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

IEC e-tech – November 2012

IEC e-tech: November 2012

Power generation & transmission


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Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Managing Editor e-tech :

Claire Marchand



Janice Blondeau

Morand Fachot

Zoé Smart


Safety and reliability of power supplies


This issue of e-tech looks at various aspects of the power generation and transmission chain. It focuses also on renewable energy sources, such as hydropower – and its role in electrical energy storage, marine and wind energy. The activities of the several IEC's TCs (Technical Committees) involved are also detailed.


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Pumped storage key to energy storage


With rising electricity consumption and costs, and the need to balance increasing levels of intermittent generation from wind and solar systems, electrical energy storage solutions are being pursued. Long-established pumped-storage hydropower currently represents the largest and most flexible electrical energy storage solution.


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Marine renewables


Over the last decade, the marine renewable energy industry has become a growing sector of renewable energy that can contribute to renewable portfolio standards in a developing worldwide market.


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Going with the wind


Wind energy is currently the most cost effective new renewable energy source. Many countries have goals for wind to supply more than 20% of their energy generation by 2030. IEC TC 88: Wind turbines, prepares International Standards to ensure the industry produces the most efficient and reliable wind turbines possible.


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Helping keep power on


Everyday services and amenities such as water supply, heating, transport and communications depend partly or entirely on adequate electrical power supply. When Hurricane Sandy struck the North-eastern United States, it brought home to millions how central electricity is to their lives. At the global level, all links in the entire chain, from the generation to the distribution of electrical power to end users, rely on International Standards prepared by many IEC Technical Committees and Subcommittees.


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TC work central to hydropower success


Hydropower continues to be the main source of clean energy in the world. This rather mature technology offers great flexibility as it can respond immediately to on-demand compensations for generation and grid variances and help regulate or make up for shortfalls in power from intermittent renewable sources. IEC TC 4: hydraulic turbines, prepares International Standards for hydropower.


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Wherever it blows, TC work is essential


Wind power has expanded considerably in the last few decades with the growing importance taken by renewables in electricity generation worldwide. IEC TC 88: Wind turbines, provides manufacturers and installers with International Standards that ensure wind turbine installations are designed to time-tested requirements and evaluated according to proven procedures.


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IEC TC 120 for smart grid integration


Recognizing that the proportion of RE (Renewable Energy) is likely to increase in all major electricity markets, but that large-scale incorporation of RE into existing electricity grids remains complex, the IEC has created IEC TC (Technical committee) 120: EES (Electrical Energy Storage) Systems.


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Kazakhstan joins IECEE


In October 2012, IECEE welcomed the Republic of Kazakhstan as its newest member country. The total number of countries participating in IECEE is now 55. The national member body representing Kazakhstan within IECEE is the Committee of Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies.


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Outcome of the IECEx conference in Dubai


The Dubai event, which took place in March 2012, was an outright success. IEC e-tech reported on the conference in past issues, and now presents two stories that have a direct link to the event.


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Hazardous substance-free components


IECQ has recently published the 3rd edition of IECQ QC 080000, Hazardous Substance Process Management System Requirements. The specification and its requirements are based on the strong belief that the provision of hazardous substance-free products and production processes can only be achieved by integrating management disciplines fully.


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IEC Standardization Management Board has approved the nomination of Kiyoshi Saito for a first term of office as member of ACEA (Advisory Committee on Environmental Aspects)


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Obituary: John Larmouth


A gifted academic and tireless worker, John Larmouth passed away in August 2012. His active involvement in international standardization started in 1978 and spanned 34 years. He was a pioneer of standardization in applied IT and communications.


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Obituary: Pietro Parodi


The IEC family regrets the sad loss of Pietro Parodi, immediate past chairman of IEC TC (Technical Committee) 55: Winding Wires, who passed away in August 2012, at the age of 78.


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Ensuring compatibility


IEC Global Visions interviewed Thomas S. Gross, Chief Operating Officer of Eaton. In the interview, Gross underlined that most of the major global challenges, and the markets that emerge around them, depend directly on the ability to connect solutions from different suppliers. The transition from products to total solutions requires interoperability and other standards.


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Keeping turbines spinning in the wind


Converting mechanical wind energy to electrical power requires a number of components. One of these, the gearbox, is essential to uprate the low speed of the main shaft attached to the rotor hub. IEC TC 88 has just prepared an International Standard for design requirements for wind turbine gearboxes.


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Consolidated standard for safety of LED modules


LED-based lamps, very energy efficient and durable are often described as the light source of the future. IEC SC 34A: Lamps, prepares International Standards for all components in LED lights. A consolidated version of its IEC 62031 International Standard that sets safety specifications for LED modules for general lighting was published in October.


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