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On the one hand, energy efficiency is a new way of life that requires behavioural changes on the consumer’s part. On the other, the pressure is on the manufacturers of electrical equipment and devices to produce goods that consume as little energy as possible.
The decreasing cost of electronic devices and growing access to mobile technology and wireless networks are driving the expansion of the digital economy. Integrating biosensors into this mix could bring great benefits for medical care and for increasing safety in hazardous environments. IEC standardization work will have an important role to play in these developments.
On 30 and 31 March 2016, the first International Conference on Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) took place in Beijing, China. The event was initiated by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Edison Institute and Caring for Climate (C4C), and co-organized among others with the IEC. Dr Shu, IEC Vice President and President of SGCC, and Frans Vreeswijk, IEC General Secretary & CEO, both presented how such a vision can be brought to reality, to an audience of more than 500 people.
Electric propulsion has been used on waterways since the 1880s, where it is primarily installed in small boats transporting a limited number of passengers on rivers or lakes. Outperformed on water and on land in the early 20th century by more efficient internal combustion engines with their longer range, electric propulsion is now making a comeback on waterways. A number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) develop International Standards that provide essential support for this renewal.
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.
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.
The wider introduction of electric vehicles is seen as a major move in cutting emissions of harmful substances and dependence on fossil fuels. Going a step further, some transport sector analysts forecast that a new generation of vehicles relying on the on-board conversion of harvested energy, rather than on self-contained power sources, will have a significant impact on the future of transport. Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx, a market research and business intelligence company, shared with e-tech details of some of the current developments in this area.
Global authorities and industry agree that policy, regulations and International Standards must be established urgently so as to allow fully driverless vehicles and instil consumer confidence in them
Authorities around the world are under increasing pressure to provide transport networks which are safe, efficient and durable. Two of the biggest challenges faced are road safety and congestion, as well as managing the pollution that results from the latter. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global status report on road safety 2015 cites 1,25 million road deaths per year worldwide.
One of the most innovative transportation developments today is Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology. According to U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), CAV is defined as “operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking; and designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.”
We don’t think twice about using lights at home during the day or after dark. We have also got used to charging our smart phones wherever we are – at the airport, on a train or in the office – so that we can make online purchases, read the news, send messages, do banking or make a call. When we forget our phones or there is a blackout for an hour and we can’t watch television, use the computer or boil the kettle, we find it very annoying, but imagine if this were the norm.
World energy consumption is expected to grow by 37% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) energy markets forecast, which assumes the continuation of existing policies and measures and their implementation.
Continuing global growth in the on-line sector and so-called cloud services means a comparable and significant increase in the power use associated with those services. Major internet-based businesses such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are pushing for more dedicated renewable energy to meet their specific needs, but systems efficiency can also make a major contribution to curbing energy use. Emerging standards have a key role to play.
Over the last five years, the cost of renewable power generation technologies has dropped while the technology has improved. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Information is gathered and decision making occurs at substation level in Smart Grids. The electricity-dispatching control centre deals with the strategic management of grid intelligence, while automated management handles transmission and distribution. An intelligent substation reports electricity consumption, switchboard operation, information gathering, and station decision making back to the electricity dispatching control centre. Generally, substations are unattended and rely on supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) for remote supervision and control.
During the United Nations Climate Convention – 2015 Paris COP 21, it was recognized that renewable energy (RE) is a key part of the answer to achieving sustainable development and reducing the impact of climate change. Global electricity networks must adapt and include RE technologies.
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.
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.
IEC work impacts all aspects of life. Electricity and electronics are the cornerstone for all economies in developing and developed countries. IEC International Standards together with IEC Conformity Assessment Systems support 12 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In an increasingly connected world, instances of cyberattacks targeting objects, systems, institutions and infrastructure are growing exponentially. The sophistication, severity and impact of these attacks vary greatly according to the targets but can have catastrophic consequences if critical systems are affected. Various IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs), and SCs of ISO/IEC JTC 1, the Joint Technical Committee set up by the IEC and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develop International Standards to protect against these attacks.
