International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Electrical Energy

IEC helps keep the power on

 

Major Users logo

Industry accounts for close to 40% of the world’s consumption of electric energy, with two-thirds of this used to drive electric motors. To enable energy efficiency IEC works helps advance technology such as intelligent automation and control systems and variable-speed motors.

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Manufacturing

 

 

 

 

 

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Electroheating & welding

 

 

 

 

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Certification in hazardous areas

 

 

 

 

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Certification for electronic components

 

 

 

 

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Interview

 

 

 

 

 

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Industrial automation

 

 

 

 

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Offshore oil and gas extraction

 

 

 

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Interview

 

 

 

 

 

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Raw material processing into primary products

 

 

 

 

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Transportation

 

 

 

 

 

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Road

 

 

 

 

 

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Air

 

 

 

 

 

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Rail

 

 

 

 

 

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Shipping

 

 

 

 

 

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Smart Grids, Smart Cities & Smart Buildings

 

 

 

 

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Smart Grid

 

 

 

 

 

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Interview

 

 

 

 

 

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Smart Buildings, Smart Cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Minigrids and microgrids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major Users

 

Industry accounts for close to 40% of the world’s consumption of electric energy, with two-thirds of this used to drive electric motors. To enable energy efficiency IEC works helps advance technology such as intelligent automation and control systems and variable-speed motors.

 

 

Manufacturing

 

Increasingly manufacturers follow International Standards for interoperability among production facilities. With them they are able to streamline investment and facilitate repairs and maintenance. Built-in safety features and environmental considerations make it easier to protect workers, populations and safe guard the environment. IEC work covers the whole production chain ranging from power generation and distribution to machinery, heating, welding, cooling, ventilation and control systems.

 

 

Electroheating & welding

 

Electroheating, the high-power heating of material using electrical energy, is widespread in many industrial sectors, accounting for between 20 to 40% of electricity consumed according to UIE (International Union for Electricity Applications). Technologies include arc furnaces, infrared radiation, laser, plasma, induction, radio frequency and microwave. Electroheating is also used in the sterilization of foods, drying of textiles and hardening of ceramic tiles, for example.
TC 27: Industrial electroheating and electromagnetic processing, prepares International Standards for the many installations used in the sector.
TC 26: Electric welding, TC 76: Optical radiation safety and laser equipment and TC 47: Semiconductor devices, produce International Standards that apply to technology used in special manufacturing processes.

 

 

IECEx

 

IECEx (the IEC System for Certification to Standards relating to equipment for use in explosive atmospheres) ensures that equipment used in explosive areas meets the required safety standards. The System also certifies the competence of personnel working, maintaining or repairing equipment used in explosive atmospheres.

Hazardous areas can be found broadly speaking everywhere in manufacturing where flammable gases, liquids or combustible dusts are present – the oil and gas industries, mining, fuel stations, chemical industry, textile mills, saw mills, the printing and paint industry, grain storage and handling, sugar refining, etc.

 

 

IECQ

 

The IECQ is a worldwide approval and certification system for covering the supply of electronic components and associated materials and assemblies and processes. It uses quality assessment specifications that are based on International Standards prepared by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

At present there are eight families of electronic components covered by the IECQ along with their respective raw materials and also assemblies for which they are utilized.

• Active components, including integrated circuits;
• Electromagnetic components;
• Electromechanical components;
• Electro-optic components;
• Hybrid integrated circuits;
• Passive components;
• Printed wiring boards;
• Wire and cables.

 

 

Watch the video

Increased efficiency Global relevance

Keith Nosbusch, Chairman & CEO, Rockwell Automation

 

In this IEC Global Visions interview, Keith Nosbusch, Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Automation, shares how smarter manufacturing increases global competitiveness. He underlines that IEC International Standards help improve plant safety and enhance product reliability and quality. They also allow companies to become more sustainable by lowering their energy consumption and improving waste management, which in turn helps reduce cost.

 

 

Industrial automation

 

Today most sectors of industry employ some element of automation to make more efficient use of energy, infrastructure and to lower cost. A number of IEC Technical Committees prepare International industrial automation Standards.
IEC TC 65: Industrial-process measurement, control and automation provides many of the International Standards that are relevant for industry.
IEC TC 17: Switchgear and controlgear
IEC TC 22: Power electronic systems and equipment
SC 22G: Adjustable speed electric drive systems incorporating semiconductor power converters for robots and automated machinery
IEC TC 44: Safety of machinery - Electrotechnical aspects.

