The new standard IEC/EN 61439
IEC/EN 61439 is the new standard for the construction, application, characteristics and verification of switchgear and controlgear assemblies. It replaces the IEC/EN 60439 standard and became valid exclusively from 1 November 2014. The aim of the new standard is to harmonise all of the regulations and requirements for low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies (ASSEMBLIES).
Wöhner 61439 NAVIGATOR – our service for the new standard
Since the new IEC/EN 61439 standard was published, it has been preoccupying our industry. In order to supportyou, as our customer, in dealing with the standard, Wöhner has developed the 61439 Navigator. The Navigator is an integrated service program, consisting of different tools as well as information and consultation modules.
The IEC/EN 61439 is the result of the work of technical committees and subcommittees composed of representatives of the full member national electrotechnical committees, each dealing with a particular subject.
Step by step to the finisched documentation
The interaction of all components is judged in the ASSEMBLY during the design verification.
Wöhner supplies its components to clients from various sectors, e.g. energy and control technology. The switchgear assemblies are mostly one-off or small batch series. Wöhner products generally only represent a part of the ASSEMBLY. By independently designing and constructing the ASSEMBLY, the client counts as the „original manufacturer“, according to the standard.
The responsibility therefore rests with the client, to provide all 21 individual verifications for the design verification. Wöhner supplies all the information on its products that is necessary to fulfil the points concerned in the design verification.
Wöhner preparation guide for the design verification
For the simple and quick creation of a design verification in accordance with IEC/EN 61439, Wöhner has developed an individual preparation guide. The majority of the necessary verifications already had to be provided in the past. They are usually based on the use of suitable materials and good work practices. The required verifications for the short-circuit withstand strength and temperature rise are more complex by contrast. Our preparation guide provides you with all the important data regarding the Wöhner components – including information on short-circuit withstand strength and power dissipation.
At the end you will receive a design verification for the entire system in the output formats PDF, rtf and XML. The XML file can be used again for new or similar projects. Additionally, you can attach the individual product data to your documentation for the design verification.
The Wöhner on-line tool for the preparation guide can be found at www.woehner.com/design-verification
Short-circuit withstand strength verification
Wöhner provides several short-circuit withstand strength diagrams in the Product Manual, on pages 8/46 - 8/48, as technical support for the verification of the short-circuit withstand strength. Along with the diagrams, the short-circuit withstand strength can also be ascertained via a calculation program on the Wöhner homepage.
You can find the calculation program at www.woehner.com/short-circuit-strength
Temperature rise verification
With regards to the verification of temperature rise, Wöhner can fall back on insights from numerous application tests. For example, power dissipation has been determined for all products. You can therefore incorporate these into your temperature rise calculation. The temperature rise can be calculated in ASSEMBLIES up to 630A, as part of the design verification, according to IEC/EN 61439. For ASSEMBLIES from 630A to 1600A, the calculation must be performed according to IEC 60890 with additional restrictions. Exceeding this limit, the client must measure the temperature rise in the ASSEMBLY or determine it by means of derivation from a comparable system.
In case of rated current larger than 1600A, the temperature rise verification must be done by testing or derivation.
Temperature measuring strips
The measuring strips show the temperature by changing colour. Application is simple: The strip is stuck to the place where the temperature is to be measured. As soon as the maximum temperature has been reached the colour of the strip changes, in less than a second, from light grey to black. The colour change is non-reversible
and the strip can therefore be archived as part of the test data. The accuracy of the temperature measurement is +/-1% of the indicated temperature value.
If you like to know where to get temperature measuring strips, please contact us by email or call our 61439-Hotline.
Product data for the design verification
The product data for the design verification according to IEC/EN 61439-1 is available for all products from Wöhner. In these product data sheets all 21 individual verifications, as long as applicable, are applied to the relevant product. The aim of these product data sheets is to be able to verify the potential application of the individual products in the ASSEMBLIES quickly and effectively. The product data sheets can be found on-line at the respective product descriptions and can also be attached as an annex to the design verification with the preparation guide. This affords you simple and detailed documentation for your system.
The product data for the design verification can be found at www.woehner.com/products in the relevant part of the download area.
Naturally, you can have a Wöhner expert answer your questions concerning the standard IEC/EN 61439.
Our free hotline is available on the following number:
+800 61439 000
Our service times:
Mon to Fri
9:00 am to 5.00 pm
- Free of charge from landlines.
- Mobile phone prices can differ.
- We can also be contacted by e-mail: IEC61439@woehner.com
61439 Question and answers
What you always wanted to know about 61439...
