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Certification to boost buyer confidence in EV range and technologies
Although many automotive manufacturers have added EVs (electric vehicles) to their product lines in recent years, they remain very much a niche market, albeit one that is dynamic and developing steadily. And while potential buyers may still be somewhat concerned by the short range and long charges generally associated with EVs nowadays, industry is striving to come up with innovative solutions to remedy these problems.
The bigger picture
The EV industry is still in its infancy. Although they were first seen in the 1900s and then briefly in the 1970s, technologies have evolved at such a rapid pace in recent years that these previous experiments cannot really be taken into account.
An EV charging station ...
Today's EV development cannot be conceived without considering the bigger picture. EVs are not stand-alone products. Connection to the grid, two-way communications, energy storage, to name but a few issues, have to be taken into account. A broad roll-out of EVs will require significant investment into the energy and charging infrastructure.
Wide support from standardization and CA
Car manufacturers however are not alone in this still new venture. Governments increasingly push for electrified transportation and in many cases offer incentives for EV development.
Support also comes from the standardization and conformity assessment (CA) sector. The IEC in particular has recognized very early on the benefits that EVs could offer in terms of potential energy storage and the environment.
Electric and electronic infrastructure
Many IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and thousands of experts work on the electric and electronic infrastructure that allows cars to operate as expected and connect safely to the grid. IEC standardization work includes:
- a multitude of components, switches, connectors, wires
- lighting and displays that are built into any modern car
- audio, video, in-vehicle communication and connection
- batteries, capacitors and fuel-cells
- connectors and charging infrastructure, electric accessories, inductive charging, and more
- functional safety of charging stations and vehicles
- overall electrical safety and protection from shocks, overvoltage and fires electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
- interfaces and protocols for vehicle-to-grid communication, IT security and data protection
The IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB) has also established a Systems Evaluation Group, SEG 5: Electrotechnology for mobility, to evaluate the interaction between plug-in electric vehicles and the electricity supply infrastructure and propose an IEC approach for the development of e-mobility standards. Its mission is to determine the best solution (in terms of safety, interoperability and system performance), for the future work of systems-level standards for electric vehicles within the IEC. This includes close synchronization and coordination with automobile manufacturers and suppliers, ISO/TC 22: Road vehicles, IEC Systems Committee (SyC) on Smart Energy, IEC SEG 1: Smart Cities, applicable IEC TCs and Subcommittees (SCs), fora and consortia.
...and the plug to charge the car (Photo: Daimler)
Certifying compliance to Standards
However, compliance with IEC International Standards is only the first step. To make sure the parts and components used in manufacturing EVs are of the highest quality and reliability, they need to be tested and certified.
Here again the IEC, through its Conformity Assessment Systems, offers a key part of the solution.
IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) has a specific programme for EVs, called ELVH The IECEE CB Scheme, through its registered CBTLs (Certification Body Testing Laboratories), and NCBs (National Certification Bodies), can test and certify charging systems and stations and plugs against two series of IEC International Standards:
- IEC 61851, Electric vehicle conductive charging system
- IEC 62196, Plugs, socket-outlets, vehicle connectors and vehicle inlets
EV charging Standards
The IEC 62196 series comprises three International Standards. They define the plugs and sockets which can be used to charge an EV. IEC 62196-1:2014 contains the general requirements; IEC 62196-2:2011 standardizes dimensional compatibility and interchangeability requirements for alternative current (AC) pin and contact-tube accessories; and IEC 62196-3:2014 deals with dimensional compatibility and interchangeability requirements for direct current (DC) and AC/DC pin and contact-tube vehicle couplers.
These Standards build upon IEC 61851-1:2010 which defines the four modes of charging an EV from a power source. Modes 1 to 3 are estimated to allow an EV to be fully charged in between three and ten hours through direct connection to a mains supply. Mode 4 could fully charge an EV in under ten minutes, but as it uses off-grid batteries, it is the most expensive to implement.