Renewable Energy (RE) plays an increasingly important role in providing global populations with clean, affordable, sustainable energy. RE production and use continues to increase thanks to the falling cost of equipment and installation.
It has been a busy year for Systems Evaluation Group (SEG) 4: Low Voltage Direct Current (LVDC) Applications, Distribution and Safety for use in Developed and Developing Economies. During the IEC 2016 General Meeting (GM) in Frankfurt, SEG 4 Convenor, Vimal Mahendru, presented a final report to the Standardization Management Board (SMB). The SMB voted in favour of the proposal to set up a Systems Committee (SyC) for LVDC and LVDC for electricity access.
In hundreds of smart city projects around the world, governments, municipalities and private stakeholders are investing in smart grids, open data platforms and networked transport systems to meet the challenges of environmental sustainability, population growth and urbanization.
The past year may not have seen significant breakthroughs in the tech world but 2017 is promising some interesting technological developments.
Achieving better Electrical Energy Efficiency (EEE) is a very broad task that extends well beyond the more efficient transformation of primary energy, chiefly fossil fuels, into electrical energy. It must be introduced in energy-intensive sectors like industry and buildings. Standardization work by numerous IEC Technical Committees (TCs) is central to this broader objective.
Energy, and especially electricity, is the golden thread that impacts the majority of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and furthermore, the development of every nation and economy. The UN recognizes electricity access as a key pillar for economic development because it helps to reduce poverty and hunger, improves educational opportunities and enables higher quality healthcare.
Protecting energy security and critical energy infrastructure against cyber attacks is fast emerging as an absolute priority. In mid-February, the EnergyPact Foundation organized an international conference in Vienna on cyber security aimed at protecting such infrastructure. Eyal Adar, an expert on cyber security, outlined the extent of IEC standardization and Conformity Assessment (CA) activities in the domain, giving details of the areas to which they apply.
Machine vision has a great future in transportation, particularly as we move towards autonomous vehicles. Dealing with standardization in this area will require joint work between different Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs).
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.
Imagine someone who hasn’t driven a car in the past 30 years. Taking the wheel of a modern car today, this person would probably be lost trying to figure out all the electronics inside. Voice command, self-driving cars, and even GPS navigation were still sci-fi ideas in the 1980s…
The lighting sector is experiencing a deep transformation across the world as new energy-efficient lighting technologies that first appeared a few years ago gain wide adoption. They are being adopted throughout the world as countries seek to control their energy consumption. IEC Technical Committee (TC) 34: Lamps and related equipment, and its Subcommittees (SCs), develop International Standards for electric light sources including energy-efficient lighting solutions.
As the use of Smart Grids escalates around the world, the IEC is busy updating some of its most requested International Standards. Technical Committee (TC) 57: Power systems management and associated information exchange, is working on the IEC 61850 series of Standards.
Critical infrastructure systems are being increasingly targeted by sophisticated cyber attacks. A session of the annual Future Networked Car symposium, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on the fringe of the Geneva Motor Show, looked at measures aimed at Mitigating cyber security threats to automotive systems. A wide range of speakers took part, including government representatives, car and accessory manufacturers, automotive cyber security solutions developers and providers.
Automotive giants and telecoms outfits must work together to make way for the connected car but they have opposing views of how it should come about. One of the friction points is cyber security. The IEC is working with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on standards addressing this issue.
Fingerprint, palm, iris, voice, facial and gesture recognition will aid advances in driver-assistance systems and vehicle security. Incorporating cloud analytics will generate useful information and allow notifications to be sent during emergencies.
In the next decade, cars will be well on the way to, or have reached the goal of becoming fully self-driving. As the industry continues to develop new levels of autonomous vehicles, the whole notion of personal transport is being turned on its head.
Want a weather update, real-time air pollution status, or are you just trying to find that elusive parking space? It’s simple…ask the lamppost!
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.
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.