High voltage

Safer electrical power installations

By Morand Fachot

IEC TC 99 recently issued a new version of a key electrical power publication, IEC 61936-1, Power installations exceeding 1 kV a.c. – Part 1: Common rules. The standard provides essential new safety and user information for people building or installing high-voltage power systems.

transformer IEC 61936-1 provides essential new safety and user information for people building or installing high-voltage power systems

IEC TC (Technical Committee) 99: System engineering and erection of electrical power installations in systems with nominal voltages above 1 kV a.c. and 1,5 kV d.c., particularly concerning safety aspects, has published a significant revision of IEC 61936-1Power installations exceeding 1 kV a.c. - Part 1: Common rules.

The publication aims to align world practices concerning the design and erection of high-voltage electricity installations such as power stations or substations, generators or transformers or electrical systems in factories or public premises. It provides minimum requirements for IEC members, together with other information that ensures acceptable reliability of an installation and its safe operation.

Electrical power installations covered by this standard include: Substations, including substations for railway power supply; electrical installations on mast, pole and tower; switchgear and/or transformers located outside a closed electrical operating area; one (or more) power station(s) located on a single site, including generators and transformers with all associated switchgear and all electrical auxiliary systems; electrical systems of factories, industrial plants or other industrial, agricultural, commercial or public premises.

Compared to the previous edition, published in 2002, this revised standard includes substantial changes, particularly those concerning safety issues.

IEC 61936-1 covers general requirements such as personnel safety; the selection and compliance of equipment; specific needs for switching devices, power transformers and reactors; installation precautions and safety measures both for human protection and for buildings, together with general considerations such as protection against the danger of arc faults, fire, and lightning; and leakage, decomposition; identification and markage. It takes into account, for instance, specific climatic or natural conditions in particular countries; regulations for fuses and escape routes; clearances for fire protection; safety criteria for earthing systems; and modified curves of permissibly touch voltages.

You can find a summary of the new publication, together with its purchasing information, on the IEC Webstore.

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transformer IEC 61936-1 provides essential new safety and user information for people building or installing high-voltage power systems