Reliant EMC

ALECS - Automated Luminance Emissions Compliance System

INTRODUCTION

Background:    The latest innovations and technologies used by the lighting industry, particularly involving LEDs, has dramatically increased the potential for problems related to EMC compliance. Experience has shown that levels of both conducted and radiated interference have significantly increased, and many cases of complaint have been noted.  
 
The problem:   The issue stems from the fact that in order to maximize overall efficiency and keep heat dissipation to a minimum, fast switching power units and controller circuits are used. The down side of this technique is that high frequency energy is generated and this can cause high levels of interference unless great care is taken with the design.
 
Compliance:   If any product complies with the EMC Directive (which in the EU, it is legally obliged to do), then this is an indication that it will not cause unnecessary interference. Compliance can only be checked/verified by measurement of the interference levels. The techniques and limits related to this measurement are defined in the European standard EN55015 and IEC61000-3-2.

 

The Solution:  Laplace has developed ALECS, an integrated, easy-to-use system specifically designed to cover these tests. They are designed such that no formal EMC training is required, but will deliver results comparable with those obtained at test laboratories.
 
The justification:   Any decision related to the purchase of test equipment must be subject to cost/benefit analysis. It can be rightly argued that if you have only one or two products per annum that need EMC testing, then the test lab route is probably more cost effective. However, if there may be 6 or more products per annum to be tested, then the use of in-house test equipment becomes overwhelmingly attractive. Payback time is going to be less than 12 months!
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ALECS Requirements

 

EN55015

This standard specifies three measurements….
a).  Conducted emissions (LISN method)
b).  Radiated emissions (CDN method)
c).  Magnetic field (large loop antenna method)
These tests are relatively straightforward and can be conducted in a normal laboratory or production environment. No screened rooms or special test sites are required.
 The most critical are tests (a) and (b). The small size of most luminaries generally makes test (c) less critical.
 
A system that covers tests (a) and (b) is the ALECS-2. This includes all the hardware and cables and software necessary to perform the tests. The software runs on your PC which is connected to the hardware via the USB port.
If required, test (c ) can be added as an option.
The reference then becomes ALECS-3 

 

 

IEC61000-3-2

The AC2000A Harmonics & Flicker analyzer provides a complete solution. It is also a useful power analyzer in it’s own right. The analyzer is very easy to use and provides a simple pass/fail result.
This test can  be performed on any convenient bench. There are no special installation or environmental requirements.
 If the Harmonics analyzer is ordered as a separate item, the order code is AC2000A

 

If it is required as part of the above ALECS systems, just add -H to the reference.

 

Order codes:

All the above systems include:
  • All software required to operate the system with....
    • Pre-loaded limits
    • Automatic setup of measurement parameters
    • Easily interpreted results, simple pass/fail judgment
    • Hard copy output in industry-standard format
    • All results can be saved and recalled later
  • Software compatible with all current versions of Windows. 
  • All necessary cables and connectors
  • ALECS customers also receive a free one day training course at our offices.
 
ALECS justification and FAQ
 
Costs:
Assuming that a typical accredited EMC lab will charge at least £2,000 for the testing of a product, a complete ALECS will cost less than the equivalent of 6 products. This assumes that each test is straightforward and no 'issues' are found which require return visits. If a problem is found, then there is the issue of 'how do we know when/if we have fixed it?' If you have no in-house test equipment, then you do have a problem! Whatever the outcome, costs are bounder to be increased.
In addition:
  • Testing in-house can be done at any time to suit the work load and project schedule.
  • No need to book test lab time in advance.
  • No wasted traveling time.
  • Ability to work on improvements/modifications in-house.
  • No need to 'over engineer' the product to ensure compliance, thus delivering lowest cost solution.
  • Test product during the development cycle, so nasty surprises during final test.
  • Staff will gain EMC expertise with subsequent benefits to next generation models.
Note that all ALECS users are eligible to a one day training course at our offices in Norfolk.
 

FAQs

Laplace ALECS Order Codes

 

conducted emission testing PRODUCTS