Current Events in Standards

August 2015
Standard Update

As of this past May, the IEC and IEEE High Voltage Surge Arrester Committees have initiated a Harmonization Task force. We will be meeting 2 times per year for the next few years with the goal of harmonizing C62.11 and IEC 60099-4. At the present time there are several sections that were written with harmonization in mind and it has worked quite well. There are about 5 or more sections in the design tests that can be unified and harmonized. Our first tasks are to identify these sections and start the process of making them as similar as possible if not identical. More info in early November on how it is going.

December 2014
New IEC Arrester Standard Published This Year

   60099-4 Ed. 3.0 - 2014: Surge arresters - Part 4:
   Metal-oxide surge arresters without gaps for a.c. systems

A new concept of arrester classification and energy withstand testing is introduced: the line discharge classification is replaced by a classification based on repetitive charge transfer rating Qrs, thermal energy rating Wth and thermal charge transfer rating Qth, respectively. The new concept clearly differentiates between impulse and thermal energy handling capability, which is reflected in the test procedures and minimum pass criteria.

The Definitions of these ratings are as follows:

  • Thermal Energy Rating, Wth: The energy, given in kJ/kV of Ur, which may be dissipated by an arrester or arrester section in a thermal recovery test without causing a thermal runaway.

  • Repetitive Charge Transfer Rating, Qrs: The charge, given in coulombs (C) in the form of a single event that can be transferred at least 20 times ( at time intervals that allow for cooling to ambient temperature ) through an arrester without causing mechanical failure or unacceptable electrical degradation to the MO resistors.

  • Thermal Charge Transfer Rating, Qth: The charge, given in coulombs (C) that may be transferred through an arrester or arrester section in a thermal recovery test without causing a thermal runaway.

  • As shown in the table below, Station Class arresters will have a Qrs and Wth rating. Distribution arresters will have a Qrs and Qth rating.

    Surge Arrester Distribution Table

    The newest version of the publication can be purchased at the IEC Web Store.

    October 2014
    IEC MT4 and MT10 Fall Meeting attended
            by delegates from 7 Countries

    IEC MT4 and MT10 Fall Meeting attended
            by delegates from 7 Countries

    This year's fall IEC MT4 and MT10 meetings were held in Niagara Falls Canada. Eighteen maintenance team members travelled from around the world to attend the meetings.

    The focus of the meets were on the next editions of IEC 60099-4, 60099-5, 60099-6 and 60099-8. All standards will be published in the next 3 years. A Technical Report that will likely have the Designation 60099-10 is also in the works and will contain all the rationale of required tests. This will be a first for the IEC and should add significant value to our work.

    A special thanks to this years sponsors:
        Eaton's Cooper Power Systems
        Hubble Power Systems

    IEEE SPDC Fall Meeting held in Clearwater, Florida

    In 2012 the last edition of IEEE C62.11 was published. One of the main objective of the meetings in Clearwater was to work on the next edition. The new release will include new sections related to transmission line arresters as well as streamlined sections related to all other arresters. Target publication is 2018

    January 2012
    Hinrichsen Named Chairman of IEC TC 37

    Volker Hinrichsen Professor Volker Hinrichsen has been elected as the Chairman of TC37 the Arrester Technical Committee of the IEC. Prof Hinrichsen replaces Michele De Nigris who has fulfilled that function since 1990. Prof. Hinrichsen started participating in IEC standards in 1992 and has been co-convenor of IEC TC37 MT4 since 2002 where he has repeatedly demonstrated excellent leadership.

    After graduating from TU Berlin in 1982 he worked at Siemens Berlin in the Arrester Division and by 2001 he was Director of Research and Development. In 2001 he was named Full Professor of Electrical Engineering at Darmstadt TU in charge of the High Voltage Lab. For the past 10 years he has lead fundamental research on many products, including Energy Handling tests of MOV disks that have lead to the latest changes in both IEC and IEEE Energy Handling tests.

    Fast Take On Changes Coming in IEC 60099-4 and IEEE C62.11 in 2012

    Energy Handling
    After a great deal of work for the past 4 or so years, both IEC and IEEE standards groups are close to a set realistic tests that can be used to assess the energy handling capability of surge arresters. Up until this set of tests, there have been no tests in the standards that could be used to consistently assess the energy handling capability of arresters nor was there any way to compare one arrester with another. These tests resolve both of these problems. To accomplish this act, energy handling needed to be divided into two parts.

