NOVEMBER 2008 - MARCH 2009

Introduction to IEC 61439: A new standard on Switchgear & Controlgear Assemblies
- Mr. A P Rao; Mr. D A Chavan; Mr. P Patel; Mr. T N Shah Switchgear Design & Development Center

IEC 60439, the standard for low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies, was under restructuring from the last decade. The new series of IEC 61439 standards were published in January 2009. This standard has brought considerable clarity in technical interpretation. The new standard follows the philosophy of IEC 60947 series i.e. IEC 61439-1 is ‘General Rules’ standard to be referred to by subsidiary product parts of IEC 61439 series. (Refer Table 1) The IEC 60439 standards were ambiguous about how to assess compliance of partially type tested assemblies. As a result manufacturers and testing bodies often treated partially type-tested assemblies

differently. One of the main features of IEC 61439-1 is that the discrimination between Type Tested Assemblies (TTA) and Partially Type Tested Assemblies (PTTA) has been eliminated by the verification approach. The three different but equivalent types of verification methods are introduced and these are; a) Verification by Testing. b) Verification by Calculation/ Measurement. c) Verification by Design rules. The requirements regarding short circuit performance, temperature rise, dielectric properties and rated diversity factor have been covered in more detail.

verified and options available for verification.

Salient features of IEC 61439
1. Verification of temperature rise For multiple compartment assembly, verification by calculation can be done up to rated current of 1600 A only. Assemblies, verified by design rule from a similar tested assembly, should comply with the following: Functional units shall belong to the same group as functional unit selected for test. Same type of construction. Same or increased overall dimensions. Same or reduced internal separation. Same or reduced power losses in the same section of assembly. Same or reduced number of outgoing circuit for every section. Rated diversity factor (RDF) is elaborated in more details with incoming and outgoing circuit diagrams. The average ambient temperature for the duration of test o shall not exceed 35 C.

Verification of Requirements:
Table 2 gives the characteristics to be

Table 1: Parts of IEC 61439 series
IEC 61439-1 IEC 61439-2 IEC 61439-3 IEC 61439-4 IEC 61439-5 IEC 61439-6 General rules Power switchgear and control gear ASSEMBLIES (Replacing IEC 60439-1) Distribution boards (to supersede IEC 60439-3) ASSEMBLIES for construction sites (to supersede IEC 60439-4) ASSEMBLIES for power distribution (to supersede IEC 60439-5) Busbar trunking systems (to supersede IEC 60439-2)

6 cycles of 24 hr each to Damp Heat Cycling Test according to o IEC 60068-2-30 at (40±3) C & relative humidity of 95%. type and dimensions Compartment mechanical design and dimensions If all the above requirements are satisfied. 3. Cross-section area of neutral 100% . 7. 8. Test is not required when clearances in the assembly are 1.4.for phase cross section area above 16 mm2.for phase cross section area upto 16 mm2 50 % . Mechanical operation Rated numbers of operating cycles have been increased from 50 to 200. Procedure: The test is carried out on a typical switchboard enclosure or on a representative sample showing the same constructional details. Impulse voltage withstand test Verification is mandatory either by test or by design rules. the cross section should be greater than equivalent copper conductor 9.e.2.5 times the specified value in Table . if. Short circuit withstand test Verification of assembly by design rules is permitted. Following requirements are greater than or equal to reference design Cross-sectional dimensions of the busbars and connections Spacing of the busbars and connections SCPDs are equivalent. i. Degree of protection The IPX1 to IPX6 tests on an assembly are deemed to be failure if water comes into contact with electrical equipment housed within the enclosure. 6. with a minimum of 16 mm2 For conductor other than copper. Additional Tests in IEC 61439 Resistance to corrosion Test Purpose: To ensure that deterioration of metallic component caused by corrosion shall not impair the mechanical strength of switchboard. 5. Requirements for ‘empty enclosures for assemblies (IEC 62208)’ have been incorporated in the standard. . then further verification by calculation or actual testing is not required. of the same make with the same or better I 2 t based on the device manufacturer’s data Following requirements are less than or equal to reference design Short circuit rating of each circuit Busbar supports spacing Length of unprotected live conductors of each nonprotected circuit Following requirements are same as that of reference design Conductor material and its properties Enclosure design. Characteristic Verification options Testing 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Degree of protection of enclosures Clearance and creepage distances Effectiveness of assembly (protective circuit) for external faults Incorporation of switching devices and components Internal electrical circuits and connections Terminals for external conductors Impulse withstand voltage Temperature rise limits Short-circuit withstand strength Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) Effective continuity between the exposed conductive parts of the assembly and the protective circuit Power frequency withstand voltage Mechanical operation Resistance to corrosion Thermal stability of enclosure Resistance of insulating material to heat Glow wire test Resistance to UV radiation Lifting Mechanical impact test (IK) Marking            Calculation            Design rules            12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21                               The following characteristics are newly introduced in IEC 61439 are reduced corresponding to rated insulation voltage (Refer Table 3) 4. Power frequency withstand voltage The values of dielectric test voltage Table-2 No. Protection provided by barriers The protection provided by horizontal top surfaces of easily accessible barriers is changed from IPXXB (the protection of person against access to hazardous parts with finger) to IPXXD (the protection of person against access to hazardous parts with wire).

