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I have been working on a product which requires EMC tested based on an IEC Standard. The product application is measurement and monitoring of various Solar String Parameters like voltage, current and therefore power. Some of the similar products in the market are offering two different certification/compliance. IEC 61000 and IEC 61326. Now on initial assessment, I can't find a clear difference between these two as both of them talk about Electromagnetic compatibility. Is there anything that helps decide which one to go for based on some parameters or application?

Thanks in advance

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IEC 61000 are "basic" standards which contains the measurement techniques. IEC 61326 is a Product Family standard which contains conditions, limits and performance criteria for equipment for measurement, control and lab use.

Standards are applicable in this order

  • Product Standard, if applicable, otherwise
  • Product Family Standard, if applicable, otherwise
  • Generic Standard

61326 is mentioned in this hierarchy here:

The structure of EMC standards

EMC requirements are specified in a vast number of standard documents issued by various committees and organizations. The documents are organized as follows:

Basic standards: Describe the phenomenon, characterize the test equipment and give guidance how tests shall be performed and documented. Basic standards like IEC 61000-4-x form the lowest level in standard's hierarchy.

Generic standards: Specify test levels for a certain range of application, referring to the Basic Standards for general information. Generic standards give minimum requirements, e.g. for CE Mark (EN 61000-6-1). Generic Standards stand above the Basic standards.

Product Family standards: Are used where exist for a certain category of products. They specify test levels and performance criteria. EN 61326, for instance, forms such a Product Family standard dealing with the EMC requirements of equipment for measurement, control laboratory use.

Product standards: Are the most preferred standards as they give strict requirements for a certain product. EN 61800-3 for instance is a Product Standard for adjustable speed electrical power drive systems. Apart from the requirements for EMC this standard also defines special test procedures. Product Standards form the highest level in standard's hierarchy.

Source: EM Test

but all can refer to the basic standards for the measurement techniques.

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Martin's answer is correct -my advice would be to contact an approved or an accredited EMC test site. Tell the consultant about your product and its intended or likely applications. They should then be able to advise which stardards should apply when doint the EMC tests. If they can not then walk. Be warned though! - these product tests can be very costly to be aware in advance, make sure that you ask for an estimate cost of their Laboritory and the consultants time. The EMC labs generally charge by the day - not by the job - since achieving emissions that fall acceptably below specified limits can take some modification time -or worst case, if you have never considered or analysed EMC issues in relation your products design, start all over again!

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One of the main things that will be different is the market you will sell it in and the regulatory requirements of your customers. If its a device that is in a residential environment, it will have different requirements than an industrial one.

For example: A product that I sent of to regulatory was failing a conducted immunity test for 61000-3-3. What we found was that the ETL shouldn't have even been testing for 61000-3-3 because it

You are correct, within EN 61326-1, the requirements to perform the tests to 61000-3-2 and 61000-3-3 are mandatory only for equipment classified as Class B. We will waive 61000-3-3 and the test report will state that the test requirement for 61000-3-3 is not applicable because it is Class A equipment.

It has always been [the ETL]'s common practice to perform 61000-3-2 and 61000-3-3 because these standards are Product Family standards for equipment operating below 16 Amps, just as EN 61326-1 is a Product Family standard for equipment classified as measurement, control and lab use.

We have sought out a second opinion on this requirement and it has been determined that the requirements in EN 61326-1 will supersede the requirements in 61000-3-2 and 61000-3-3.

Long story short, we almost got charged for more testing because we would have had to redesign our product. Luckily we has a EMC consultant that knows the requirements like the back of their hand. I would first get someone that knows what they are doing and figure out how to get your product tested, then get the exact testing done you need. Also pre-test as much as you can.

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