1. What is an ASSEMBLY?
A combination of one ore more low voltage switching devices with corresponding equipment for controlling, measuring, reporting, protecting and regulating; with all internal electrical and mechanical connections and structural components.
2. Does the new standard have to be complied with by law?
A standard basically has the characteristics of a recommendation. It is not legally binding. However: Standards should guarantee the safety of systems and represent the recognised requirements. Therefore, it is inherently recommendable to satisfy the contents – regardless of agreements and customer requirements.
3. ASSEMBLIES were formerly built and tested for functionality but did not provide any additional verifications. And Today?
If a manufacturer wants to produce a standardcompliant ASSEMBLY and place it on the market, it must create a design verification and routine verification. It is not compulsory to enclose a design verification and give it to the customer, but this is necessary for the routine verification.
4. Who is responsible for what?
There is a clear allocation of responsibility:
- The user (final customer): specifies, purchases and/or operates the ASSEMBLY
- The original manufacturer (switchgear builder or provider of ASSEMBLIES): Organisation that originally developed a switchgear system and supplies the associated verification
- The manufacturer (in most cases the original manufacturer = switchgear builder): takes on responsibility for the finished ASSEMBLY
The design verification normally comes from the original manufacturer; the routine verification from the manufacturer. With the new standard the user/customer remains responsible for the switchgear ASSEMBLY.
5. What is a design verification?
The design verification confirms compliance with the standard and must be archived for ten years. The design verification consists of 21 individual verifications. Most of these verifications are relatively simple to satisfy, because they specifically refer to the application of suitable materials and good work practices. The verification for temperature rise and short-circuit withstand strength is more complex.
6. How do I get a design verification?
Normally the original manufacturer supplies the design verification. Wöhner offers the product data relevant to its components for the design verification at www.woehner.com.
These can be downloaded as PDF files. Technical support for the creation of the system‘s entire documentation, in accordance with IEC/EN 61439-1, -2 is offered free of charge, non-binding and without manufacturer bias at www.woehner.com/design-verification.
7. What is a routine verification (EN 60439 „routine test“)?
The routine verification, which is performed during and/or after manufacture, verifies that each ASSEMBLY complies with the requirements of the relevant ASSEMBLY standard.
8. What does the term enclosure mean?
An enclosure is a housing for the installed ASSEMBLY components, affording the type and degree of protection suitable for the intended application.
9. Can Wöhner busbar systems still be used above 1600A?
Yes they can. In this case a temperature rise test or a comparison with a tested reference design must be carried out.
10. Can the switchgear builder still use products/manufacturers as usual and still comply with the standard?
Yes, if the device manufacturer, e.g. Wöhner, complies with the requirements for the switchgear AND makes the product data available.
11. What is the advantage of using complete systems (tested by the supplier)?
The advantage is that the supplier of complete systems has carried out all the necessary tests for the special combinations of switchgear and can document these with a design verification. The disadvantage is that this system must be built in this configuration.
You are consequently committed to these products, so tests etc are co-financed between you and the supplier. Any added value remains with the supplier.
12. Can products/manufacturers be exchanged?
The components can be exchanged if they certify equivalent or better technical data (power dissipation and temperature rise). The physical alignment and rating of the functional unit must remain intact, or the existing design verification must be extended with product data from the new device. If the new device is a short-circuit device from another device manufacturer (i.e. circuit breaker), in every case a new short-circuit test must be carried out. The exceptions are devices of another range from the same device manufacturer, if the manufacturer confirms the characteristics of the new device is equivalent or better. Safety fuses and their manner of functioning are defined by the standard, therefore the above statement is not applicable to fuse switch disconnectors.
13. What is the advantage of using different makes of components?
You remain flexible; the preferred components can be applied as desired and the added value remains in your own business. Provided you wish to deliver the system in accordance with the standard, it is more laborious, as the verifications have to be provided by yourself. There are preparation guides available at e.g. www.woehner.com/tools
14. How can Wöhner help?
On-line preparation guide at www.woehner.com/design-verification
Product verification at www.woehner.com/products in the relevant part of the download area.
The manufacturer receives a complete package consisting of:
- design verification in accordance with IEC/EN 61439-1, -2 as a PDF, RTF, XML,
- product data for the design verification
- consultation by Wöhner.
Wöhner hosts seminars in which you can learn more about the new specifications for ASSEMBLIES. In particular they are about making you understand your responsibilities for the creation of design verifications according to IEC/EN 61439.
At the moment no seminars are planned.
Some of the most important questions that are always posed to us in these seminars you find complied in the "Questions and answers" section.
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You can download the brochure Wöhner NAVIGATOR 61439 as PDF data here.