Archive for August, 2012

ENERGY STAR Certification to Combine CFLs and LEDs into Lamp Specification

by on Aug.29, 2012, under ENERGY STAR

As mentioned previously, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is combining the scope of the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) and Integral LED Lamps specifications into one technology-neutral Lamps specification.

EPA held a webinar on August 8, 2012 to describe some of the requirements of this Lamps Draft 2 specification.     Following is a summary of some of the new electrical performance requirements. Please note that the following details are not finalized, but are provided for informative purposes to showcase draft details.

SIDE NOTE: EPA Program Manager for ENERGY STAR Eamon Monahan will be speaking at MET Labs’ Annual Global Product Compliance Seminar & Crab Feast in September.  He will be providing an update on the ENERGY STAR Program.  Register here. 

Start Time
Starting time is defined as the time between application of power to the device and the point where the light output reaches 98% of its initial plateau. 

Draft 2 of this specification adjusted the start time from 0.5 to 1 second. This was partially attributable to a conflict between decreasing the Start Time requirement while increasing the Rapid Cycle Stress Test requirement in Draft 1.

A start time test method was introduced in Annex D.

Run-Up Time
Run-Up time is defined as the time between the application of power to the device and the time when the light output first reaches a specified percentage of stable light output. This requirement is primarily based on the premise that the consumer expects quick response when using lamps.

Solid state products are now exempted from this requirement, while CFLs maintain the levels provided in Draft 1.   

A run-up time test method was introduced in Annex E.

Power Factor
Draft 1 had listed a power factor of 0.7 for all lamps >5W.  This has now changed as per lamp type.  Draft 2 power factors are now:

  • Residential CFLs ≥ 0.5
  • Commercial CFLs ≥ 0.9
  • Residential Solid State ≥ 0.7
  • Commercial Solid State ≥ 0.9

For the dimming requirement of the specification, the EPA is currently waiting on additional stakeholder input in the areas of:

  • Dimming level
  • Flicker
  • Audible noise
  • Compatibility

Transient Protection
Draft 2 made two changes to this requirement:

  • There is now a new exemption for low voltage lamps
  • Lamp base orientation language was removed from testing guidance

Electromagnetic & Radio Frequency Interference
Since FCC compliance is already required by law, reference to FCC requirements was removed from the specification.

Lamp Toxics Reduction
IEC 62554 was added as the test procedure reference for documenting the mercury content found in the product.

Lamp Base and Shape
A requirement for Lamp Base Dimensions and Tolerances was deleted from Draft 1.  The requirement was considered redundant. Lamp base dimensions are already verified during electrical safety evaluation.

Lamp Shape Dimensional Requirements are now applicable to ANSI standard lamps only.

This new lighting specification and much more are sure to be discussed at the 2012 ENERGY STAR Products Partner Meeting for Lighting, Appliances, Water Heaters & Electronics being held from October 22–24, 2012 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Find out how to get ENERGY STAR testing or certification body services or product safety certification for lighting.

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ETSI EN 300 132-2 Telecom DC Power Port Testing to Change in September

by on Aug.20, 2012, under Europe, Telecom

On September 30, 2012, the previous version of ETSI EN 300 132-2 will be withdrawn, and ETSI EN 300 132-2 v2.4.6 (2011-12) will take effect.  ETSI 300 132-2 covers the testing requirements for the DC power ports of telecommunications equipment.  It is not a harmonized standard, but it is often required by EU carriers like Deutsche Telekom and British Telecom.

Here are the most significant additional requirements in this new revision:

4.2 Normal service voltage range at interface “A”
Test method now references EN 61000-4-29.  The voltage variations now have dwell time and rise/fall time requirements.

4.3.2 Abnormal service voltage range at interface “A”
Same as 4.2 above but with abnormal service range defined in table 2.

4.3.3 voltage transients
Same 1.2/50 or 8/20 combo waveform @500V, but only one configuration now.

4.4 voltage changes due to regulation of the power supply
Defines voltage variation ranges; test method remains the same as before.

4.6 Maximum current drain
The EUT’s current drain cannot exceed 1.5 x Imax only in the range of -54V to -40.5V.  For the range of -40.5V to 0V, it is allowed to exceed this amount.  This is different from before when the current drain could never exceed 1.5 x Imax throughout the entire range.

