DEKRA New Standard for Low Voltage Switchgear Assemblies (IEC 61439-1/2)

Apr 08, 2021

Almost a year ago, in May 2020 the 3rd edition of the IEC 61439-1/-2 was published. This new standard for low voltage switchgear assemblies is in many areas backwards compatible with the previous edition from 2011. This implies that from a testing perspective, tests performed according the 2nd edition are generally compliant with the 3rd edition.

The new edition of the standard introduces several new areas which are becoming more and more important due to developments in the market:
  • Requirements for PV and DC applications.
  • Clarifications under which conditions products like power converters, speed drives can be incorporated in assemblies and verified accordingly.
  • Requirements for Class II assemblies.
  • Requirements for Aluminium.
Besides the new areas, the new edition has introduced additional options to verify compliance with the standard to cover specific environmental conditions and specific product designs:
  • Methods/calculations are provided to ease temperature rise testing, which reduce the test time in case small adaptions are required to achieve a specified rating.
  • Clarifications and guidance on how to verify the compliance for different ambient temperatures (as is required in some markets like the Middle East, Russia etc).
  • Verification of assembly designs with active cooling.
  • Clarifications for specific product designs which can help to reduce the number of short circuit tests to be performed on the product.
Even though there are many improvements and refinements in this edition, due to the backwards compatibility, the tests performed according the previous edition are generally compliant with the requirements of edition 3. But to give a final verdict on the compliance, a test house needs to analyse the consequences of the new standard with respect to the product tested.
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