The test shall be carried out on an insulating material of minimum 2 mm thickness. A ball pressure test apparatus is used to verify the suitability of insulating materials. Resistance to abnormal heat & fire (Glow Wire Test) Purpose: Glow wire test checks the capability of insulation material to handle thermal stresses produced by sources of heat or ignition. shall work without abnormal effects.0 8.3 Rated insulation voltage (Ui) Dielectric test Dielectric test (line to line a. Seals shall not damage. There shall be no iron-oxide. Verification of resistance of insulating materials to heat Purpose: To ensure the properties of insulating material to normal heat Procedure: Based on inhomogeneous field condition and pollution degree 3. Assessment criteria: There is no flame and glowing on the sample or flames/ glowing of the sample extinguish within 30 s.5 8. This test is not required if synthetic material supplier demonstrates that materials of same thickness or thinner comply with this requirement.0 Minimum clearance mm 1.0 Note 1: * For d. room temperature by immersion in cold water. Procedure: Sample: Thinnest wall thickness of the completed application.Table .0 14. Assessment criteria: Adherence of synthetic material (according to ISO 2409) shall have minimum 50% retention.c) r. 850 or 960 degrees C (depending on the relevant specification).c or d. Procedure: UV Test according to ISO 4892 – 2 method A.c only.4 Rated impulse withstand voltage Uimp (kV) ≤ 2.5 4. Temperatures of glow wire: 550. of dry period with xenon lamp providing a total test period of 500 hrs.s voltage (d. 750. Pre-treatment: 24 hours at 23 C at 50% RH.0 5. locks. Assessment criteria: The sample shall show no cracks nor shall the material become sticky or greasy Sample is pressed with the forefinger wrapped in a dry cloth with a force of 5 N.0 6. cracking or other deterioration more than that allowed by ISO 4628-3 for degree of rusting Ri1.0 12. Note 2: the values in parentheses are according to IEC 60439-1. After that the sample is kept at ambient temperature for 4 days. the sample is removed and cooled within 10 s to approx. Assessment criteria: The diameter of the impression caused by the ball shall be measured and shall not exceed 2 mm. Doors. NOTE: This test is applicable only for enclosures and external parts of ASSEMBLIES intended to be installed outdoors. etc.5 3. no traces of cloth shall remain on the sample. Sample shall not show cracks or deterioration visible to normal or corrected vision without any additional magnification. 1000 cycles of 5 min of watering and 25 min. 650. Verification of Thermal stability Purpose: To check the thermal properties of the enclosure Procedure: The specimen is kept in a o heating chamber at 70 C for 7 days. hinges.c) voltage (a. Resistance to UV radiation Purpose: The UV radiation causes deterioration of synthetic material use for enclosures. Assessment Criteria: The mechanical integrity shall not be impaired. The test shall be made in a heating cabinet at a temperature as stated below: v parts supporting live o components – 125 C other parts – 70 C o v After 1 hr. 2 cycles of 24 hr each to Salt Mist test according to IEC 60068-2-11 at temperature of o (35±2) C. The cotton or the paper underlay doesn’t ignite or burn. The value of temperature and humidity for the test are o (65±3) C and (65±5) %.c) V V V Ui ≤ 60 60 < Ui ≤ 300 300 < Ui ≤ 690 690 < Ui ≤ 800 800 < Ui ≤ 1000 1000 < Ui ≤ 1500* 1000 (1000) 1500 (2000) 1890 (2500) 2000 (3000) 2200 (3500) — 1415 2120 2670 2830 3110 3820 Table . Force: 1 N Contact time: 30 s o .m.