4.7 Inrush current on connection of interface “A”
Same as before but with the following additional performance criteria:

  • Below 0,1 ms, the inrush current is not defined
  • Below 0,9 ms the It/Im ratio shall be lower than 48
  • Above 1 ms the curve corresponds to the maximum tripping limit of majority of existing protective devices

4.8 Conducted immunity requirements of the telecommunications equipment at interface “A”: narrowband noise
Conducted immunity shall apply only to telecommunication equipment having analogue voice interface.

Additional Note 3: The test should be limited for equipment with an input not higher than 10A.

4.9 Conducted Emissions requirements of the telecommunications and datacom equipment at interface “A”
Conducted emissions requirements shall not be applicable at equipment installed in outdoor location such as shelters and street cabinets.  Due to the nature of the emitted noise this could be influenced only other equipment directly connected at the interface “A” present in the outdoor location.

For telecommunications equipment fitted with analogue interfaces an evaluation of wideband noise amplitude in this frequency band can be calculated using method detailed in annex E.

For more information, read an IN Compliance article on ETSI EN 300 132 2 Compliance Testing by MET Engineer Zijun Tong. 

Get pricing and lead time information for Telecom Testing.

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CTIA Proposes Battery Life Testing for Certification Program

by on Aug.13, 2012, under Battery

Last month, MET Labs attended a CTIA Battery Certification Program meeting in San Antonio, Texas.  The agenda included a review and update of the certification program documents (CRD, PMD, CRSL).  There was also a discussion to expand the program to include battery life testing.  In attendance were all the system vendors, CTIA-Approved Test Labs (CATLs) and carriers such as Verizon and AT&T.

Some of the key updates made in the Certification Documents were:

  1. The manufacturing location as well as the entity controlling the design of the battery shall both meet the ISO 9000 requirements.
  2. System or cell operating outside its temperature or voltage range shall be shut down and not allow 911 calls.
  3. CTIA will adopt  the definition of coin cells in UN 38.3 to define the appropriate battery chemistries that can be considered under IEEE 1725.
  4. Adapters shall be compliant with USB-IF Battery Charging Specification Rev 1.2 and OMTP1.1 to avoid compatibility issues (and slow charging rates) between different OEM chargers and devices. 
  5. Burr control will be harmonized in CRDs for both IEEE 1625 & 1725.
  6. Battery identification is required for both embedded and user-replaceable battery packs.
  7. Battery packs installed in its host and normal application of the device is above head level, the drop height shall be 1500mm; for all others the drop height shall be 1000mm.

There was also a proposal to include battery life testing mainly for smart phones. The proposal included creating a working group to develop an accurate battery life test standard for smart phones that will cover the following parameters:

  • User profile
  • Network settings
  • Device settings

Read more about the CTIA Battery Certification Program in this previous post.

Find out more about battery testing and get a quote.

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FCC Reviewing SAR Rules for Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

by on Aug.02, 2012, under SAR

In June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it would review its rules on radiation exposure from cell phones.  The FCC’s current Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) limits were set fifteen years ago, in 1996.

Any day now, the FCC is expected to publish a Notice of Inquiry, which will be open to public comment for a couple months.  After that, the commission may issue some proposed rules.  After another comment period, the FCC could issue a final rule.

It is unlikely there will be a change to the SAR regulations.  The last time the FCC proposed a change to its RF rules was in 2003, and these minor-change amendments are still pending.

The FCC’s current SAR limits are already the tightest in the world.  SAR is the rate at which your body absorbs energy from a radio-frequency magnetic field.  It’s measured in watts per kilogram or W/kg. To be considered safe, every cell phone model sold in the U.S. must adhere to a SAR that’s less than 1.6 watts per kilogram taken over a volume containing a mass of 1 gram of tissue, even under the worst conditions.

The likely reason for the review of the cell phone radiation exposure rules now?  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been looking into the adequacy of the cell phone standard, and the FCC wants to be seen as proactive in this area.

Responsible for cell phone SAR compliance?  Join us in September for a complimentary Wireless Seminar on the East Coast or West Coast that will cover SAR regulations for personal electronic devices.

Read about MET’s SAR Testing capabilities.

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