The new general IEC 62196-1 Standard applies to all four of these modes while IEC 62196-2 applies to mains charging (Modes 1 to 3) and IEC 62196-3 to DC charging (Mode 4).
In addition, IEC 61851-1 defines three cable and plug setups which can be used to charge EVs: Case A, where the cable is permanently attached to the EV; Case B, where the cable is not permanently attached to anything; and Case C where the cable is permanently attached to the charging station.
IECEE-certified automotive parts and components/
But IECEE was involved in the testing and certification of parts and components for the automotive industry long before it launched the ELVH category. Lighting, switches, electrical safety, EMC, hazardous substances have all belonged to the IECEE portfolio for many years.
The new Kia Soul has a 27-kWh power pack made up of 192 lithium-ion polymer battery cells in 8 modules (Photo: kia-world.net)
Relying on batteries
And so have batteries. Fuel-powered and hybrid cars, trucks, buses, locomotives and aircraft also rely on batteries to start their engine or, in some cases, the auxiliary power unit (APU).
When testing and certifying EV batteries, IECEE focuses on multiple aspects. Electrical energy storage is an important element that will have an impact on EV range and battery-charging frequency. Endurance and lifespan are also under scrutiny. To avoid risks such as overheating and short circuits, parameters such as voltage, current, power and temperature also need to be measured and tested.
Through its standardization and conformity assessment work, the IEC offers a truly global platform that covers the electric and electronic infrastructure that allows cars to operate safely and helps the EV industry make the connection to the grid.
NCB TUV InterCert GmbH - Group of TÜV Saarland is now a recognising NCB only.
CBTL Eurotest Laboratori Srl and CBTL Albarubens Srl have been withdrawn from the IECEE CB Scheme, as per request of NCB TUV InterCert GmbH - Group of TUV Saarland.
NCB TUV InterCert GmbH - Group of TÜV Saarland is now a recognising NCB only.
CBTL Korea Testing Certification(KTC) has been accepted to operate in the IECEE CB Scheme, under the responsibility of NCB NREC.
CBTL Bureau Veritas Consumer Product Services India Pvt. Ltd (INDIA) has been accepted to operate in the IECEE CB Scheme, under the responsibility of NCB LCIE
CBTL ANCE Monterry, under NCB ANCE, has changed its name for CBTL ASOCIACIÓN DE NORMALIZACIÓN Y CERTIFICACIÓN A.C. (Apodaca)
CBTL EMC Integrity Incorporated (EMCI) has been accepted to operate in the IECEE CB Scheme, under the responsibility of NCB Nemko AS
CBTL SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services (Tianjin) Co., Ltd. has been accepted to operate in the IECEE CB Scheme, under the responsibility of NCB SGS CEBEC.
CBTL Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. , Lexington has been accepted to operate in the IECEE CB Scheme, under the responsibility of NCB ITS - Intertek Testing Services, N.A.
CBTL Intertek Japan K.K. Nagano Laboratory has been withdrawn from the IECEE CB Scheme, as per request of NCB Intertek Semko AB.
CBTL Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) has been withdrawn from the IECEE CB Scheme, as per request of NCB NREC.
Who among you hasn’t at least once in your life received an electric shock, for example while changing a light bulb? In most cases you don’t feel much and it has no serious consequences. So much so that you will not do anything about it once the new light bulb is in place. That’s where the problem starts. An electric shock is a first sign that something may be defective in the electrical installation of the building.
Safety taken for granted
In most countries we just take it for granted that electrical installations in residential, commercial or industrial premises have been designed to ensure safety in and around the house, and that we can use electrical or electronic equipment without a care in the world. This is true in the vast majority of cases: architects, engineers, electricians, equipment and appliances manufacturers or retailers rely on Standards and conformity assessment for the design, building and installations of cables, wires and electrical equipment in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Electrical installation in a building (Photo: Breen Electrical Contractors, USA)
The human factor
Electrical appliances may offer all the safety guarantees expected of a new product bought from a trusted retailer, however, use and wear can change this.
