EMC DIRECTIVE (2004/30/EU)

The EMC Directive 2014/30/EU came into force on the 20th of April 2016 and is aligned to the New Legislative Framework. The Directive ensures that all electrical and electronic equipment, placed on the EU market, comply with the allowed adequate level of electromagnetic compatibility. In this regard, the electrical products shall not generate or be affected by any electromagnetic disturbance. The EMC’s purpose is to keep all side effects, appearing when electrical devices are interconnected or close to each other, under control. For instance, possible interference between TV sets, radios, electrical power lines and others. Moreover, the Directive limits electromagnetic emissions from electrical equipment so that such equipment doesn’t disturb the activity of other equipment, such as radio or telecommunication, when used as intended.

There are two primary objectives of the EMC Directive:

  • All electrical and electronic equipment (whether fixed installations or apparatus) that is placed on the EU market must comply with the Directive’s requirements when it is correctly installed, maintained and utilised for its intended purpose.
  • All fixed installations must be characterised with the application of good engineering practice.

SCOPE OF EMC DIRECTIVE 2014/30/EU

The new EMC Directive 2014/30/EU has the same scope as the old one from 2004/108/EC and covers a vast range of equipment, encompassing electrical and electronic appliances, systems, and installations, defined as apparatus or fixed installations. In this regard, it is of importance to specify what apparatus and fixed installations mean.

For instance, an apparatus can be:

  • Plug-in cards for computers
  • Computer disk drives
  • Programmable logic controllers
  • Electric motors
  • Power supply units if used as autonomous appliances or sold separately for installation by the end-user
  • Electronic temperature controls
  • Mobile installations
  • Others

“Fixed installations” refers to a particular combination of several types of apparatus and, where applicable, other devices, which are assembled, installed and intended to be used permanently at a predefined location. More illustrative examples of fixed installations could be, as follows:

  • Industrial and power plants
  • Power supply networks
  • Telecommunication, cable TV and computer networks
  • Airport luggage handling installations and airport runway lighting installations
  • Automatic warehouses
  • Skating hall ice rink machinery installations
  • Wind turbine stations
  • Water pumping stations
  • Railway infrastructures
  • Air conditioning installations, and many more.

Within the scope of the Directive are not included electromagnetic fields and their effects, as well as radio systems and aeronautical products, parts, and appliances. Other examples of equipment excluded from the EMC Directive’s scope are:

  • Resistors, capacitors, filters, inductors,
  • Integrated circuits
  • Diodes, transistors, etc.
  • Simple electromagnetic relays and thermostats
  • LED
  • Cathode ray tubes, and others

TYPES OF TESTS UNDER THE EMC DIRECTIVE 2014/30/EU

The electromagnetic compatibility of products can be tested w.r.t. radiated interference and their resistance to interference. Most common EMC tests are, as follows:

I – Measuring emissions in terms of:

  • Interference induced by the applied voltage
  • Radio interference emitted
  • Interference power
  • Harmonic currents
  • Flicker

II – Tests for resistance against electromagnetic influences:

  • Electrostatic discharge
  • Electromagnetic fields
  • Speed pulses
  • Shockwave
  • Conducted electromagnetic interference
  • Power frequency magnetic field
  • Interruption of and changes to the power supply

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