Navigating EMC requirements for RFI and variable speed drives

Why it's important to make the right choice when selecting a variable speed drive

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 Variable speed drives (VSDs) have become an essential component in modern industrial applications, as they offer significant control flexibility and energy savings. However, when selecting a VSD, it is crucial to consider compliance with electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and IEC 61800-3 standards, especially in New Zealand, where specific regulations apply.

EMC refers to the ability of electronic devices to function without interfering with other equipment or being affected by external electromagnetic fields. The purpose of EMC regulations is to ensure that electronic devices, including VSDs, do not generate excessive electromagnetic interference (EMI) that could affect other equipment or cause safety hazards.

IEC 61800-3 is an international standard that defines the EMC requirements for power drive systems (PDS), including VSDs. Compliance with this standard ensures that the VSD meets specific EMI limits and immunity requirements, ensuring safe and reliable operation in industrial environments.

Why you need to make the right Variable Speed Drive choice first time

Selecting the correct VSD in compliance with EMC and IEC 61800-3 standards is crucial for several reasons. First, non-compliant VSDs can cause EMI that interferes with other electronic devices, leading to communication errors, malfunctioning, or even safety hazards. Second, non-compliant VSDs may be subject to legal action, including penalties, recalls, or product bans.

In New Zealand, the Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) regulates EMC compliance for electronic devices, including VSDs. The RSM enforces the Radiocommunications Regulations 2001, which align with international EMC standards, including IEC 61800-3. VSDs imported, sold, or used in New Zealand must comply with these regulations, and failure to comply can result in the issue of warning notices and infringement notices or prosecution proceedings

What this means is that when selecting a VSD for any applications in New Zealand, it is crucial to consider EMC and IEC 61800-3 compliance. Manufacturers should provide EMC test reports and documentation that demonstrate compliance with international and local regulations. Users should also ensure that the VSD installation and operation comply with the manufacturer's instructions and local regulations, including proper grounding, shielding, and wiring practices.

Getting to grips with the international standard responsible for stipulating EMC compliance for variable speed drives

To help you make sense of the intricacies of selecting the correct VSD, we've put together a new white paper, Filtering out the noise. We provide guidance for identifying compliant VSD importers/suppliers, specifying and installing VSDs, and understanding how manufacturers rate their levels of EMC compliance. We also offer insights into the importance of selecting VSDs with appropriate compliance markings and taking into account the environment and category when selecting a VSD.

This white paper covers the following topics:

  • How IEC 61800-3 applies to New Zealand EMC regulations
  • How to select and install your VSD correctly to meet IEC requirements
  • How VSD manufacturers rate their levels of EMC compliance

We also include plenty of visuals to help illustrate each topic.

Selecting the correct VSD in compliance with EMC and IEC 61800-3 standards is essential to ensure safe and reliable operation of industrial equipment in New Zealand. Compliance with these regulations not only ensures smooth operation but also avoids legal actions and penalties. Therefore, both manufacturers and users should prioritize EMC and IEC 61800-3 compliance when selecting and installing VSDs.


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