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                            General information about standards & rules

                            Update in October 2012

                            General information about standards & rules

                            Key added value of standard compliance

                            • A tool for business: credibility on the market, easiness for offer description, simplification of contractual discussions between customers and panel builders
                            • Common language between all stakeholders
                            • Implementation of identified and well recognised safety requirements
                            • Facilitate interchangeability (LV mainly)
                            • Facilitate compatibility and interoperability

                            > Regulation compliance is mandatory

                            Regulation means law, established on state perimeter.

                            The observance of the regulations is quite different from the fulfilment of the requirements of the standards: the regulations are indeed essentially to be mandatory while the standards are to be respected (at least in theory) on a voluntary basis.

                            Regulation is associated with standardization in several manners:

                            • A certain number of standards are made compulsory for various reasons concerning e.g. safety, health, hygiene, fight against the fraud or environmental protection.
                            • Certain technical regulations replace the detailed statement of the requirements by the reference to one or more standards.



                            > National and trans-national standards

                            Any country may use the IEC standards.

                            • Countries with a standardisation system can incorporate the IEC standards as national standards, with or without modifications.
                              • The CENELEC, the European standardisation organisation generally adopts the IEC standards as European standards, which enforces them as National standards in all European countries.
                              • Some countries, such as China, Russia, USA,… continue to develop their own electro technology standardisation.
                            • Within countries without a standardisation system (and possibly not a member of the IEC), any customer or manufacturer may refer to an IEC standard in its General Sales Conditions or as a part of the specifications of a project.

                            > International standards

                            There are 3 international organisations, working together when needed.

                            IEC (International Electrical Commission)
                            The IEC is the world organization of more 80 countries members that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.The purpose of the IEC is to promote international cooperation on all questions concerning standardisation in the electrical and electronic fields. To that end, the IEC publishes International Standards. Their preparation is entrusted to technical committees and any IEC National Committee interested in the subject dealt with may participate in the preparatory work.

                            ITU (International Telecommunication Union)
                            ITU is an international organization within which governments and the private sector coordinate global telecom networks and services.The ITU is the leading publisher of telecommunication technology, regulatory and standards information.

                            ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
                            ISO is a world wide organisation dealing with all other topics (i.e. automotive, food, mechanical, quality, management, conformity assessment, sustainable development, environment….)


                            > Schneider Electric is involved in standardization process

                             Schneider Electric has always considered that the conformity of its solutions with IEC standards was a minimum.

                              Watch Schneider Electric CEO, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, IEC interview 

                            > More information about relevant IEC standards for MV business

                            Please, notice that in the IEC system, "High-voltage" refers to any voltage level above 1000 V a.c. or 1500 V d.c.

                            IEC 61936-1 Power installations exceeding 1 kV a.c. – Part 1: Common rules
                            This standard provide a state-of-the-art reference document about HV installation rules. However, it is too "open" to be relevant when specifying any actual installation. National standards are most often the reference on safety points.

                            IEC 62271-200 High-voltage switchgear and control gear – Part 200: AC metal-enclosed switchgear and control gear for rated voltages above 1 kV and up to and including 52 kV 
                            This IEC standard is the most directly linked with the panel-builder's business and know-how. Its second edition, published in 2011, brought a maturity to several points about definitions and verifications of some performances. The focus is on the value added by the enclosure and by the creation of the assembly, while the individual switching functions are requested to comply with their relevant standards.

                            IEC 62271-202 :  High-voltage switchgear and control gear – Part 202: High-voltage/low-voltage prefabricated substation

                            IEC 62271-1 :  High-voltage switchgear and control gear – Part 1:
                             Common specifications 
                            (applies to both MV and HV without voltage limit, called by all the standards of the 62271 series)

                            IEC 62271-100:  High-voltage switchgear and control gear – Part 100: Alternating-current circuit-breakers (applies to both MV and HV without voltage limit)

                            IEC 62271-102:   High-voltage switchgear and control gear – Part 102: Alternating current disconnectorsand earthing switches (applies to both MV and HV without voltage limit)

                            IEC 62271-103:  High-voltage switchgear and control gear – Part 103: Switches for rated voltages above 1 kV up to and including 52 kV

                            IEC 62271-105: High-voltage switchgear and control gear –Part 105: Alternating current switch-fuse
                            (the scope is actually MV, limited up to 52 kV)

                            IEC 62271-106: High-voltage switchgear and control gear – Part 106: Alternating current contactors, contactor-based controllers and motor-starters (scope of the standard is limited to 24kV)

                            > More information about relevant IEC standards for LV business

                            Installation and protection against electrical shocks standards

                            The set of IEC 60364-x series of standards defines the main principles and rules on:

                            • IEC60364-1: Fundamental principles, assessment of general characteristics, definitions
                            • IEC60364-4-41: Protection for safety - Protection against electric shock
                            • IEC60364-5-51: Selection and erection of electrical equipment - Common rules, whose above are extract of the series.
                            Switchgear and control gear assemblies standards

                            The former series of standards (IEC 60439-x), as follow:

                            • IEC 60439-1: General rules 
                            • IEC 60439-2: Busbar trunking systems
                            • IEC 60439-3: Distribution boards (DBO)
                            • IEC 60439-4: Assemblies for construction sites (ACS)
                            • IEC 60439-5: Assemblies for power distribution in public networks
                              is now withdrawn, or under withdrawal


                            New IEC series of standards is now IEC 61439-x (Low-voltage switchgear and control gear):

                            • IEC61439-1: General rules (published)
                            • IEC 61439-2: Power Switchgear and Control gear (PSC) (published)
                            • IEC 61439-3: Distribution boards intended to be operated by ordinary persons (DBO) (published)
                            • IEC 61439-4: Assemblies for construction sites (ACS) (publication forecasted 2013)
                            • IEC 61439-5: Assemblies for power distribution in public networks (published)
                            • IEC 61439-6: Busbar trunking systems (busways) (published)
                            • IEC 61439-7: Assemblies for specific installations at public sites such as marinas, camping sites, market squares and similar applications and for charging stations for Electrical Vehicles (publication forecasted 2013)
                            Enclosures standards

                            * IEC 62208 / EN 50298: Empty enclosures

                            Switchgear and control gear devices or functions standards

                            * Low-voltage switchgear and control gear standard series is IEC 60437-x:

                            • IEC 60947-1: General rules
                            • IEC 60947-2: Circuit-breakers
                            • IEC 60947-3: Switches, disconnectors, switch-disconnectors and fuse-combination units
                            • IEC 60947-4-1: Contactors and motor-starters - Electromechanical contactors and motor-starters
                            • IEC 6947-4-2: Contactors and motor-starters - AC semiconductor motor controllers and starters
                            • IEC 6947-6-1: Multiple function equipment - Transfer switching equipment,whose above are an extract of the series.

                            > More information about relevant ISO standards

                            • ISO 9004: Quality management system – guidelines for performance improvement. Used in setting up quality management systems.
                            • ISO 9001: Quality management system – requirements. Used for certification audits.
                            • ISO 14004: Environmental management system – major guidelines on the principles. Systems and techniques implemented.
                            • ISO 14001: Environmental management system – specification with guidance for use.
                            • ISO/IEC 17000 series: Conformity assessment
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