 

 

Offshore oil and gas extraction

 

Safety of offshore installations relies largely on the appropriate and safe interaction of equipment and humans. TC 18: Electrical installations of ships and of mobile and fixed offshore units and TC 31: Equipment for explosive atmospheres, prepare International Standards for the industry.
TC 2: Rotating machinery, prepares International Standards used for oil drilling and mining equipment for onshore installations, including switchgear and controlgear, cables, lights etc. TC 31: Equipment for explosive atmospheres’ International Standards are used across the oil drilling and mining sectors. International steam turbine Standards prepared by TC 5: Steam turbines, have also been adopted in other domains such as integrated gasification combined cycle, industrial and petrochemical plants.

 

 

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Common platforms: the basis for individual innovation

Matthias Kurth, President, Federal Network Agency

 

In this IEC Global Visions interview, Matthias Kurth, President Federal Network Agency, shares why he believes in standardization and how IEC International Standards help his agency to accelerate the convergence and renovation of the Energy, Telecommunications, Transport and Postal Sectors in Germany and in Europe. Why standards are necessary to get competitors to cooperate on common goals and to stimulate investments in new technologies and safeguard industry and consumer needs. How they can help avoid island solutions and promote interoperability of products and networks.

 

 

Raw material processing into primary products

 

Aluminium production accounts for roughly 3.5 % of global electricity consumption. The generation and distribution of electrical power for aluminium refineries relies on IEC International Standards prepared by TC 4: Hydraulic Turbines; TC 5: steam turbines, for power generation; TC 8: System aspects for electrical energy supply and TC 14: Power transformers for regulating supply. The development and enhancement of energy-efficient production technologies in the aluminium industry is also a priority.


The IEC MSB (Market Strategy Board) White Paper, "Coping with the Energy Challenge - The IEC’s role from 2010 to 2030", makes a series of recommendations on electrical energy efficiency measures. "Inert anodes for aluminium smelters" are identified as a priority technology that requires further development.


TC 65: Industrial process measurement, control and automation, and all its subcommittees; TC 44: Safety of machinery – Electrotechnical aspects; and TC 2: Rotating machinery, cover other aspects of this industry.

 

 

Transportation

 

Safety has always been a major issue in transportation, at the heart of every invention, innovation and technological development over the centuries. Today modern transportation relies heavily on IEC International Standards for safety and reliability.

 

 

Road

 

IEC International Standards apply to all road vehicles, including electric vehicles. The electrical or electronics content today represents more than 50% of the cost of personal vehicles, with nearly 4 km of cables in a single car as well as many monitors, sensors, lights, batteries, switches, etc. Literally dozens of IEC Technical Committees and thousands of engineers work on the electric and electronic infrastructure that allows cars to operate as expected and connect safely to the grid. Thousands of components, switches, connectors, wires; lighting components and displays are built into any modern car (The car...safety and more pdf file 297KB)
TC 46: Cables, wires, waveguides, R.F. connectors, R.F. and microwave passive components and accessories;
TC 48
: Electromechanical components and mechanical structures for electronic equipment;
SC 34D: Luminaires;
TC 91
: Electronics assembly technology.
TC 69: Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks provides an overall framework and develops the International EV Standards for all on-board and off-board equipment for the charging of EVs.
TC 21
: Secondary cells and batteries ensures the efficiency, performance and safety of the different battery types used in EVs and cars.
TC 32
: Fuses.
Audio, video, in-vehicle communication & connection:
ISO/IEC JTC1: Information technology;
TC 100
: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment;
TC 110
: Electronic display devices.
Batteries, capacitors and fuel-cells (safety, connectors, dimensions):
TC 8: Systems aspects for electrical energy supply;
TC 21
: Safety of batteries.
Connectors and charging infrastructure, electric accessories, inductive charging:
SC 23H
: Plugs, socket-outlets and couplers for EVs;
SC 22E: Stabilized power supplies.
Functional safety of charging stations and vehicles:
SC 65A
: Industrial-process measurement, control and automation - Systems aspects
Overall electrical safety and protection from shocks, overvoltage and fires:
TC 23: Electrical accessories; TC 64: Electrical installations and protection against electric shock;
TC 73
: Short-circuit currents;
TC 112
: Evaluation and qualification of electrical insulating materials and systems; and
TC 77
: Electromagnetic compatibility.
Vehicle to grid communication:
ISO/IEC JTC1 prepares International Standards for interfaces and protocols for vehicle-to-grid communication, IT security and data protection Environment;
TC 111: Environmental standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems

 

