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TC News - June 2009

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Decisions and actions resulting from the SMB meeting held in Geneva, 2009-06-09



TC reports to SMB

The SMB congratulated TCs/SCs on the quality of the reports submitted, approving 28 reports covering 7 SBPs, by correspondence prior to the SMB meeting, SMB comments on the report are provided in Annex A of document SMB/4020/DL. (SMB Decision 135/2)

Projects for which extensions of target dates have been reviewed

The SMB reviewed late projects with more than 4 months delay and for CDVs requiring more than 24 months to complete, which are listed in annexes B, C, E and F to SMB/4030/DL.
(SMB Decisions 135/3 and 134/4)

French versions of documents

The SMB confirmed that all TC/SC secretariats, without exception, shall send the English texts that need to be translated (CDV, FDIS, DTS, DTR) in an editable format to the French NC, in application of the IEC Supplement to the ISO/IEC Directives, Annex L. This decision cancels any derogation previously agreed to by the SMB.
(SMB Decision 135/6)


Flame ignition requirements


The SMB endorsed the following recommendations from the joint ACEA/ACOS Task Force on external small flame ignition requirements in IEC standards, these recommendations will be further publicized throughout the IEC.

  1. General
    Safety and environmental issues are both of very high importance. It is not acceptable that people die in home fires due to external ignition or that people die due to the fact that hazardous substances cause environmental health problems. This means that we have to take both safety and the environment seriously.
    As both issues seem to require the opposite, the optimum solution for this problem will not be ideal for each issue separately, but the best possible solution will depend on several factors.

  2. Fire safety aspects
    To protect people against fire hazard, one solution seems to be to add flame retardants in the case of plastic enclosures. However, as certain flame retardants create risks, fire safety requirements should only be imposed based on a risk assessment. The SFRG report (ACOS/331/AC, dated 2004-08-20) and statistics presented during the meeting show that there is a problem for television sets. For other products, there is currently insufficient information to justify requirements. For these equipment requirements can only be imposed if a risk assessment shows that problems occur. Safety standards should not impose environmental requirements; however, a note should be added to explain that environmentally conscious design should be used.

  3. Environmental aspects
    In general, environmental legislation in different parts of the world deals with chemical substances that are dangerous and are forbidden to be used or are going to be forbidden to be used (for example REACH). It is obvious that these environmental legislations must be followed, independent of any standard requirements.
    For other substances, Environmentally Conscious Design (ECD) should be used to guide manufacturers on the choice/use of flame retardants. Standards have been developed by TC111 (IEC 62430) and TC108 (IEC 62075) on this subject. These standards must be reviewed to see whether these standards cover the necessary aspects to deal with the issues. TC108 already took guides 109, 113 and 114 into account while developing their IEC 62075 standard.

  4. External ignition standard
    The current TS 62441 (Technical Specification) regarding protection against external candle flame ignition is an acceptable document and should be upgraded to a standard.
    To limit the amount of flame retardants, the option of adding the heat release rate test as developed by TC108 should be further investigated, as this test could result in limiting the amount of flame retardant necessary to comply with the requirements.

(SMB Decision 135/20)


Exposure limits in EMF measurement standards


The SMB agreed in principle to the recommendations from the Canadian NC on the use of EMF exposure limits in IEC TCs’ publications. TCs should avoid any reference to exposure limits in the normative sections of a standard, and a disclaimer statement be added whenever exposure limits are included in an informative annex.


The SMB endorsed proposals concerning the scope of TC 106, and requested TC 106 to implement them and to avoid using the fast track procedure for documents that include exposure limits, specifically those offered to TC 106 under the Dresden agreement.


Clear instructions to TCs involved in the development of standards on EMF measurement techniques will be provided based on the recommendations proposed, when the revised text has been approved by SMB within the next few weeks. (Reference documents SMB/3979/DC and SMB/3978A/CC).
(SMB Decision 135/5)


Alternative Test Methods


The SMB noted items of interest to the IEC CENELEC BT 134 meeting. Referring to the comment on the validity of ISO/IEC Directives Part 2, clause for alternative test methods for the same characteristics, where there is a requirement to identify a “referee” test method, the SMB stressed that the subject would need to be discussed from an overall policy view . The SMB will address this matter in detail at its next meeting.


CENELEC adoption of IEC/IEEE standards


It was also noted that CENELEC BT is considering whether IEC/IEEE standards covered under the joint development agreement in which the normative references will refer to international standards, should be excluded from the Dresden Agreement. The CENELEC representative reported that the matter is being addressed by the European Standardization System (ESS) ”Internal Regulations” working group.


Presentations to SMB


135 Wind Turbines


Mr. Sandy Butterfield, chairman TC 88 Wind turbines, gave a presentation on the work in this committee specifically to request the SMB to allow IEC/TS 61400-22 to be converted into a full standard in accordance with the new criteria, recently approved by Council Board, for Technical Committees to prepare sector specific operating procedures for use by conformity assessment bodies in accordance with the IEC Supplement of the ISO/IEC Directives clause 6.4. This standard encompasses all the subjects relative to TC 88. It was explained that it is too early to consider a full certification scheme under the auspices of CAB, but there may be a need for one in the future.
(SMB Decision 135/7)


Renewable Energy Sources


An interesting presentation covering all renewable energy sources and the importance of the Grid for renewable energy with a vision to the future connecting Europe to Asia with a super highway Grid was given by the Swedish SMB member on behalf of the Power Circle – Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. There were several recommendations for new projects:

  • to develop high voltage offshore based non-explosive Power Stations standards in co-operation with ISO for optimal mechanical construction;

  • to make an ashore cable standard for high voltage AC and DC through TC 20;

  • to promote large Grid infrastructure by efficient Energy Management standards and benchmarking on Power plants with the support of several IEC TCs;

  • to promote Industrial Electrical Energy Efficiency by making practical standards for implementing Energy Management standards by measuring and evaluating of Production plants;

  • consider the committee-sector-work within IEC and assembled referred committees in system groups for easy development of system based standards.

