Equipment Verification (to IEC Standards) 

By on


KEMA High Power Laboratory, Netherlands
One of the requirements to ensuring that everything works is to have equipment selected, manufactured and verified [tested] to IEC standards. Not all equipment out there meets this requirements. It is the responsibility of the engineers in the procurement and construction process to ensure that only equipment meeting these requirements is used.

If your involved in this activity you most likely already know what to do and have your own methods for approaching this issue. If your new to this or have just been tasked with verifying equipment meets requirements, hopefully this post will get you started.

Ensuring compliance is not complicated, but there are a couple of things you aware of.

The first is the requirements themselves. Project specifications will often say equipment needs to be manufactured to xyz standard and often stop at that. To fully understand the requirements you need to know what is in xyz standard – which means reading it. The IEC standards in general are pretty good as giving performance requirements and listing the necessary testing and verification activities which need to be carried out. By reading the standard you can gain a really good understanding of what is required to show than an item of equipment will meet the standard.

The second thing to look at is ensuring that the equipment actually does meet the standard. In principal this is achieved by confirming that the equipment has undergone the necessary testing and verification as required by the standard. Generally this falls into two categories:

  1. Type testing and design verification – which is carried out on samples of the product (not necessarily the items to be sold to the customer). This level of testing is generally expensive and is carried out to demonstrate that the general concepts and arrangements of equipment meets the performance requirements of standard.
  2. Routine testing – carried out and each item of equipment which is produces and sold to the customer. This often takes the form of testing at the factory and site testing. It is designed to give confidence that each item of equipment is working as anticipated and that there have been no manufacturing problems introduced.

To confirm that type testing and design verification has been achieved, results of testing from independent third party laboratories are normally accepted. The IEC maintains a list of laboratories (by country) which have been approved to certified to approve compliance with standards. It is advisable to insist on only using certificates from approved laboratories:

Routine testing will cover items as required by the standard and will often involve additional testing as required by the project. This is normally carried out by the manufacturer, but can be a third party if required by the project. These may or may not be witnessed by the project engineers (although usually will be in the case of important equipment).

That’s all there is to it. In practice there is a lot of equipment which does not meet standard out there and pushers of this equipment will be tricky in trying to convince you that it is ok. By following the above, you should be in a position to spot equipment which does not meet standard and ensure that your project is supplied only with reputable equipment.



Steven McFadyen's avatar Steven McFadyen

Steven has over twenty five years experience working on some of the largest construction projects. He has a deep technical understanding of electrical engineering and is keen to share this knowledge. About the author

myElectrical Engineering

comments powered by Disqus



Multimeter

Multimeters are undoubtedly the most common item of electrical test equipment in use.  Often it is the first piece of equipment people will turn to when...

How D.C. to A.C. Inverters Work

Traditionally generation of electricity has involved rotating machines to produce alternating sinusoidal voltage and current (a.c. systems). With the development...

Back to Basics - Ohm’s Law

Electrical engineering has a multitude of laws and theorems. It is fair to say the Ohm's Law is one of the more widely known; it not the most known. Developed...

Arc Flash Calculations

Working in the vicinity of electrical equipment poses an hazard. In addition to electric shock hazard, fault currents passing through air causes Arc Flash...

UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply

A UPS is an uninterruptible power supply.  It is a device which maintains a continuous supply of electrical power, even in the event of failure of the...

Meeting room of the future

The IET site has a video of a visit showing of a high tech meeting room developed at Napier University in Edinburgh. It a good demonstration of innovative...

How Electrical Circuits Work

If you have no idea how electrical circuits work, or what people mean then they talk about volts and amps, hopefully I can shed a bit light.  I’m intending...

Electromechanical Relays

Electromechanical relays have been the traditional backbone of electrical protection systems.  While over recent years these have been replaced by microprocessor...

IEC 60287 Current Capacity of Cables - Rated Current

In the previous note we looked at the approach taken by the standard to the sizing of cables and illustrated this with an example.  We then looked at one...

Variable Frequency Drive

Variable frequency drives are widely used to control the speed of ac motors.  This note looks at the mechanisms which enable drive units to control the...

Have some knowledge to share

If you have some expert knowledge or experience, why not consider sharing this with our community.  

By writing an electrical note, you will be educating our users and at the same time promoting your expertise within the engineering community.

To get started and understand our policy, you can read our How to Write an Electrical Note