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Printed Electronics as a manufacturing method has become established in a number of areas across the electrotechnical world. The connections that are made are emerging as particularly significant in the new generation of wearable electronic devices. Although some wearable applications can be realized using wholly conventional rigid electronics, many will require some element of flexibility. Standardization work by a number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and subcommittees (SCs) is central to this development.
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.
There are a number of technologies supporting the development and further implementation of photovoltaic (PV) devices. International Standards developed by several IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) in the barrier layer assemblies and printed electronics domains underpin this implementation.
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.
There is a rapidly increasing range of applications using energy harvesting (EH), the process of collecting low-grade energy from sources such as ambient or waste heat, solar, thermal and kinetic energy and converting it into electrical energy. The increase is driven by the need to enable an ever expanding range of sensors to run and communicate independent of an external power source and by the need to meet the power requirements of a wide variety of mobile and wearable devices. It is seen as one of the main techniques that will allow the Internet of Things (IoT) to develop.
As the pace of technological development accelerates, there is increasing pressure to reduce the time required to produce international standards, as well as to start the standardization process at the earliest possible opportunity.
Hundreds of millions living in rural areas in developing countries are without access to electricity, a prerequisite to human and economic development. Off-grid renewable energies offer an attractive solution for these people. The IEC has issued a series of publications for small renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification, which is available at a discounted price in a joint initiative with the World Bank Group and the United Nations Foundation.
Together with wind and marine resources, energy generation from PV (photovoltaic) systems is a relatively recent source of renewable energy. It has been expanding dramatically in recent years and is set to provide a growing share of the future global energy mix. IEC TC (Technical Committee) 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems, prepares International Standards that play a central role in the development of PV technology and that contribute to cost reduction and innovation and to safer, better and more efficient PV systems.
Electrification is one of the key drivers facilitating economic and socio-cultural development. However rural areas in developing countries can sometimes be too remote to connect to the main grid – in these circumstances renewable energy off-grid applications provide the most suitable energy solution.
IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Testing and Certification for Electro-technical Equipment and Components, is a truly international conformity assessment system. The IECEE CB Scheme opens up access to the global market, while the IECEE CB-FCS (Full Certification Scheme) takes testing and certification a step further with a complete factory inspection process. IECEE is also the exclusive provider of the PV (photovoltaic) Quality Seal and Quality Mark. Technological innovations and environmental issues have prompted the setting up of additional services to meet specific demands from industry and governments worldwide.