as an emergency variant given that the luminaire draws a very high current which is not suited to a backup battery.

In contrast, all SPARTAN LED luminaires are available as emergency variants, using a backup battery module which allows full light output to be maintained when mains power fails. By maintaining light output during power outs, the threat of injury or incident decreases dramatically and significantly increases safety on-site.

SPARTAN LED luminaries will also continue to operate at full light output during short term voltage drops, down to 100V, before the emergency function comes into operation, and will strike instantly if power is lost. In contrast, hot restrike for traditional technology commonly takes up to 15 minutes, while a tighter voltage range also makes it more prone to outages.

Maintenance Savings

The largest ongoing cost of an Ex luminaire on a drilling rig is maintenance. Gaining access to a rig is complicated; often in remote locations and requiring specialist equipment, meaning that the frequent lamp changes associated with traditional lighting technology generates significant cost.

LED luminaires boast a superior operating life of 10+ years which makes the need for regular lamp changes redundant, significantly reducing the frequency with which maintenance is required. SPARTAN luminaires also makes maintenance more straightforward and less costly if it is required; a modular design means PSU and LED modules can be removed and serviced independently, so SPARTAN can be supported on-site.

The PSU on some units can even be located remotely at ground level. For example, PSUs on SPARTAN Flood luminaires can be located up to 100m away from the unit, meaning that for applications in even the most restrictive locations, there may be an opportunity to greatly improve ease of access, further increasing maintenance savings.

The advantages of LED over traditional technology make LED luminaires an essential component for drill rig applications.  With worldwide certification (ATEX and IECEx plus US approval including C1D2) and an industry leading 5 year warranty, SPARTAN luminaires are the ideal choice when looking to switch or upgrade to LED.

Require more information? Please call us at +44 (0) 1670 520055 or email us at sales@raytecled.com.

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