 

Air

 

The IEC plays an essential role in ensuring air traffic safety through work from TC 97: Electrical installations for lighting and beaconing of aerodromes, IECQ ECMP for the management of electronic components used by the industry, IECEx for safe refuelling operations and TC 31: Equipment for explosive atmospheres.
TC 107: Process management for avionics, has a major role to play in developing standard processes to use and manage these components, equipment and systems. IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, provides a programme specifically designed for the air transport industry. ECMP (Electronic Component Management Plan) assures industry and regulatory agencies that electronic components in equipment are selected and employed under controlled processes compatible with the relevant safety regulations. IECEx, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, ensures that fuel storage, transportation and refuelling operations by airlines and oil companies are performed at airports according to highest safety levels. It also certifies the competence of personnel working in these areas.

 

 

Rail

 

Even though rail is more energy efficient than most other forms of transport, energy efficiency can be improved further.
TC 9: Electrical equipment and systems for railways, prepares International Standards that cover aspects such as electric equipment for rolling stock, equipment for signalling and telecommunications, traction transformers and inductors on board rolling stock. The work of this TC also covers capacitors for power electronics, requirements for AC switchgear, urban guided transport management and command/ control systems, communication, signalling and processing systems and more.

 

 

Shipping

 

Carrying an estimated 90% of world trade and millions of passengers every year, international shipping represents the life blood of the global economy. TC 18: Electrical installations of ships and of mobile and fixed offshore units and SC 18A: Electric cables for ships and mobile and fixed offshore units prepare International Standards for the maritime sector. TC 18 has a formal relationship with the IMO (International Maritime Organization) to collaborate in the field of electrical systems on ships and offshore units.
TC 80
: Maritime navigation and radio communication equipment and systems prepares International Standards covering equipment that may break down, catch fire or explode, and systems enabling a ship’s crew to chart its way, minimize the risk of collision, communicate with other vessels and shore and stay informed about weather conditions.

 

 

Smart Grids, Smart Cities & Smart Buildings

 

In many countries large parts of the existing grid infrastructure date back to the 1960s or even earlier. It is essential to redesign the entire grid architecture into a responsive electrical infrastructure, or Smart Grid, designed to help lower costs and optimize energy use.

"IEC: Bringing the Information to the Grid" brochure 632 KB gives an overview of where the IEC is active in this field.

 

 

Smart Grid

 

Setting up Smart Grids will be no easy task in many countries as most operators must build on existing legacy systems. The IEC publishes most of the International Smart Grid Standards and is involved in all major Smart Grid projects around the world.
TC 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange; TC 13: Electrical energy measurement, tariff- and load control; and SC 65A: System aspects are among the dozens of IEC Technical Committees that prepare International Standards relevant to the Smart Grid.

 

 

Watch the video

The Energy Efficiency Challenge

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President & CEO, Schneider Electric

 

Energy consumption is expected to double by 2050, greenhouse gas emission must be halved in the same time period and generation, transmission and consumption will need to become 4 times more efficient. Schneider provides concrete technology solutions to reduce energy consumption by 30% in existing buildings and up to 70% in new buildings. Schneider Electric believes that the IEC is their best partner to drive the development of future International Standards and to allow them to compete efficiently in a global market.

 

 

Smart Buildings, Smart Cities

 

Some of the IEC Technical Committees that work in this area include:
TC 34: Lamps and related equipment for general, professional and emergency lighting; TC 59: Performance of household and similar electrical appliances; TC 47: Semiconductor devices: elevators and escalators which contain systems and components such as semiconductor devices; TC 17: Switchgear and controlgear; SC 22G: Adjustable speed electric drive systems and countless others.

 

 

Minigrids and microgrids

 

Minigrids, small clusters of loads and generators linked together and sharing one point of connection to the wider grid, provide potential advantages such as enhanced reliability of supply, lower costs in remote locations and better environmental performance. Microgrids represent an entirely new way of powering remote or rural communities. IEC work covers many connecting devices and other systems used in mini and microgrids.  From the IEC Smart Grid Roadmap developed by SG (Strategic Group) 3: Smart Grid, Microgrids are placed within DER (Distributed Energy Resources). Guidelines for the General Planning and Design of Microgrids have been submitted as new work proposals in TC 8: Systems aspects for electrical energy supply.

Following various disasters and significant damage delaying recovery in many countries, the IEC’s MSB (Market Strategy Board) in cooperation with Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is preparing a White Paper on MDR (Microgrid for disaster recovery). Publication is planned for early 2014.