The SMB will be reviewing some of these proposals more closely in the future.


Smart Grid

SMB Strategic Group 3

The convenor of the SMB/Strategic Group 3, Richard Schomberg, provided the SMB with a short report of the first meeting held in March 2009. He emphasized the necessity to publicize the ongoing work in IEC on Smart Grid and to provide a “one-stop shop” for industry showing any projects that exist. The recent IEC Press Release provided more information on the first meeting and announced the development of an IEC web portal to include ready-to-use standards and guidance documents on Smart Grid. The SMB considers it is necessary for this strategic group to focus on where new standards work is needed, and put together a long term strategic plan for the IEC. The next meeting will be held in September 2009, in Washington DC, hosted by NIST.


Energy Efficiency and renewable resources


SMB Strategic Group 1

The SMB/SG 1 submitted 14 new recommendations for approval after its last three meetings. The SMB approved all recommendations except for three, namely 15, 18 and 20 and referred recommendations 25 and 26 to respective TCs. (reference documents SMB/3970/R and SMB/3970A/CC.) There was opposition to recommendations concerning the development of a harmonized international system of energy consumption classes including a labelling scheme to determine the energy consumption/energy efficiency of household appliances. Some SMB members felt that such classifications should not be included in the standards, but should be decided by the relevant governmental regulatory agencies. SG 1 will re-consider these recommendations in view of the comments received and report back at the next SMB meeting.
(SMB decisions 135/9 and 135/10)


Low Voltage Direct Current (LVDC) Distribution Systems

SMB Strategic Group 4

A new Strategic Group on Low Voltage DC distribution systems up to 1500V DC in relation to energy efficiency, under the convenership of Sweden has been established. The objective is to have a global systematic approach and to align and coordinate activities in many areas where LVDC is used such as green data centres, commercial buildings, electricity storage for all mobile products (with batteries), EVs etc. The membership will come from relevant TCs covering the different technical areas. The question of an adequate definition of what constitutes a low-voltage distribution system will also need to be defined. The SMB will alert committees such as TC 64, TC 77, TC 89, TC 108 etc. to immediately start analyzing the impact of the use of LVDC on the publications within their scope and if all relevant aspects of LVDC are covered.
(SMB Decision 135/15)


Project committee for ISO/IEC NP on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources – Common International Terminology


Following approval of a joint ISO/IEC proposal for a common international terminology document, the SMB approved the establishment of a joint project committee, with experts to be nominated from 7 IEC NCs: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Sweden and the United States.
(SMB Decision 135/11)


Market Relevance and New Work Proposals


Recommendations from the joint ISO/IEC Joint Directives Maintenance Team TF on Market Relevance were approved in principle, noting that a final document will be delivered for a pilot test programme by selected TCs to start July 2009. The results of the pilot testing will be for SMB review in June 2010.
(SMB Decision 135/14)


IEC involvement in Automotive Electrotechnics


The Chairman of TC 69, Cyriacus Bleijs, Electric road vehicles and electric industrial trucks, gave a presentation on the activities of TC 69, in relation to the IEC involvement in automotive electrotechnics. He reported on the ongoing liaison and joint work with the corresponding ISO TC emphasizing the necessity for electrical component manufacturers to be more pro-active in this domain.


Much of the work undertaken under the auspices of the ISO TC is clearly electrotechnical, with input from IEC experts who are working in joint groups within the ISO TC. With the advent of fast moving electro-technology of automotives and the important questions regarding safety etc, the demand for IEC to take a lead role is essential. It was suggested that a half-day high level meeting consisting of electrical companies who are suppliers to the automotive industry be organized, restricting participation to IEC only, to exchange views on what is developing in this area. A preliminary list of companies could be dawn up from the TC 69 membership.


Note: Negotiations regarding the revision of a 1990 MOU between ISO and IEC on automotive electrotechnics is being considered by the concerned ISO TC and ISO/TMB is expected to respond by September 2009. The SMB noted the document in question, tabled for information.


SMB Strategy 2008-2011


The German and Korean SMB members reported on how experts are recruited in their countries and how they identify new areas where full consensus standards are needed soliciting input from academia and research institutes. Other SMB members will be reporting at future SMB meetings.


Input from IEC NCs to a questionnaire of how voluntary standards support government regulations in their countries was reviewed. It was considered that this information could be useful and beneficial in terms of percentages of IEC standards adopted and used as marketing information relative to how governments perceive and adopt IEC standards and to also update the IEC database.


Databases on adoption/use of ISO and IEC deliverables


A proposal for ISO and IEC to consider collecting information on adoption/use of ISO and IEC standards into a database was considered. A demonstration of the IEC database that has been established for NCs to record information on adoption by NCs of IEC standards was given by IEC Central Office.


It was suggested that the database be broadened to include more information on usage of standards encouraging harmonization of the contents of the IEC and ISO databases.


It was also reported that there are ongoing discussions between IEC and ISO on this subject.
(SMB Decision 135/21)


Terms of reference of the Advisory Committees


The SMB approved the generic revised terms of reference of SMB Advisory Committees, as referenced in document SMB/3982/INF, with small editorial changes. The SMB approved the membership of ACEC to consist of up to 20 members including the chairman of TC 77 and CISPR as ex officio members of ACEC.


The SMB advisory committees are invited to implement the revised terms of reference. The current membership of the ACs will remain unchanged until their terms of office have expired.
(SMB Decision 135/19)