The right equipment for standard-compliant testing.
Covering 1300 m² of space, Phoenix Contact operates a modern, high-performance, accredited laboratory which is specially designed for testing surge protective devices. Here, among other things, disruptive events can be imitated, such as those that occur in the case of lightning strikes, switching operations or electrostatic discharge.
Phoenix Contact opened the new research and technology center for surge protection on May 21, 2014. With such a high level of our own expertise available on site, we can further extend our position as a technological leader in this field.
The new building houses high-voltage and high-current laboratories with offices for development, design, and marketing under one roof. The laboratory space, which covers around 1300 m2, is tailored specifically to the technological and safety requirements of testing technology and satisfies almost all internationally standardized requirements of established certification bodies.
Thanks to the testing facilities, the technology center in Blomberg may be regarded as the world's best equipped laboratory for surge protective devices.
The testing systems in the laboratory are able to generate surge currents and surge voltages with different pulse shapes. Even mains frequency short-circuit currents and DC currents can be generated, by means of the finely adjustable voltage.
A special feature of the laboratory is that the powerful power supply system can be coupled with surge current generators. This enables a realistic environment to be created for testing surge protective devices.
Tests with surge current pulses up to 100 kA (8/20) μs in combination with a powerful alternating current source on surge protective devices are possible here.
The test simulates the operating behavior of the protective devices and their interaction with the power supply system in the event of a surge voltage.
Alongside this special test for surge protective devices, the test laboratory can be used universally for single- to three-phase applications.
The surge current testing system generates lightning currents with a wave form of (10/350) μs to 100 kA and surge currents with a wave form of (8/20) μs to 200 kA. This enables surge protective devices in the highest performance class to be tested in compliance with standards.
In order to generate the pulses, energy is provided at 141 kJ, which is taken from a capacitor bank with 44 μF and a maximum charging voltage of 80 kV. A modular measuring data acquisition system with a high scanning rate supplies extremely precise measuring data.
The DC testing system operates autonomously and consists of a powerful DC source as well as a special pulse current generator. This generator is specifically designed to meet the requirements of direct current testing technology.
The system offers the option of coupling power pulse currents (8/20) μs into the DC system in order to qualify the
surge protective devices for DC applications. For example, this system enables testing according to EN 50539-11, “Requirements and tests for SPDs in photovoltaic applications”. The DC source is also used for tests with short-circuit currents up to 2700 A. The voltage can be adjusted in 1 V increments up to 1800 V DC.
Automated testing is a key factor in the success of cost-effective testing operations. The focus here is on time-intensive testing processes. These processes are particularly relevant to IEC/EN 61643-21, “Surge protective devices connected to telecommunications and signaling networks”.
The testing systems developed in-house are equipped with the latest automation technology which controls and monitors the entire testing process. The testing system documents and analyzes the measured values and then creates a meaningful test report.
The test laboratory is accredited based on DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. This standard describes the “General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories”. The Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (Germany's National Accreditation Body) has verified and confirmed that the requirements of ISO 17025 have been implemented and met.
The accreditation certifies:
Test reports from accredited test laboratories are widely accepted internationally.