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

Understanding Motor Duty Rating

One of the comments on my Motor Starting Series was asking for something on duty cycles. Here it is. As a purchaser of a motor, you have responsibility...

Load Flow Study – how they work

A load flow study is the analysis of an electrical network carried out by an electrical engineer. The purpose is to understand how power flows around...

Cable Sheath and Armour Loss

When sizing cables, the heat generated  by losses within any sheath or armour need to be evaluated. When significant, it becomes a factor to be considered...

Cable Trumps

Bored at work and would rather be playing trump card game with you son. The next best thing (or not) maybe the online cable trump card game from AEI Cables...

What happened to the cable notes?

If you are wondering what happened to our cable notes, the short answer is that we have moved them to  The "Knowledge Base" at...

Cold Fusion (or not?)

Recently I have seen a few interesting articles on viable cold fusion; the combining of atoms at room like temperatures to create boundless energy. Now...

Laplace Transform

Laplace transforms and their inverse are a mathematical technique which allows us to solve differential equations, by primarily using algebraic methods...

Lighting - Lamps

Lamps are the essential part of any luminaire. These are the light generating components. Since the advent of electrical lighting in the middle of the...

Low Voltage Switchroom Design Guide

Low voltage (LV) switchrooms are common across all industries and one of the more common spatial requirements which need to be designed into a project...

Paths of Flight

GE have put together a time-lapse video shown flight take-off and landings at some airports. An interesting view:

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