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Conducted Emissions Testing

Conducted Emissions Testing

Conducted emissions are the unintentional release of electromagnetic energy through power lines, data lines, or other conductive paths in an electronic device. These emissions can interfere with other devices connected to the same network or power supply, resulting in performance issues or malfunctions. Conducted emissions testing aims to ensure that electronic devices meet specific regulatory limits on the amount of electromagnetic energy they can conduct through these paths.

Standards and Regulations for Conducted Emissions Testing

Conducted emissions testing standards vary depending on the region and product category.

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates conducted emissions under Part 15 and Part 18 of the FCC rules.

In Europe, the European Union (EU) has the EMC Directive (2014/30/EU), which sets limits for conducted emissions based on harmonized standards like EN 55032 and EN 55011.

In Canada, conducted emissions testing falls under the purview of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada, which requires compliance with standards such as ICES-003.

History of Conducted Emissions Standards

Like radiated emissions standards, conducted emissions standards have evolved to address the increasing complexity of electromagnetic environments and ensure the reliable operation of devices across various industries. Early regulations focused on preventing interference in power lines and communication systems, while modern standards encompass a broader range of devices and applications.

Types of Conducted Emissions

Conducted emissions can be categorized into two main types: common-mode and differential-mode emissions. Common-mode emissions occur when the same current flows through both conductors of a pair, while differential-mode emissions occur when the current flows in opposite directions through the conductors. Different measurement techniques and mitigation strategies are employed to address each type of emission.

Applications of Conducted Emissions Testing

Conducted emissions testing is applicable across various industries, including consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace, telecommunications, medical devices, and industrial equipment. By complying with conducted emissions standards, manufacturers can ensure that their products do not cause interference with other devices connected to the same network or power supply, ensuring reliable operation and coexistence in their respective environments.

Equipment Required for Conducted Emissions Testing

Key equipment used for conducted emissions testing includes a line impedance stabilization network (LISN), spectrum analyzers, and signal generators. The LISN provides a consistent impedance for the device under test (DUT), allowing for accurate measurement of conducted emissions. Spectrum analyzers and signal generators help determine the frequency range and intensity of the emissions.

Testing Process for Conducted Emissions

  1. Set up the DUT and test equipment, connecting the power or data lines to the LISN.
  2. Configure the DUT to operate in its various modes and functions.
  3. Use the spectrum analyzer to scan for emissions within the required frequency range.
  4. Compare the measured emissions with the regulatory limits to determine compliance.
  5. If the DUT fails the test, identify the root cause and implement design changes or mitigation techniques to reduce emissions to acceptable levels.

Common Sources of Failures

Conducted emissions testing failures can occur for several reasons, including improper filtering, inadequate grounding, or incorrect component selection. Design flaws and layout issues can also contribute to emissions exceeding regulatory limits. Identifying and addressing these issues early in the product development process can help prevent costly redesigns and delays in bringing the product to market.

Conducted Emissions Mitigation Techniques

Several design and engineering techniques can help reduce conducted emissions. These include

  1. Proper filtering: Implementing appropriate filters on power and data lines can help suppress noise and reduce conducted emissions.
  2. Grounding: Establishing good grounding practices can minimize EMI by providing a low-impedance path for return currents.
  3. Component selection: Choosing components with lower emissions or more robust EMC performance can help reduce overall conducted emissions.
  4. Layout optimization: Paying careful attention to PCB layout, including minimizing trace lengths, avoiding loops, and separating noisy and sensitive areas, can help minimize EMI.

Industry Best Practices for Conducted Emissions Testing

Following best practices for conducted emissions testing can improve test accuracy and repeatability

  1. Ensure that the test setup accurately represents the intended real-world operating environment.
  2. Calibrate test equipment regularly to maintain accuracy and reliability.
  3. Perform pre-compliance testing during product development to identify potential issues early on.
  4. Document test procedures and results to help troubleshoot any failures and facilitate improvements in future designs.

Real-life Example of Conducted Emissions Testing

A medical device manufacturer was developing a new life-support system for hospitals. During the testing phase, they discovered that the device was not meeting the required conducted emissions standards, which could lead to interference with other critical equipment in the hospital environment.

By conducting conducted emissions testing and identifying the root cause of the problem, ABC Medical was able to implement design changes that reduced the conducted emissions to an acceptable level, enabling their life-support system to pass certification and enter the market. This example highlights the importance of conducted emissions testing in ensuring that products meet EMC requirements and can perform reliably without causing EMI.

Conducted Emissions Testing Experts

Keystone Compliance is your go-to partner for expert assistance with conducted emissions testing. Our ISO-17025 accredited laboratory is equipped with advanced facilities and staffed by a team of seasoned professionals, providing you with accurate and dependable testing results. Our expertise in EMC testing, including conducted emissions, is complemented by our wide array of additional testing services, such as package and environmental testing.

At Keystone Compliance, we are dedicated to helping you overcome testing challenges and ensuring your products comply with the necessary standards. Our unparalleled troubleshooting and research and development support make us an essential ally in your product development journey.

To explore the ways Keystone Compliance can support your conducted emissions testing needs, check out our website at or contact us at (724) 657-9940. Our team of well-versed professionals stands ready to help you navigate the complexities of conducted emissions testing and ensure the successful compliance of your products.


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