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Fire Safety Requirements, Standardization and Testing Electrical & Electronic Equipment Status and Trends Presentation given at Tokyo, 9 September 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Fire Safety Requirements, Standardization and Testing Electrical & Electronic Equipment Status and Trends Presentation given at Tokyo, 9 September 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fire Safety Requirements, Standardization and Testing Electrical & Electronic Equipment Status and Trends Presentation given at Tokyo, 9 September 2014 Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

2 Fire Safety in Electrical Engineering & Electronics (E&E) in Europe  In E&E, general safety requirements including fire safety are defined in the European Low Voltage (LVD) and the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directives  Specific fire safety requirements (in the EU: essential requirements) and flammability tests are contained in international standards (IEC, CENELEC for the EU), and the corresponding national standards  Manufacturers set up Document of Conformity (DOC) based on Technical Files Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

3 Fire Safety in Electrical Engineering & Electronics (E&E)  The main flammability tests for E&E are the Bunsen burner based UL 94 tests and the glow wire tests. They basically reflect primary, low energy ignition sources inside of E&E equipment  External, candle-like ignition sources igniting E&E equipment from the outside have been considered for consumer and IT electronics. They have been introduced in Europe  Flammability requirements in E&E mainly apply for IT, audio/video, appliances, technical parts and lighting  The flammability test requirements are basically UL 94 HB, V2 to V0. In addition the needle flame test may be used  For appliances, the glow wire tests are largely used in Europe Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

4 Course of a fire and small ignition sources Small ignition sources are the cause of most fires. Preventing and delaying their impact Is essential to avoid flashover Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

5 Fire Safety in Electrical Engineering & Electronics (E&E)  The main flammability tests for E&E are the Bunsen burner based UL 94 tests and the Needle Flame test Needle Flame test to IEC Vertical test to IEC (UL 94 V0, V1, V2) 50 W flame Test to IEC (UL 94, 5VA, 5VB) 500 W flame Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

6 Appliances Glow Wire Test  The European standard EN ”Household and similar electrical appliances – Safety” addresses fire safety requirements in Section 30 “Resistance to Heat and Fire”  The most important flammability test for appliances in Europe is the glow wire test Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

7 Requirements to IEC to -13 Unattended Connection > 0.2 A  IEC/EN Flammability end products (GWT) 750°C < 2 s required in IEC 335  if > 2 s Needle flame test to IEC or Class V0 or V1 to IEC  IEC/EN Flammability materials (GWFI) 850°C < 30 s  IEC/EN Ignitability materials (GWIT) 775°C < 5 s Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

8 Glow Wire Standards to IEC revised in 2013  IEC/EN (VDE ) Glow wire Apparatus and common test procedure  IEC/EN (VDE ) Glow wire Flammability test for end products (GWT)  IEC/EN (VDE ) Glow wire Flammability test for materials (GWFI)  IEC/EN (VDE ) Glow wire Ignitability test for materials (GWIT) No major changes in the revised standards Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

9 External ignition sources  External ignition sources for consumer electronics and IT equipment were developed in the technical specification IEC/TS “Accidentally caused candle flame ignition” and foreseen to be introduced in the IEC standard  The TS describes fire hazards from external ignition sources, requiring materials (> 300 g) to meet Class UL94 V1  However, its introduction has been rejected by an IEC vote in 2010, following an American NGO activists’ campaign against flame retardants  At the same time, it has been taken over in the corresponding European EN standard Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

10 Fire Safety in Electrical Engineering & Electronics (E&E)  The revision of the new standard IEC “Audio/video, information and communication technology equipment - Part 1: Safety requirements” also considers external ignition sources  IEC is a merger of the standards IEC for consumer electronics and IEC for IT equipment and will substitute them  In a new campaign, the same activists succeeded again to initiate a negative vote, so that the introduction of the external ignition sources in IEC has been rejected in May 2012  These campaigns against flame retardants in general may may dram reduce the fire safety levels of consumers and IT equipment in the future and lead to increased threats to human life and material damages Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

11 Fire Safety in Electrical Engineering & Electronics (E&E)  The dramatic effects of external ignition sources on TV sets is shown in the following videos Videos (to be included into the presentation) Test on television 32 inchtelevision 32 inch Test on television 40 inchtelevision 40 inch Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

12 Fire tests wire & cable  IEC : Tests on electric and optical fibre cables under fire conditions - Part 1-2: Test for vertical flame propagation for a single insulated wire or cable - Procedure for 1 kW pre-mixed flame (IEC :2004)  IEC Part 2-2: Test for vertical flame propagation for a single small insulated wire or cable - Procedure for diffusion flame (IEC :2004)  IEC Tests on electric and optical fibre cables under fire conditions - Part 3: Test for vertical flame spread of vertically-mounted bunched wires or cables  Modified IEC Test for construction products: EN /2 with hood for measuring rate of heat release (Basis FIPEC) Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

13 Fire tests wire & cable Flame propagation tests to IEC and -2 IEC : Single insulated wire IEC : Single small insulated wire Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

14 Fire tests wire & cable Modified IEC Test for construction products: EN /2  Flame propagation  Heat release (O 2 consumption)  CO 2 concentration  Smoke measurement Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

15 Photovoltaics: Problems for fire safety  Photovoltaics (PV): Generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity  Light is converted into electrical power by semi-conductors  Several inter-connected solar cells form a solar module  Although fire safety problems do not occur frequently, they may take place more often in the future because of the increasing growth of this technology Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

16  In 2009, the world largest photovoltaics roofing site took fire in Bürstadt, Germany, destroying 80 m² of the solar modules  Fire causes are frequently faulty electrical connections within the modules leading to overheating and fire initiation Photovoltaics: Problems for fire safety Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

17  To date, only limited experience of fire brigades in PV-equipment fires  Problem: Due to light radiation, solar modules and their components are virtually always live with direct current voltage up to 1,000 V  This may lead to deadly electrical shock during fire-fighting  To this end, guidelines and data sheets have been published. Standardization however, is still in its infancy Photovoltaics: Problems for fire safety Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014

18 Conclusions  E&E ignition/flammability tests address the beginning of an initiating fire  They have shown to prevent or delay fires from E&E materials and end products  Fire tests simulating open flames and malfunction of electrical parts (glow wire) have shown to be very effective  External open flame tests for consumer/IT devices help to improve fire safety  Tests for wire & cable flame propagation contribute to fire safety in many applications for building/construction and transportation  Photovoltaics fire safety is of growing importance Fire safety E&E Tokyo, September 2014


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