EMPIR project on electricity grid interference feeds into international standard

Digital spectrum analyser

New test methods for high-frequency interference over electricity grids

The project

Electrical products can emit electromagnetic interference, that risks causing malfunctions in connected products, interference with powerline communications and over-heating of grid infrastructure.

Completed EMPIR project Grid measurements of 2 kHz - 150 kHz harmonics to support normative emission limits for mass-market electrical goods (18NRM05, SupraEMI) formulated and validated a new method to measure supraharmonic emissions in grids, conducted a laboratory comparison of the method, and contributed to standards development. The resulting measurement framework provides evidence for product emission limits and support future regulation. New normative methods and apparatus will give rise to new services, while standards for mass-market goods will help ensure reliable operation of products, protect the grid, help develop smart grids, and prevent renewable energy operational issues.


In 2022 the project consortium organised and presented at a 2-hour workshop which was attended by some 70 international experts from industry and the standardisation community, providing a forum to discuss issues relating to how renewables and EVs can cause malfunction and the shortening of service life of typical consumer products, as well as causing glitches in control systems and critical infrastructure. Proposed new normative measurement methods were presented to enable regulation through standardisation and the involvement of several conveners of key IEC committees at this workshop was particularly significant.  Laboratory and grid measurement results were also presented that can be used to develop a normative framework for the regulation of 2 to 150kHz conducted emissions in the power grid.

Slides from the workshop 

New method feeds into international standards

As part of the project, a new method of the measurement of 2-150 kHz conducted emissions in power grids was developed by University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHV) and other partners. This has now been included in the newly published Committee Draft of IEC61000-4-30 for power quality measurement methods in electricity grids. 

The new method is compatible with other methods used by industry, highly computationally efficient and will therefore enable the mass roll-out of low-cost instrumentation to be developed to monitor grid disturbance levels in the 2-150kHz range. 

The new Committee Draft will be considered by national standards committees around the world and if approved will become an international standard.

Project Coordinator Paul Wright from NPL said

‘It is highly satisfying to see the outputs of the project feeding into future international standards. New regulation will be used to ensure that power networks worldwide can host renewables, EVs and energy efficient equipment without causing excessive disturbances which could cause disruption to consumers’.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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