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IEC 61000-4-4: The Standard for Burst Testing

Key Takeaways

  • IEC 61000 standards review the testing procedures, measurement methods, emissions limits, immunity limits, safe functional requirements, and installation guidelines of a product under consideration for electromagnetic compatibility.

  • IEC 61000-4-4 is the immunity test standard for electrical and electronic equipment that emphasizes the use of a single, consistent method to analyze the immunity of a product undergoing burst testing.

  • According to the IEC 61000-4-4 standard, EFT test pulses are single 5kHz unidirectional pulses lasting for 15 milliseconds each, repeated at three bursts per second for about one minute. 

 Electrical Burst test

The EMC performance of a product is standardized by complying with the IEC 61000 group of regulatory standards. The IEC 61000 group of standards are the basic EMC standards from which many other regional electromagnetic immunity standards are derived. The IEC 61000, or EN 61000 standard, describes the conducted and radiated electromagnetic immunity limits for electrical and electronic products, the disturbance these products can dump into the mains supply, and the susceptibility of devices to external interferences. IEC 61000-part 4 outlines the testing and measurement techniques for various electromagnetic phenomena. Section IEC 61000-4 -4 is the international standard that defines the testing procedures, measuring techniques, and immunity requirements of a product against electrical fast transients (otherwise called bursts). 

Let’s take a closer look at the IEC 61000 standards group, particularly the IEC 61000-4-4 standard.

The IEC 61000 Group of Standards

IEC 61000 standards review the testing procedures, measurement methods, emissions limits, immunity limits, safe functional requirements, and installation guidelines of a product under consideration for electromagnetic compatibility. 

The IEC 61000 is divided into the following:

  1. IEC 61000-1: Introduction, fundamental principles, definitions, and terminology.
  2. IEC 61000-2: Description of the environment, its classification, and compatibility levels. 
  3. IEC 61000-3: Emissions and immunity limits.
  4. IEC 61000-4: Testing and measurement techniques.
  5. IEC 61000-5: Installation guidelines, mitigation methods, and devices.
  6. IEC 61000-6: Generic emissions and immunity standards for various environments such as residential, commercial, industrial, etc.
  7. IEC 61000-9: Miscellaneous

Each part of the IEC 61000 is further subdivided to address specific electromagnetic phenomena, environments, or immunity limits, etc. The subdivisions under each part of the IEC 61000 are represented in the format IEC 61000 followed by part number and subdivision number separated by dashes. For example, IEC 61000-4-4 is the IEC standard 61000 under part 4, subdivision 4.  

Standards

Description

IEC 61000-4-2

ESD test

IEC 61000-4-3

Radiated RFI immunity test

IEC 61000-4-4

EFT/ burst test

IEC 61000-4-5

Surge immunity test

IEC 61000-4-6

Conducted RFI immunity test

IEC 61000-4-8

Magnetic field test at mains frequency

IEC 61000-4-9

Pulse magnetic field test

IEC 61000-4-10

Damped oscillatory magnetic field test

IEC 61000-4-11

Voltage dip and interruptions test

IEC 61000-4 standards

IEC 61000-4

IEC 61000, part 4, commonly written as IEC 61000-4, is the complete collection of EMC testing and measurement methods used in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. IEC 61000-4 mainly focuses on the testing procedures and measurement techniques for determining the immunity of a product against various electromagnetic phenomena such as radio-frequency electromagnetic fields, electrostatic discharge, surges, electrical fast transients, etc. The table above gives some of the common IEC 61000-4 standards. 

IEC 61000-4-4

IEC 61000-4-4 is the immunity test standard for electrical and electronic equipment that emphasizes the use of a single, consistent method to analyze the immunity of a product under test against electrical fast transients. It provides a common reference to evaluate the electrical fast transient immunity of a device’s mains supply, signal ports, control ports, and earth connections, which makes the test reproducible.

The IEC 61000-4-4 standard is divided into the following parts:

  1. A description of the bursts generator and cable coupling devices.
  2. A description of the test layout.
  3. Instructions for the test procedure.
  4. Acceptable immunity limits and ranges.

According to the IEC 61000-4-4 standard, EFT test pulses are single 5kHz unidirectional pulses lasting for 15 milliseconds each, repeated at three bursts per second for about one minute. These pulses are injected into AC and DC power ports of the device under test using coupling-decoupling networks, whereas capacitive clamps are used for injection into the signal and control ports.

The voltage levels for the power and control ports depends on the device under test and can take the following levels:

  • Power ports: 0.5 , 1, 2, 4 kV
  • Signal /control ports: 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2 kV

The IEC 61000-4-4 standard classifies an EFT test into four levels, depending on the environment where the product or device is going to be in service:

Levels

Type of Environment

Example

Level 1

Well-protected environment

Computer room

Level 2

Protected environment

Control room of an industrial plant

Level 3

Typical industrial environment

Relay room of open-air, high voltage substation

Level 4

Severe industrial environment

Substation switchyards

IEC 61000-4-4 testing classifications based on environment

The IEC 61000-4-4 is an international electromagnetic immunity standard, offering a globally accepted, consistent method to assess the electrical fast transient or burst immunity of a product under test. A product with an IEC 61000-4-4 pass certificate can be used anywhere in the world without the risk of EFT damaging it. Cadence’s suite of design and analysis tools can help you simulate the effect of EFT and other electromagnetic disturbances in your electronic designs.

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