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Issue 05/2017

Self-powering the internet of things

Harnessing ambient energy sources is critical to the rollout of the internet of things in industry

The rapidly growing number of connected devices that form the backbone of the internet of things must become self-powered. The US research and advisory company Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 8,4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2017, up 31% from 2016, and will reach 20,4 billion by 2020. Powering these with batteries or by connecting them to power networks would be totally impractical, even impossible.

Issue 05/2017

Wear your health on your sleeve

Medical wearables push for innovation

New flexible and organic printing technologies are revolutionizing the medical wearable device market and the IEC is establishing the key relevant International Standards.

Issue 03/2017

Upcoming global events (April-June 2017)

On the agenda: Live maintenance, cybersecurity, fuel cells and batteries, energy storage, emerging technologies, digital utilities, LVDC, IoT and more

The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.

Issue 03/2017

From H₂ to electricity and to H₂O – the virtuous circle

Fuel cell technologies offer opportunities to generate cleaner energy

Fuel cells (FCs) convert chemical energy from a fuel into electrical energy and heat through a chemical reaction, and not through combustion. Increasingly they are being introduced in stationary, transportation and portable or mobile power generation applications for different domains. IEC International Standards for FC technologies are proving essential to ensure their smooth rollout in all these areas. They are prepared by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 105

Issue 03/2017

Brave new car world

Our means of transport are changing in drastic ways

What is the future for cars, buses and trucks? Manufacturers are competing to stay relevant in the years ahead. The IEC is also paving the way with a number of forward-looking Standards.

Issue 03/2017

Farming (r)evolution

Agricultural robots bring precision to farms of the future

The market for agricultural robots has the opportunity for significant expansion: the farming world needs to increase global production whilst it also faces challenges such as reduced availability and the rising costs of farm labour. 

Issue 04/2017

Mitigating the risks and impact of explosions

IEC Standards help reduce the number of casualties from accidental industrial explosions

Explosions in a wide range of industrial or other installations can be caused by the wrong or faulty equipment, and/or by poor operating procedures or mistakes. Risks can be significantly reduced if equipment and systems that meet IEC Standards developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 31: Equipment for explosive environments, are used. 

Issue 04/2017

Robots to the rescue

Unmanned independent and remote-controlled systems play central role in rescue missions

Rapid advances in technology are revolutionizing the roles of aerial, terrestrial and maritime robotic systems in disaster relief, search and rescue (SAR) and salvage operations. Robots and drones can be deployed quickly in areas deemed too unsafe for humans and are used to guide rescuers, collect data, deliver essential supplies or provide communication services.

Issue 04/2017

Plug and play for refugees

Low-cost technologies are helping refugee camps get some basic comforts

Access to clean and affordable energy for all is a sustainable development goal for the United Nations and the IEC is contributing to the effort with a number of its International Standards. While access to electricity remains an issue for many of the world’s poorest, refugee camps are finding that cheap solar energy is a way of overcoming the odds.

Issue 03/2017

Safe EV charging

Electric vehicles charging systems rely on IEC International Standards

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular in many parts of the world, ensuring that charging systems for these operate safely and reliably is central to wider EV adoption. This rests to a significant extent on IEC International Standards for EV conductive charging systems.  A new edition of the general requirements for these has just been published. It is a complete overhaul and much expanded version of the previous edition.

Issue 03/2017

Energy harvest ‘feeds’ road vehicles

New routes to cutting fuel consumption

Recovering energy can offer attractive solutions for providing additional power to motor vehicles at the same time as cutting their fuel consumption and emissions. They rely on a number of systems that recover thermal, kinetic, or other forms of energy (such as solar) that would either be lost or not used in vehicles. 

Issue 02/2017

Safety Standards for sealed batteries for portable use

Two new IEC Standards cover a crucial aspect of secondary batteries: safety

As the range and demands placed by portable electrical and electronic applications expand rapidly, IEC International Standards for portable sealed secondary batteries are being regularly reviewed. Two International Standards that focus on a key aspect of secondary sealed batteries, safety, have been published. 

Issue 02/2017

Robots pick up the challenge of home care needs

Growing number of dedicated robots for the care sector to cover multiple tasks for carers and patients

The demands posed by a rapidly ageing global population are leading manufacturers of robots to develop technology for providing care and rehabilitation for elderly and impaired people in their own homes. 