Degree of protection (IP) shall be ABCI Member Printed by Printania Offset Pvt. Assessment criteria: During the test. then lowered to a standstill position. Marking: Purpose: To ensure that the markings are legible. From a standstill position. please contact: Electrical & Automation Operating Company. glow wire) which are present in other LV product standards. At the surrounding of any point of enclosure. Ltd. Procedure: Marking made by moulding. Functionality of electrical products shall not be hampered. Following this test the ASSEMBLY shall be raised smoothly without jerking from a standstill position to a height of (1±0. Matunga (East). The test is made by rubbing the marking by hand for 15 s with a piece of cloth soaked in water and then for 15 s with a piece of cloth soaked with petroleum spirit. pressing. Not for sale-only for circulation among the customers.2 IK 03 0. prior to the publication of relevant product standard in the IEC 61439 series. Shalimar Industrial Estate. Larsen & Toubro Limited.. IK 00 * IK 01 0. NOTE: Mechanical Impact test is not applicable to low voltage power switchgear and controlgear (PSC) assemblies. Editorial Coordinators : Mahendra Gehlot. Mechanical Impact Test Purpose: This test measures resistance of an enclosure towards external Mechanical Impact.1) m and lowered in the same manner to a standstill position. with the test weights in place.14 IK 02 0.25 times its maximum shipping weight. the verification of these requirements need not be repeated. This test is repeated a further two times.7 IK 06 1 IK 07 2 IK 08 5 IK 09 10 IK 10 20 The degree of protection provided by an enclosure against impacts is indicated by the letters IK followed by two digits depending on its ability to withstand the impact (as per IEC 62262). Tel: 2407 7996/ 8866/4540 Fax : 2402 4703 Email: pds6@rediffmail.5) m horizontally.D 20/21. IK code Impact Energy J Relation between IK code & Impact energy. engraving or similar shall not be submitted to the following test. Powai. Mumbai 400 The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the management of Larsen & Toubro Limited. Procedure: The test is carried out on a sample having weight 1. and the test results fulfill the requirements of the relevant part of IEC 61439. Box 8901.e. The contents of this magazine should not be reproducted without the written permission of the Editor. In the new standard (IEC 61439-1) these safety requirements have been included in addition to others pertaining to satisfactory performance under applicable environmental conditions. Assessment Criteria: Structural integrity shall be maintained. not more than three impacts shall be applied. Assessment criteria: After the test the marking shall be legible to normal or corrected vision without additional magnification. each sequence being carried out within 1 min.Lifting: Purpose: To ensure that there should be no damage to the panel during transportation & installation.1) m and moved (10±0.O. After this raised up 30 min at m without the ASSEMBLY is and suspended for a height of (1±0. Saki-Vihar Road.1) any movement. Mumbai 400 072 Tel: +91-22-6705 1748/2857 Fax: 022-6705 1024 E-mail: ese-cmt@lntebg. P. For further details on this subject. This standard did not mandate compliance to stringent safety requirements (such as impulse withstand and resistance to abnormal heat and fire i. which could impair any of its characteristics. This sequence shall be carried out three times at uniform speed. with these additions IEC 61439 series becomes the most updated document from a technological perspective. The impacts shall be evenly distributed on the faces of the enclosure under test. Validity of certificates as per IEC 60439: Where tests on the ASSEMBLY have been conducted in accordance with the IEC 60439 series. Swathi Rangarajan. Conclusion: The 4th edition of IEC 60439-1 was published in 1999 with a subsequent amendment in 2004. Hamid Shah .35 IK 04 0.5 IK 05 0. the ASSEMBLY shall be raised smoothly without jerking in a vertical plane to a height of (1±0. the ASSEMBLY shall show no deflections and after the test show no cracks or permanent distortions visible to normal or corrected vision without additional magnification. Procedure: Number of impacts on each exposed face shall be five unless otherwise specified in relevant product standard. Hence.

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