Since the use of electrical energy in the last century, electromechanical energy meters have been used for decades. With this type of meter, the product safety was less extensive than with the current electronic energy meters. Mechanical counters have been replaced by electronic components on printed circuit boards. Transformers and/or shunts are used to measure the voltage and current. Loads can be switched using internal switches. With a view to smart grids and the energy transition, electronic energy meters are equipped with communication modules to be able to exchange data in real time.
The use of electronic circuits entails several dangers. As a result of the breakdown of electronic components, unsafe situations can arise for the user, such as touching unsafe electrical voltages or fire due to overheating.
In order to guarantee the product safety of energy meters, the international standardization committee IEC TC13 drew up standard IEC 62052-31 in 2015, which sets requirements regarding the product safety of energy meters. Even though this standard has been available for some time, it usually takes several years before this standard is integrated into the sector.
The IEC 62052-31 standard includes requirements for protection again electric shock, the consequences of component failure, reduction of fire risk and protection against external influences that can affect product safety.
KEMA Labs has carried out a first project for an international manufacturer to test the product safety of an energy meter. To this end, KEMA Labs has set up various test facilities, including a laboratory where tests with high currents of up to 10,000 amps can be carried out to test the internal switches. All necessary tests and assessments are performed by trained personnel at KEMA Labs.
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