Customer application
Explosion Protection under Extreme Conditions

The Russian company OOO SSTEnergomontazh wanted to substantially increase the degree of automation in its electrical trace heating systems for pipelines to offer customer-specific solutions and keep pace with the trend toward greater automation in the oil and gas industry. Thanks to WAGO’s explosion-proof components, the company succeeded in doing this easily and economically.
When winter arrives in the northernmost region of Russia and in Siberia, it exerts an icy grip on entire regions, people and life itself. With outside temperatures of −55 °C, which are typical here, even liquids in supply pipelines can freeze. To prevent this from happening, electrical trace heating systems from OOO “SSTEnergomontazh” are used along the entire oil production process chain and in the processing of products from the Russian oil, gas and chemicals industries.

Here’s How WAGO Supports You in Ex Areas

  • The WAGO 750 XTR I/O-SYSTEM for Ex area applications withstands even the most extreme conditions.

  • The permissible surrounding air temperature range of −40 °C to +70 °C (−40 °F ... +158 °F) allows the modules to be used in any climatic zone without the need for additional protection from air-conditioning or heating systems.


  • The increased immunity to impulse voltages and interference even permits it to be used in medium-voltage systems.

OOO “SSTEnergomontazh” is part of the “SST - Special Systems and Technologies” corporate group, the market leader in the field of planning and installing cabled trace heating systems for both the private and the industrial sectors. The corporate group’s Russian plants is Europe’s largest producer of heating cables and technical equipment for temperature regulation. Since it was founded in 1991, the corporate group has installed more than 4,000 industrial trace heating systems in structures or on their roofs and more than 6,000 systems on pipelines and reservoirs. Trace heating systems from SST currently help ensure reliable operation of more than 20,000 kilometers of pipelines. The systems maintain a set temperature for products in pipelines and reservoirs.

On the Way to Automated Trace Heating Operation

To ensure that trace heating systems can continue to perform reliably at temperatures as low as −55 °C, several types of special heating cables are installed between the pipeline and its thermal insulation. Both heating cables designed for a constant temperature level and self-regulating cable systems are used. Self-regulating cable systems release their heat based on ambient environmental conditions. The advantages of these types of cables over cables with a constant level: Even objects with only a small area can also be heated, and with considerably greater energy efficiency.


Control cabinet for controlling industrial electrical trace heating systems.

Sensors and temperature regulators which monitor the temperature and control heating operation are also installed directly on the pipeline. One of OOO SSTEnergomontazh’s main goals is currently the use of automatic control and regulating systems for operating these systems. First of all, SST intends to develop this to fulfill customer-specific demands and offer tailor-made solutions. Secondly, the company is following the clear trend toward automation within the oil and gas industry: More automation for the product extraction and transportation – within both existing systems and new systems under construction. The goal is to provide every technical process – including heating – with options for self-diagnostics, output of relevant information to an HMI, signaling of messages in emergencies and status reports, as well as the acquisition and archiving of information required for proper operation. Control systems must be able to employ the latest communication protocols, transmit data to the process control system via digital interfaces, be used via the SCADA telecontrol protocol and offer control station and emergency-off functions. They must also be reliable and help enhance energy efficiency on the basis of optimized calculation algorithms and well-tuned system settings.

A Great Technological Leap Forward

OOO SSTEnergomontazh chose to partner with WAGO in order to take a great step forward in automating electrical trace heating systems. SST uses several function modules from the modular WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM 750, including its explosion-proof modules. “There were very few companies that could offer comparable equipment at a comparable price,” says A. W. Mochow, head of the department for planning of electrical equipment at SSTEnergomontazh. “The product range for most manufacturers usually only covers components for use in industry.” However, in systems used for heating industrial facilities, the temperature must be monitored using sensors installed directly on the pipeline.


TEPLOMAG industrial electrical trace heating system during assembly.

This measurement point is located in hazardous areas of Hazard Category 2 and is also around one kilometer from the control cabinet, which is not located in a hazardous area. For this type of application, SST chose the 750-485 Function Module of the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM, which connects to temperature sensors that are designed to use standardized current level signals. “This enabled us to retain fail-safe circuits without installing additional barriers,” explains Mochow. “We were also able to save up to 20 % of the space available in the control cabinets.” Another argument in favor of WAGO’s solution: Programming WAGO systems using CODESYS. Not only is this programing environment the most widely used and most universally applicable topology, but it “also offers a wide range of options for implementing algorithms tailored to the electrical trace heating field,” explains Mochow.

Impressed with the Results

The head of SST’s engineering department has become a great fan of WAGO. He describes the company’s product support as top-notch and happily takes advantage of continuous updates to the range of products and the new program libraries made available to customers. “We constantly follow new developments at WAGO and have a close business relationship with their office in Moscow.” SST employees attend seminars and stay in touch with WAGO through regular meetings at international trade shows. And, in the end, Mochow feels that the success of this collaboration is what really counts. “Practical experience has proven that our expectations of WAGO have been completely met. Presently, we are operating numerous reliable systems throughout the corporate landscape of the Russian oil and gas industry.”


  • Extreme ambient temperatures

  •  Immunity to electromagnetic interference and impulse voltages

  • Vibration and shock resistance

  • Explosion protection

Author: Benjamin Böhm | WAGO

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