Take electrical garden tools for example: A lawnmower cable can be damaged when winding around sharp stones or a hedger cable can be cut when becoming entangled in thorny bushes.
An internal defect in an oven or a water boiler can make the slightest touch of their metal housing extremely hazardous or even deadly.
Human behaviour can also be the cause of serious or fatal injuries. The bathroom can become a potentially dangerous area if basic safety rules are not respected. How many times do we read of electrocution due to a hairdryer used in the bath or shower? Even without going to that extreme, some important measures need to be taken before plugging in an electrical appliance in the bathroom. Wet skin is an excellent conductor of electric current: always dry hands, observe a respectable distance from any water source, check regularly for cord damage, etc.
Almost anything with a vertical edge can damage a cord (Photo: The second, second best blog)
Electrical safety thanks to IEC International Standards…
IEC Technical Committee ( TC) 64 prepares International Standards that cover requirements for electrical installations and protection against electric shock. Its publications “determine characteristics for the selection of electrical equipment to enable the safe use of electricity and the proper functioning of the equipment in the installation environment”.
TC 64 publications do not include product requirements. This is why the Committee works in coordination with many product TCs and Subcommittees (SCs) that stipulate specific requirements for the products or equipment they standardize. The product Committees include TC 61: Safety of household and similar electrical appliances, TC 72: Automatic electrical controls, TC 108: Safety of electronic equipment within the field of audio/video, information technology and communication technology, or SC 23B: Plugs, socket-outlets and switches and SC 23J: Switches for appliances. TC publications are regularly cited as normative references in International Standards issued by these TCs and SCs.
...and IECEE certification
Designers and builders of electrical installations, manufacturers of electrical equipment and appliances can rely on IEC International Standards to develop state-of-the-art products that meet the strictest safety and energy-efficiency requirements. Going a step further, they can rely on the IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) to have their products tested and certified.
The IECEE CB Scheme, through its registered CBTLs (Certification Body Testing Laboratories) and NCBs (National Certification Bodies), focuses on multiple aspects. These include installation accessories and connection devices, protection against access to live parts, input and current, endurance, abnormal operation, mechanical hazards and strength, switches, internal wiring, supply connection and external flexible cords, provisions for earthing and resistance to heat and fire.
Using a defective plug can be dangerous
Defective or damaged electrical goods can be harmful
Having products and installations tested against IEC International Standards and certified by IECEE provide manufacturers and consumers alike with the assurance of a safe access to electricity within their home or office environment. However, users need to follow basic safety rules and make sure that appliances and devices they use are not damaged in any way.
For more information on IECEE: www.iecee.org
ACTL Electrosuisse Albislab has been terminated.
CBTL Photovoltaics Test Laboratory, Center for Measurement Standards, Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has been accepted to operate under NCB Intertek Testing Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd
CBTL DT&C Co., Ltd. has been transferred from NCB UL (Demko) to NCB DEKRA Certification B.V.
ACTL Institut 'Prueffeld fuer elektrische Hochleistungstechnik' GmbH GmbH has been withdrawn from the IECEE CB Scheme, as per request of NCB VDE
For many of us, switching a light on or off is such a routine task that we take it for granted. With the exception of extreme situations - major power outages - we've never had to worry about lighting in our homes offices, factories, streets, and so forth. But there are still millions of people, with limited or no access to electricity, who don't have that privilege. The United Nations have declared 2015 the International Year of Light to raise awareness on the central role played by light-based technologies in providing solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.
Access to electricity and lighting is one thing. Making sure that the equipment used is safe is another. This safety doesn't come out of nowhere. Industry, standardization bodies, testing laboratories and CBs (Certification Bodies) all work together to ensure that the lighting products we buy and use have the required safety levels.
International Standards for the lighting industry
Today, a great number of IEC International Standards support the lighting industry, covering product and systems specifications, safety, performance, interoperability, EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) impact on the environment (both during production and until disposal), and everything in between.
