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

IEC e-tech – June/July 2014

IEC e-tech: June/July 2014

Energy storage



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Editor in Chief:

Gabriela Ehrlich


Managing Editor e-tech :

Claire Marchand



Janice Blondeau

Morand Fachot

Zoé Smart


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Better energy use and storage


The focus of the June/July edition of IEC e-tech is on energy harvesting and storage. Storing energy for later use is not only a must in view of the large scale integration of renewable sources such as wind or photovoltaics but it also helps optimize how and when we are able to use electric power.


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Energy harvesting: great growth from small beginnings


Interest in energy harvesting, i.e. collecting low-grade energy from sources such as ambient or waste heat, thermal and kinetic energy, and their conversion into electrical energy, is gaining momentum. It was viewed initially mainly as relevant to power small devices only. Opportunities are also opening up for use in larger applications.


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Supercapacitors charge into energy storage


Electricity storage is currently one of the prime areas for R&D within the energy and automotive sectors. With their high power density and suitability for short duration or pulse events, there is clear potential for super or ultracapacitors to play a major role. Demand for the next generation of capacitors could explode in a flash.


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Piezoelectrics power onwards


Although the first practical piezoelectric devices emerged little more than three decades ago, they can now be found in a diverse array of devices and applications. Developments in piezoelectric technology focus not only on achieving more desirable operational characteristics but on improving environmental performance too.


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Storage solutions: the heartbeat of renewables


As many countries try to increase the share of renewable energies in their electricity generating capacity, a major issue facing utilities is that of electrical energy storage. As the input from renewable sources is mostly intermittent and not always available when needed, EES is vital for enabling their integration in the overall energy mix. Different technologies are available or are under development to improve storage capacities.


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Big data, big future


Business, academic, and government leaders broadly agree about the potential of big data to fuel innovation, advance commerce and drive progress. We know that big data could change how we work – by improving operations, allowing faster, more accurate analyses, hence more informed decisions. But what exactly is big data and how does international standardization fit in?


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Batteries central to future grid storage


Electricity supply must be reliable and always balance demand. In addition to spare capacity, storage is needed to ensure this. Utility-scale storage capabilities are still limited mainly to pumped hydro. The emergence of a new generation of advanced batteries that allow for storage on the grid is changing this. Standardization work by IEC TC 21 is central to the future of grid-scale energy storage.


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Tackling cyber security threats


The complexity and sophistication of today’s systems and equipment in industrial plants require a specific approach to safety and security. One aspect of the security issue in particular has been under close scrutiny in recent years: cyber security. IECEE is working on the development of specific services to tackle those threats.


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Global safety and security


IECEx, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, is the only truly international CA (Conformity Assessment) System that provides testing and certification for all Ex equipment and installations as well as certifies the skills and competence of individuals working in hazardous areas.


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Renewing ties with a former partner


In May 2014, the Russian NC (National Committee) of the IEC invited the IEC and IECQ to present the System to the Russian industry during a workshop held at the Federal Agency for Technical Regulating and Metrology in Moscow. IECQ Secretariat Business Manager Steve Allan was also invited to visit Electronstandard, the Russian Scientific Research Institute, and former IECQ CB, located in St Petersburg.


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International certification for solar, wind and marine energy


The ever increasing demand for electricity and the need to reduce the share of fossil fuels in power generation have led to rapid development and growth of the RE (renewable energy) sector. The IEC, which has been at the forefront of international standardization in the wind, solar and marine energy fields for many years, has now gone a step further and launched IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications.


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Expanding trade opportunities for Euro-Asian countries


The IEC and EASC (the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification) recently renewed their Cooperation Agreement, which will help to expand trade opportunities for EASC countries. The agreement aims to enable the commercial exchange between and beyond EASC member countries.


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IEC on the world energy stage


IEC joined the heads of the world’s leading electricity companies in discussions on the theme of innovation and the energy systems of new generation at the recent GSEP (Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership) annual summit in Moscow, Russia. The IEC was represented by Past President Jacques Régis and Katharine Fraga Pearson, IEC Head of Governance and Global Strategy.


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Upcoming global events


The IEC regularly lends its support to key global and regional industry events allowing them to put forward IEC endorsement on their website and materials. This month we would like to draw your attention to several IEC-endorsed events that may be of interest to the IEC community.


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Persistence pays off


Participation in the IEC Young Professionals programme has been a catalyst for Jonathan Colby to become much more deeply involved in both the international standardization and conformity assessment work of the IEC.


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Calling Young Professionals


The South African Chapter of IEC Young Professionals programme was officially launched in early May 2014. With a membership of almost 80 people the South African Chapter of IEC Young Professionals programme shows just how interested young South Africans are in electrotechnical standardization.


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Happy birthday PKN!


PKN, the Polish Committee for Standardization, celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. To honour the occasion, a conference entitled “Standardization – how to rise to challenges of the future?” was organized in May.


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Benefits of IECEx certification


AFSEC and IECEx organize an international seminar in Lumumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 7-8 September 2014. The seminar will provide experts, senior staff and professionals from the mining and electrical sectors in African countries with a unique opportunity to learn about IECEx and the benefits of using the System.


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Chairmen and Member nominations


A roundup of the latest nominations approved by the SMB (Standardization Management Board).


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Obituary – Jeffrey Allan DesJarlais


The IEC family was greatly saddened by the passing of DesJarlais whose expert knowledge contributed to IEC work through his active involvement with the organization for the past 9 years. He was in St.Petersburg for an IEC Working Group meeting at the time of his death.


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Obituary – Craig K. Harmon


Craig K. Harmon passed away at the age of 67 on July 3 2014. Harmon founded Q.E.D. Systems, a consulting firm focused on standards development and education related to bar codes, RFID, and other automatic identification technologies in 1981 and spent more than 33 years as the company’s leader.


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e-tech to go


The new e-tech app for iOS and Android is now available. Readers can access e-tech magazine online in a smartphone and tablet-tailored format and save it for reading offline as well.


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Supporting rural electrification


Hundreds of millions living in rural areas in developing countries are without access to electricity, a prerequisite to human and economic development. The IEC has issued a series of publications for small renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification, which is available at a discounted price in a joint initiative with the World Bank Group and the United Nations Foundation.


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