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Understanding Certifications that Apply to Power Distribution Units
At the most basic level, a power distribution unit (PDU) performs one essential function: It brings power from a branch circuit to IT equipment in the data center. Some PDUs provide advanced features, such as input or outlet metering and outlet switching, that enable remote monitoring and management. However, the PDU itself is simply a large power strip that mounts inside a rack or cabinet.
As an electrical device, a PDU must meet certain health, safety, and environmental requirements. Various government agencies, labs, and industry associations worldwide require that electrical products be tested for conformance with their standards. When purchasing PDUs, it’s important to verify that they meet the minimum requirements for your region.
UL Listed Mark
One of the most familiar designations for electrical products is UL Listed. It signifies that the product meets the published safety standards of the organization formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories. UL standards are accredited by the American National Standards Institute and the Standards Council of Canada.
To gain UL certification, a product must be tested — either by UL or by the manufacturer following UL guidelines — to ensure that it is reasonably free from risk of fire, electric shock, and other hazards under normal use. Products don’t have to be UL Listed, but all reputable manufacturers submit their products for testing and certification.
The European counterpart of UL Listed is the Conformité Européenne (CE) mark. Electronic devices cannot be sold in the European Union (EU) unless they meet CE standards for consumer and workplace safety. Most manufacturers self-certify their products rather than submitting them to an independent testing lab.
Generally, PDUs must also conform to the standards of the EU low-voltage directive (LVD). It covers electronic equipment with an input or output voltage of 50V to 1000V alternating current or 75V to 1500V direct current.
IEC CB Scheme
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) established the Certification Body (CB) scheme as a global standard for the safety of electronic equipment. Each national certification body that has signed onto the scheme recognizes the testing used by the others, allowing manufacturers to achieve certification across multiple countries in one go. This reduces costs, delays, and trade barriers and provides buyers with the confidence of an internationally recognized standard.
PDUs should conform to the IEC 60950-1 and IEC 62368-1 standards. IEC 62368-1, which became compulsory on Dec. 20, 2020, is designed to replace IEC 60950-1, which applies to IT and communications equipment, and IEC 60065-1, which applies to audio-visual equipment. In addition to providing an overarching standard applicable to both classes of equipment, the new standard emphasizes the evaluation of product safety during design.
PDUs should comply with limits for Class A devices under part 15 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Class A digital devices are those intended for business or industrial environments. Generally, any device that can oscillate higher than 9kHz must obtain FCC certification to show that its electromagnetic emissions do not interfere with other devices or create a risk to the public.
The United Kingdom Conformity Assessed mark went into effect on Jan. 31, 2020, upon Britain’s exit from the EU. It generally follows the same scheme as the CE mark, although that may change. It is expected to become mandatory at the end of the Brexit transition period.
The UKCA mark applies only to products marketed in Great Britain. Northern Ireland continues to recognize the CE mark.
High-Quality PDUs from Enconnex
Enconnex PDUs meet or exceed all applicable standards and have been certified for use in countries worldwide. With Enconnex, you have a one-stop source for your global data center infrastructure needs. Contact one of our power specialists to discuss your PDU requirements.
Posted by Enconnex Team on June 1, 2021
Tags: Power Distribution Unit