Ensuring electromagnetic compatibility
The EU is responsible for 21% of the world’s electrical engineering production, supplying essential components for industrial sectors, from consumer electronics to electric transportation and power generation. The electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) Directive sets the European standard that ensures electrical equipment neither produces nor suffers from electromagnetic interference. To meet this directive, products must undergo electromagnetic emission and immunity testing either in lab assessments or, for installed equipment, on-site. New compatibility testing approaches needed to enable manufacturers to reliably demonstrate compliance with the EMC Directive.
The EMPR project, Improved EMC test methods in industrial environments developed equipment and methods for achieving greater accuracy in EMC compliance test measurements, both in the lab and for electrical installations in industrial settings.
- Improved the accuracy of EMC testing in industry using newly developed and improved test methods, and established greater links to laboratory test methods.
- Developed a fast and easy to use EMC emission testing method for large fixed electrical installations using an oscilloscope and time-domain data analysis software. A comparison against existing test methods confirmed its accuracy, enabling its use to confirm EMC Directive compliance.
- Developed reference devices for demonstrating that labs accredited for EMC testing are performing testing that complies with the directive. The devices record test signals for later interrogation, allowing labs to confirm ISO 17025 compliance for the first time.
- Developed special calibration adapters for Line Impedance Stabilization Network (LISN) calibrations. These isolate the devices undergoing testing from mains electrical interference, enabling greater accuracy when determining any interference conducted to the electricity supply via mains cables.
This project developed new cost-effective methods to simplify and speed-up EMC testing, supporting continued European competitiveness. Project developments will help electronics manufacturers to reliably evaluate new products during the design stage, potentially accelerating their commercialisation and boosting the competitiveness of European industry.
As a result of project participation, Turkey and two new EU member states, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, were able to improve their EMC Directive testing capabilities, and improved their links with other NMIs. A key aspect of the project was developing EMC testing methods and introducing them via on-site demonstrations to industrial users. This project developed EMC testing methods and promoted their uptake via on-site demonstrations to industrial users such as Mecalux during trials at a large warehouse storage facility and trackside to Alstom for electric train EMC compliance. The project’s LISN calibration adapter, and oscilloscope and time-domain emission testing method have both been taken up by the International Electrotechnical Commission, who are responsible for EMC testing normative standards. The adapter has created impetus for a new IEC international standards working group, which will enable greater measurement harmonisation for conducted EMC testing, whilst the time-domain method has been incorporated into the issued standard IEC 62920 Annex B.