Lamps, indicators and luminaires are built, wired and connected based on IEC International Standards for use in households, gardens and pools; public and private transportation; industrial complexes; hospitals, stadiums and urban environments; zoos and aquariums; film, photo and theatre production; and much more.
Modern office lighting
IEC Technical Committees - a systems approach
To produce an IEC International Standard for the lighting industry, many different IEC TCs (Technical Committees) are called upon to cooperate.
Lighting covers a vast number of applications and involves many different disciplines. Think power supply, batteries, wires, switches, transformers, converters, starters, enclosures, digital control systems in home networks, the colour rendering in monitors and more.
IEC TC 34: Lamps and related equipment is the leading TC in lighting. Its work is driven by rapid technological developments and changes in regulatory requirements that have to be continuously incorporated into new and existing International Standards. Areas where changes are especially fast include the automotive industry, alternative light sources such as LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and new government regulations in the area of EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields).
Application designers, engineers, manufacturers and certification and testing bodies, but also retailers, consumers and government organizations need International Standards that apply state-of-the art knowledge and technical know-how.
Industry today is very conscious of the need to develop products that have less impact on the environment. A special focus is directed towards the use of less toxic materials, substances and processes during manufacturing.
Several SCs (Subcommittees) of IEC TC 34 deal with special projects in the area of new technologies: LEDs, OLEDs (organic LEDs), electronic operation of metal halide lamps, controlgear design for fluorescent dimming, digital lighting interfaces, specifications for lampholders, automotive lamps, and so forth.
LED car lights
IECEE ensures compliance with IEC Standards
Without testing and certification, Standards remain just words on paper. IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) has been providing a global platform for testing and certifying lighting products for many years. The IECEE CB Scheme ensures compliance with the impressive list of IEC International Standards developed for the lighting industry.
Testing and certification in that area address performance and safety issues for a wide variety of products and their accessories. Lamps and luminaires in general, single- and double-capped fluorescent lamps, floodlights, LED modules for general lighting, cords, lampholders, switches, insulation, temperature control, wiring and earthing are some examples of the elements that undergo testing.
Curves Smart TV with OLED display
Developing countries benefit from IECEE
IECEE certification is of great value to industry and consumers alike, in that it facilitates trade and helps reduce costs. In many countries, IECEE CB Test Certificates and Test Reports are proof of compliance with technical and regulatory requirements, and many retailers, buyers and vendors are happy to import electrical goods carrying an IECEE Test Certificate.
This is also true for developing countries. Most of them have little or no industry. Electrical and electronic goods - including lighting equipment - sold locally are imported from all over the world. The main issue is therefore to avoid the dumping of substandard products on such countries and to guarantee that only safe and quality equipment reaches the local market. It is therefore likely to be in governments' best interests to require compliance with Standards for all imports.
The complete list of International Standards by which IECEE testing and certification is based is available on the IECEE website: www.iecee.org
ACTL TUV SUD Industrie Service GmbH Munich has been withdrawn from the IECEE CB Scheme, as per request of NCB TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH
CBTL SGS Fimko EMC Oy has been withdrawn from the IECEE CB Scheme, as per request of NCB SGS FIMKO
CBTL KOSTEC. Co.Ltd has been transferred under NCB KTC
CBTL Hebei Institution for Product Quality Supervisión and Inspection (HBPQ) has been accepted to operate under NCB TUV Rheinland InterCert Kft., MEEI Division
CBTL Instituto de Aplicaciones de las Techonogías de la Información y de las Comunicaciones Avanzadas (ITACA) has been transferred from NCB TUV Rheinland LGA Products GmbH to NCB SGS CEBEC.
ACTL Prof. Ir. Damstra Laboratory under NCB DEKRA Certification B.V., has been suspended.
CBTL Dongguan Anci Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. has been accepted to operate under NCB UL DEMKO
We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2015 edition of the general IECEE Brochure. Please click here
to view the brochure. Should you wish to print the brochure in high quality, please request a high quality file from the IECEE Secretariat
CBTL and ACTL UL Denver have been withdrawn from the IECEE CB Scheme, as per request of NCB UL US