Technical Articles

IEC 61995: Surge Protective Devices Connected to Low-voltage Power Distribution Systems

Title: Safeguarding Power Distribution Systems: An Overview of IEC 61995 for Surge Protective Devices




In the realm of electrical engineering, protecting low-voltage power distribution systems from transient overvoltages is essential to ensure the reliability and longevity of electrical equipment and components. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 61995 focuses on surge protective devices (SPDs) connected to low-voltage power distribution systems, providing guidelines and requirements to mitigate the damaging effects of surges and transients. This article delves into the key aspects of IEC 61995, highlighting its significance in safeguarding power distribution systems and enhancing the resilience of electrical installations.


Understanding IEC 61995


IEC 61995 addresses the technical specifications and performance criteria for surge protective devices designed to protect low-voltage power distribution systems from transient overvoltages. The standard outlines the requirements for SPDs used in various applications, including commercial buildings, industrial facilities, data centers, and residential settings. IEC 61995 aims to ensure that surge protective devices effectively suppress and divert surge currents, safeguarding electrical infrastructure against voltage transients originating from lightning strikes, switching operations, or other external disturbances.


Key Provisions of IEC 61995


1. Classification and Testing: IEC 61995 classifies surge protective devices based on their protective characteristics, voltage ratings, energy handling capabilities, and response times. The standard specifies testing procedures and performance verification methods to assess the effectiveness of SPDs in diverting surge currents, limiting overvoltages, and protecting downstream equipment from damage.


2. Installation Requirements: IEC 61995 outlines the installation guidelines for surge protective devices in low-voltage power distribution systems, including the positioning of SPDs, coordination with protective devices, grounding arrangements, and wiring considerations. The standard emphasizes the importance of proper installation practices to optimize the performance and reliability of surge protection solutions.


3. Performance Monitoring: The standard addresses the need for periodic testing, inspection, and maintenance of surge protective devices to ensure continued functionality and adherence to performance standards. IEC 61995 recommends routine assessments of SPDs to verify their operational status, assess their effectiveness, and address any potential issues that may compromise surge protection capabilities.


Significance of IEC 61995 in Surge Protection


IEC 61995 plays a vital role in advancing surge protection practices and enhancing the resilience of low-voltage power distribution systems, offering several key benefits for stakeholders in the electrical industry, including:


1. Equipment Protection: Compliance with IEC 61995 standards helps safeguard sensitive electrical equipment, control systems, and electronic devices from damage caused by transient overvoltages, ensuring the longevity and reliability of power distribution systems.


2. Operational Continuity: Surge protective devices conforming to IEC 61995 guidelines help minimize downtime, disruptions, and malfunctions in electrical installations by effectively dissipating surge energy and maintaining system integrity during voltage transients.


3. Safety and Compliance: The standard promotes safety, regulatory compliance, and best practices in surge protection, enabling organizations to meet industry standards, protect personnel, and adhere to legal requirements for electrical system safety and reliability.




IEC 61995 serves as a critical framework for the effective implementation of surge protective devices in low-voltage power distribution systems, safeguarding equipment, personnel, and infrastructure from the detrimental effects of transient overvoltages. By adhering to the guidelines and requirements outlined in the standard, stakeholders can enhance the resilience, performance, and safety of electrical installations, minimizing risks, improving system reliability, and ensuring operational continuity in the face of unpredictable voltage disturbances. IEC 61995 plays a pivotal role in promoting surge protection best practices, risk mitigation, and quality assurance in the realm of low-voltage power distribution systems, supporting a robust and secure electrical infrastructure for diverse applications and environments.



Contact: Eason Wang

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