    Surge Withstand Capability
    The first test evaluates the ability of the arrester to withstand the stresses involved in a high energy surge event. In the real world, lightning as well as many surges are actually a close series of surges. This test subjects the arrester to a series of 2-4 surges that stress the current carrying capacity of the arrester. The energy of the surge, or the charge transferred during the surge are measured. The 90% of highest surge that the sample withstands without damage becomes the surge withstand rating of the arrester. For this test, it was determined that an alternate means of energy handling rating was necessary because kJ/kV is not always the best way to asses this characteristic. A charge transfer rating has been selected as an alternate means of quantifying this characteristic. The unit measure for this rating is coulomb.

    Thermal Withstand Capability
    This second energy handling rating measures the maximum energy for low current surge events that may stress the arresters for many cycles. During these events, the arrester temperature rises and can reach a level that leaves it so hot after the event that with 50 or 60 hz power still applied, it cannot cool down and recover. This test measures the maximum quantity of energy that an arrester can dissipate and still recover after the event. This energy rating is best quantified in kilo-joules.

    Test Rationales
    In the next edition of IEEE C62.11, an annex will be added that offers the rationale for all tests in the standard one by one. This section will give future generations of standards writers an idea as to why the tests were developed and what problems they helped solve. It will also give the novice in testing a better understanding of what may be difficult to understand in the test specification. In all, the entire working group has offered input on this annex and all are very pleased with the value it added to the standard.

    Start Temperature Determination
    For many years, in both IEEE and IEC test standards, several of the required tests also required that the test be started at 60C. (ODC and TOV for example) For higher rated multi unit arresters taller than 1 meter, this has not been realistic. Coming in the next edition of 60099-4 will be a complex, but realistic means of determining the temperature at which the Thermal Energy Tests and TOV tests will be started.

    If you have any questions or comments, please email me at

    Posted December 12, 2010

    IEC 60099-4-am2 Ed. 2.0 Bilingual

    Feb 26, 2009

    The IEC has published a new edition of 60099-4. An overview of the additions and deletions in this document are covered in detail in ArresterFacts 007 Understanding New IEC Mechanical Requirements.

    This new edition covers new mechanical test requirements for polymer and porcelain housed arresters.

    The new edition can be purchased at here

    C62.11a Published

    Last month the IEEE standards department published C62.11a, an amendment to C62.11. This new amendment now specifies a short circuit test for all arresters. It has been years in the making. What makes this amendment so unique is that it is virtually identical to the test procedure published in IEC 60099-4 in 2006. This is a first for arrester standards harmonization. Though it will be many years before the both standards are virtually the same, this is a first step.

    Overview of the amendment can be found here.

    Mechanical Considerations for Arresters

    March 28, 2008

    This CDV is a substantial change over previous mechanical considerations and needs review by all stakeholders in arresters applied in the IEC markets.

    IEC 60099-5 1998
    Surge Arresters: Part 5 Selection and application recommendations

    March 26, 2008

    Maintenance Team 10 of TC37 Met on March 25th and 26th. The new convenor Bengt Johnnerfelt (ABB) is leading the effort to have a new edition available for publication in 2010. The significantly enhanced edition will include new material that covers the application of gapped arresters both internal and external. This application guide covers arresters tested under 60099-4, 60099-6, and the upcoming 60099-8. The first CD for this edition is planned distribution to the National Committees in June of 2008.

    IEEE SPD Spring Meeting Schedule Announced

    March 11, 2008

    The spring meeting of the IEEE Surge Protective Devices Committee will be held May 12-15 in Clearwater Florida. The meeting specifics can be found here. The daily schedule will be published soon.

    IEC 60099-8:
    Surge arresters - Part 8: Metal-oxide surge arresters with external series gap (EGLA) for overhead transmission and distribution lines of a.c. systems above 1 kV

    Feb 29, 2008

    37/346/CD, which is CD2 of this document, was circulated to the national committees on Feb. 29, 2008. The closing date is May 30, but all National committees are being asked to submit comments by May 16th.

    IEEE 1410 D1
    Draft Guide for Improving the Lightning Performance of Electric Power Overhead Distribution Lines

    Jan 4, 2008

    Working Group Chair John McDaniel (National Grid) has distributed a the first draft of the next edition of this standard for comments. He asks that they are returned to him as soon as possible. I am a member of this working group so if anyone would like to discuss this with me, let me know via email at

    IEC 60099-4 Ed 2.1 10-2006
    Surge arresters - Part 4: Metal-oxide surge arresters without gaps for a.c. systems

    Dec 14, 2007

    37/345/CDV Mechanical Considerations for Arresters
    Maintenance Team 4 of IEC Technical Committee 37 has just distributed its first CDV regarding new mechanical considerations for surge arresters relating to 60099-4. This is a substantial change in the standard with regard to mechanical requirements of arresters of these types. The MT Convenor Volker Hinrichsen has requested that the comments and votes be received by May 1st so that the May 25th meeting can be used to finalize this change to the standard and issue the FDIS.