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IEC 61439: Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies - General rules

IEC 61439: Low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies - General rules




IEC 61439 is a comprehensive standard that sets forth general rules and requirements for low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies. These assemblies are essential components in electrical power distribution systems, providing control, protection, and monitoring functions for various applications in industries, buildings, and infrastructure. The standard aims to ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of switchgear assemblies by establishing guidelines for their design, construction, testing, and operation. In this article, we will explore the key provisions of IEC 61439 and their importance in the design and implementation of low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies.


Key Provisions of IEC 61439 for Low-voltage Switchgear Assemblies


IEC 61439 covers a wide range of rules and requirements for low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies. Some of the key provisions outlined in the standard include:


1. Design and Construction: IEC 61439 specifies guidelines for the design and construction of switchgear assemblies, including enclosure materials, busbar systems, component placement, wiring, insulation, and cooling arrangements, to ensure structural integrity, electrical reliability, and thermal performance.


2. Electrical Ratings: The standard defines electrical ratings for switchgear assemblies, such as voltage levels, current-carrying capacities, short-circuit withstand capabilities, temperature rise limits, and IP (Ingress Protection) ratings, to safeguard against overloads, faults, and environmental conditions.


3. Clearances and Creepage Distances: IEC 61439 addresses clearances and creepage distances between conductive parts, insulation barriers, and live components in switchgear assemblies to prevent electrical arcing, flashovers, and insulation breakdown under normal and fault conditions.


4. Protection Coordination: The standard includes provisions for protection coordination, selectivity, and discrimination in switchgear assemblies, specifying the settings of protective devices, circuit breakers, relays, and fuses to ensure accurate fault detection, isolation, and discrimination for safe and selective operation.


5. Temperature Rise Limits: IEC 61439 establishes temperature rise limits for switchgear components, busbars, and enclosures to prevent overheating, ensure electrical insulation integrity, and maintain safe operating temperatures within the assembly under full-load and fault conditions.


6. Testing and Verification: The standard outlines requirements for type testing, routine testing, and factory acceptance tests for switchgear assemblies, including dielectric tests, temperature rise tests, short-circuit tests, and verification of protective functions, to verify compliance with performance standards and specifications.


7. Documentation and Marking: IEC 61439 mandates documentation requirements, such as assembly drawings, circuit diagrams, operating instructions, and compliance certificates, as well as marking requirements for switchgear components, terminals, busbars, and warning labels, to facilitate assembly installation, maintenance, operation, and identification.


Applications of IEC 61439 in Low-voltage Switchgear Assemblies


IEC 61439 is applied in a wide range of low-voltage switchgear assemblies for various applications, including:


1. Power Distribution Systems: Switchgear assemblies designed in accordance with IEC 61439 are utilized in power distribution systems, substation feeders, motor control centers, and distribution boards to control and protect electrical circuits, equipment, and systems in industrial, commercial, and residential installations.


2. Building Services: Low-voltage switchgear assemblies are used in building services applications, such as lighting control, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems, fire alarm panels, and security systems, to provide reliable protection, control, and distribution of power in buildings and facilities.


3. Industrial Automation: Switchgear assemblies compliant with IEC 61439 are integrated into industrial automation systems, PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) panels, motor control panels, and process automation systems for controlling machinery, equipment, and production processes in manufacturing, processing, and assembly operations.


4. Renewable Energy Systems: Low-voltage switchgear assemblies are employed in renewable energy systems, such as solar power plants, wind farms, and microgrid installations, to manage and regulate the distribution, storage, and utilization of electricity generated from renewable sources.




IEC 61439 plays a critical role in defining general rules and requirements for low-voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies, ensuring the safety, reliability, and performance of electrical power distribution systems. Compliance with the guidelines and specifications outlined in the standard is essential for manufacturers, designers, installers, and operators to ensure the proper design, construction, testing, and operation of switchgear assemblies. By adhering to the provisions specified in IEC 61439, stakeholders in the electrical industry can uphold high standards of safety, quality, and efficiency in low-voltage switchgear applications, supporting reliable power distribution, protection, and control in diverse industrial, commercial, and residential settings.



Contact: Eason Wang

Phone: +86-13751010017


Add: 1F Junfeng Building, Gongle, Xixiang, Baoan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

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