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Compliance Engineering outline EMC requirements for luminaires

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Since January 1999, most electric and electronic devices (including luminaires) are required to be compliant with electromagnetic (EMC) standards before being labelled as C-Tick compliant and sold in Australian or New Zealand markets. Compliance Engineering provide EMC testing of luminaries.

AS/NZS CISPR 15 is the EMC standard specific to luminaires, including independent auxiliaries, street and floodlights, neon advertising signs, infrared radiation appliances and lighting installed in buses and trains.

Iron core ballasted fluorescent luminaires are subjected to measurements of insertion loss over the frequency range 150 to 1605 kHz. Fluorescent lamps produce low frequency RF emissions that travel along the supply lines, but as long as the transformer ballast has enough insertion loss, the overall interference will be reduced to an acceptable level. During these measurements, artificial lamps are substituted for the fluorescent lamps and glow switch starters are replaced with 5 nF capacitors.

Electronic ballasted luminaires are subjected to mains terminal emission measurements over the frequency range 9 kHz to 30 MHz. These measurements are performed using a Line Impedance Stabilisation Network (LISN), which provides defined impedance between the luminaire and the mains network.

A luminaire containing a CE or C-Tick compliance ballast is still required to undergo EMC compliance measurements, as the ballast will yield different results depending on the configuration of the luminaire.

Fluorescent lamps are aged for a period of 100 hours and incandescent lamps are aged for two hours prior to their use for EMC measurements. EMC measurements are performed after the luminaire has stabilised.

Where a luminaire is regulated by an external device, emission measurements are required to be performed on the regulating control lines.

Independent converters and luminaries operating at a frequency in excess of 100 Hz must also undergo radiated magnetic field emission measurements (over the frequency range 9 kHz to 30 MHz). These measurements are performed inside a two-metre diameter Van Veen loop antenna (if the dimensions of the luminaire permit). The measurements are performed in each of three axes in turn.

Emergency lighting luminaires require mains terminal emission measurements (performed during AC operation) and radiated magnetic field measurements (performed during battery operation).

Certain frequency bands are designated for use by Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) equipment, and if any part of a luminaire or regulating circuit operates in these bands, further radiated electromagnetic emission measurements are required.

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