There are many aspects to specifying a panel for a hazardous location that can be easily overlooked. Before starting the design and specifying the components to be used, make sure you know the specifics of the hazardous area where the panel will be eventually located.
Some vital questions to answer before starting include:
a) What is the hazard and is there anything else that could affect the local conditions?
b) Aside from the explosion hazard,what other hazards or aggressive substances might exist in the installation? Aggressively corrosive chemicals or contamination from dust and dirt may affect how the explosion protection measures employed perform over time. It is a requirement of the ATEX directive that such considerations are taken into account in the design of equipment for its adequate performance throughout its anticipated lifetime.
c) What is the Gas Group or Dust Group? Equipment protected for dust explosion hazards may not be suitable for gas explosion hazards, make sure the components meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the installation site.
d) What is the ambient temperature range? Make sure that the ambient temperature range of the installation site in known so that it can be certain that the selected components are used within their certified range, and take into account the effect of local heat generation.
e) What certification scheme will be acceptable for the end user? Not all end users will be happy with self-declaration, despite the fact that it is permitted under the ATEX directive.
Interesting questions and we all need to ask them. It does not work otherwise.
Keep up good work!