2016
Issue 08/2016

Covering countless safety requirements for SMPS

The second edition of a Standard will improve the safety of a myriad of systems

Low-voltage switch mode power supplies (SMPS) can be found in innumerable applications in IT equipment, vehicles, battery chargers, etc. A second edition of IEC 61204-7, an International Standard addressing safety requirements for SMPS was recently published. This Standard is also available as an Extended version (EXV).

Issue 08/2016

What makes energy smart?

Energy-efficient technological advances will benefit everyone

Energy in itself is not smart. What makes it smart then? The numerous technological advances that allow companies and household to use energy more efficiently.

Issue 06/2016

Electricity drives global move towards greener transport

As populations continue to grow, authorities must find ways to make transport greener and more efficient so that people leave their cars at home

City traffic is increasingly congested and air quality often poor. However, transport systems which rely on full electric power, such as the metro, trams and railway lines, can transport huge numbers of people without causing pollution at the point of use. However, their infrastructure is very costly to build and if a route change is required, this will not be possible outside of the existing rail tracks.

Issue 06/2016

Innovative technology cleans up transport on land and at sea

Driverless vehicles – soon a reality or just a dream?

Authorities worldwide face the challenge of ensuring improved road safety and providing efficient transport systems to address congested roads and pollution in growing cities. They are also tasked with providing large aging populations and people with disabilities greater mobility.

Issue 06/2016

Technology is revolutionizing the way we deliver healthcare

Medical wearables offer a more tailored healthcare and improve the lives of people of all ages

We are more mobile today than ever before and expect to be able to carry out many daily activities outside the home or office. Having embraced the era of information overload, we want access to whatever information we need anytime and anywhere.

Issue 05/2016

Weaving technology into smart textiles

From sportswear, space suits, military attire to life jackets, cutting-edge technology combined with textiles offers wearers more than just clothing

Imagine swiping your car seat to change the radio station or heating temperature? How about a uniform which can detect chemical contamination, a tent which generates electricity or a lamp shade which reacts to light and temperature?

Issue 05/2016

Our battery-powered world

International Standards and testing help keep batteries safe and reliable

Many items we use on a daily basis require battery power, such as tablets, laptops, medical devices, toothbrushes, gaming hardware or power tools.  They enable our ever-increasing mobility - batteries power e-bikes, the starter, lights, and ignition systems of electric and fuel powered vehicle engines, and they start the engines or auxiliary power units of planes.

Issue 05/2016

More EMC Standards published as Redline Versions

Latest editions of two International Standards for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) published.

Two important International Standards for EMC have been published as Redline Versions (RLVs) also. Both are generic immunity Standards, one for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments, the second for industrial environments. These Standards and their RLV versions are also third editions that replace the previous ones published in 2005. 

Issue 05/2016

Enter the new sports world

Experience the action from within through virtual reality and enhanced 360 VR with augmented graphics

Wish you could get tickets to the Olympics, World Cup or Super Bowl and experience the live atmosphere just once? A new trend is sweeping the sports world that is already allowing fans to feel as if they were at the game without leaving the couch. From football, tennis and F1 racing, to basketball, golf, hockey and more, spectators can watch games literally from new angles.

Issue 03/2016

Fun with chemistry

Batteries enter new phase

Battery technology has always evolved to meet consumer demand and today a host of new markets are opening up for energy storage applications. Electric vehicles and increasing renewable energy capacity are among the key drivers prompting research into a range of different chemical families. The goal is the development of low-cost, long-life, energy-dense and high-power batteries that can energize our future low-carbon world. 

Issue 03/2016

Going the last mile with robots

Significant changes ahead in retail markets and delivery services

From robots delivering small packages in cities, to driverless trucks transporting bulk loads over long distances, advances in robotic delivery in the next decade will lead to significant changes in retail markets, the freight haulage industry and transport in general.

Issue 03/2016

TC work underpins mobile and stationary energy storage

Batteries are driving growth in mobile devices, e-mobility and stationary energy storage

In recent years consumers have benefited from the introduction of countless mobile and wearable IT and consumer electronics (CE) devices and systems. Meanwhile, public and individual means of transportation everywhere are increasingly relying on electric drives and storage for part or all of their propulsion systems. Large stationary energy storage is another area where batteries are playing a growing role. Standardization work by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 21: Secondary cells and batteries, is central to future advances in all energy storage domains.

Issue 03/2016

The greening of urban transport

The electrification of urban transport is driven by environmental concerns

Increasing traffic congestion and escalating air pollution are leading to schemes for cutting the number of individual passenger cars in cities and encouraging the wider use of public transport around the world. Most bus fleets, which make up the bulk of urban transport connections, are still powered by internal combustion engines. The goal of many cities is to electrify their bus fleets fully. It will be a gradual move, tied to the introduction of intermediate solutions such as hybrid drives, before it can be achieved fully. 

Issue 03/2016

Going all electric soon?

The electrification of urban transport is underway

Growing concern about the adverse impact of noxious emissions from internal combustion engines is driving the electrification of public means of urban transportation on roads and, increasingly, on water too. 

Issue 03/2016

Powering devices and equipment

Very strict constraints for batteries, their containers and battery-powered devices in Ex areas

Batteries come in all forms and shapes and are probably the most common and widespread means of energy storage. From the AA or AAA type you buy at your local supermarket to the highly-sophisticated new generation of batteries used in smart portable devices, there are millions of products on offer. Not to forget electric vehicles (EVs). To increase their capacity and minimize their size, the batteries that power them are the focus of intense research and development throughout the world.

Issue 02/2016

Upcoming global events

Events around EMC and batteries

The IEC regularly supports key global and regional industry events, which can present the IEC endorsement on their website and materials.

Issue 02/2016

How tiny technology is reshaping healthcare

Nanotechnology in medical wearables and implants is revolutionizing the way medical conditions are monitored, diagnosed and treated

Imagine contact lenses which proactively monitor the blood glucose levels of your tears and transfer that information to a doctor’s mobile device, or an intelligent management system for asthma, lower back issues or a smart health patch which keeps tabs on a patient’s vitals? Some of these devices are being developed, while some are already in use.

2015
Issue 09/2015

EVs for kids reflect motoring industry trends

Like many other toys, children's ride-on replica vehicles have adopted electrical systems and propulsion for the greater enjoyment of their users

Battery powered (electric) ride-on toys, whether intended for use indoors or outdoors, offer children the experience of driving and controlling motor vehicles which are tailored to their size and capabilities. These toys depend on many IEC International Standards to ensure they are as safe and reliable as possible for use by children.

Issue 07/2015

Convenience and safety behind global power tool boom

Amateurs and professionals are benefitting from improved electric tools

In an age of innovation and constant technological evolution, a wide variety of affordable, easy-to-use power tools allow many people to maintain their homes and gardens themselves rather than calling in a professional. At the same time, professionals are also making the most of the improved and new electric tools.

Issue 03/2015

How to accelerate EV adoption

Certification to boost buyer confidence in EV range and technologies

Although many automotive manufacturers have added EVs (electric vehicles) to their product lines in recent years, they remain very much a niche market, albeit one that is dynamic and developing steadily. And while potential buyers may still be somewhat concerned by the short range and long charges generally associated with EVs nowadays, industry is striving to come up with innovative solutions to remedy these problems.

2014
Issue 05/2014

Global safety and security

IECEx helps minimize risks in the Ex sector

Batteries are probably the most common and widespread means of energy storage. From the AA or AAA type you buy at your local supermarket to the highly sophisticated new generation of batteries used in EVs (electric vehicles) or by utilities, there are millions of products on offer.

2013
Issue 03/2013

Supporting EV development

IECEE certification key to EV technologies

Although many automotive manufacturers have added EVs (electric vehicles) to their product lines in recent years, they remain very much a niche market, albeit one that is dynamic and developing steadily. And while potential buyers may still be somewhat concerned by the short range and long charges generally associated with EVs nowadays, industry is striving to come up with innovative solutions to remedy these problems.

2011
Issue 08/2011

Safe batteries

Harmonization of safety requirements for batteries is underway

Batteries are used in numerous devices and their safety determines the lifespan and faultless operation of countless products. With converging technologies and the advent of horizontal standards comes the need to regularly review, compare and update the standards that define safety requirements in order to ensure that testing and conformity assessment processes are coordinated. This is what is currently happening for the standards issued by IEC TC 108 and IEC SC 21A.

Issue 03/2011

Keep the engine running

Safety and performance of batteries certified by IECEE

As EVs (electric vehicles) make their comeback — they were first seen in the 1900s and then briefly in the 1970s — much of the focus is on batteries, their main power source. Fuel-powered and hybrid cars, trucks, buses, locomotives and aircraft also rely on batteries to start their engine or, in some cases, the APU (auxiliary power unit).

Issue 03/2011

EV propulsion

Performance and reliability testing

At the end of March 2011, the United States President Obama announced new energy security initiatives for making the US more independent of oil. In addition to expanding cleaner sources of electricity, his energy plan contained four major areas for development, one of which was for advanced vehicles.