Are you prepared for AS/NZS 61439 switchboard standards?

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What is AS/NZS 61439?

AS/NZS 61439 is a series of standards for low voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies which is driven from the International IEC version but with specific notes relating to Australian and New Zealand. The 61439 series helps address the need for portability between Australia and international suppliers.

When do I have to comply?

The AS/NZS 61439 superseded the AS/NZS 3439 series in 2016 with a 5-year transition period that expires in May 2021. Up until May 2021, you could build to either standard. With the release of AS/NZS 3000 amendment 2 – also known as “The wiring rules” - it mandates the use of AS/NZS 61439 series for switchboard assemblies.

How can I make sure we're compliant?

NHP’s Cubic Modular switchboard systems and Concept Panelboards will ensure you are compliant with the new standards.

Cubic Modular switchboard systems

CUBIC possess a deep knowledge of the new IEC 61439 standard thanks to its representation on the IEC committee as the only switchboard company independent from a switchgear brand. NHP was able to draw on this experience with local testing for the NHP Concept Panelboard range.

The 61439 series of standards requires that the assembly design is verified. Verification covers 2 main aspects:

1. Routine Verification– this ensures that the assembly has been constructed correctly and checked before despatch. (e.g., checking electrical connections)

2. Design Verification– this ensures that the design meets the relevant requirements of the standard that the assembly has been specified or manufacture to. This can be one of 3 methods.

  • Verification by test - the assembly is designed and assembled in the same configuration as the test assembly.
  • Verification by comparison - the assembly is designed in a similar but different configuration to a tested configuration, where the (tested) reference designs are more onerous than the assembly being verified.
  • Verification by assessment - this requires the correct application of design rules and calculations, including use of appropriate safety margins.

There are more than 13 characteristics that the assembly must be verified to which is shown in Annex D Table D.1 in Part 1 or Clause 10 in Part 3 of the 61439 series. Each characteristic should have a supporting test report to confirm verification. Examples of some of the characteristics include clearances, temperature rise, short circuit withstand, degree of protection (IP rating) and mechanical operations.

CUBIC system and testing

All CUBIC AS/NZS 61439 testing has been independently conducted by DEKRA Laboratories for non-biased verification.

The NHP CUBIC Modular System is based on the concept of efficiently using standard parts to construct a tailored switchboard to achieve your individual project requirements. The system is independently tested for verification to IEC 61439 and hence all documentation is directly applicable to AS/NZS 61439 ‘Original Manufacturer’ verification requirements, without the need for expensive local testing.

NHP train, accredit and technically support all CUBIC assembly manufacturing partners though a dedicated CUBIC Global Training Program, ensuring a high and uniform quality for CUBIC switchboards worldwide.

The NHP CUBIC Modular switchboard system meets the needs of all of your applications, including:

- Industry - oil and gas, mining, food and beverage, utilities
- Infrastructure - tunnel, railway, airport, ports
- Buildings - commercial, residential, government
- Critical buildings - data centre, banking and insurance, healthcare buildings
- Energy - solar, wind, hydro, battery banks
- OEMs - genset manufacturer, portable switchrooms

NHP’s SMART Power Distribution systems provide:

1. Performance guarantee - AS/NZS 61439 Test Verified LV solutions with unmatched circuit breaker protection performance and integrated temperature health monitoring of critical assets
2. High levels of safety - features arc flash containment design and integrated arc flash mitigation technology remote open / close control of air circuit breakers (ACBs) and live line visual indicators
3. Business analytics and environmental awareness - Delivers Rockwell Automation's connectivity of key data to communication network and integrated energy metering and branch circuit monitoring
4. Maximum power availability - open and closed transition transfer switch technologies and easy maintenance with minimal downtime of critical switchgear.

Cubic Switchboard builders can take advantage of high quality, cost competitive modular switchboards to help you win more business
- AS/NZS 61439 ready for projects up to 6300A and 120kAs-1
- Meet customer’s expectations with reduced labour and fast turnaround from design to dispatch.
- Intuitive 3D design software solution – GALAXY 3
- Choice of external colour - RAL7035 light grey or RAL2000 orange
- Choice of five major switchgear brands including Terasaki and Socomec, with package project pricing from NHP.
- 5-day System Builder training provides the knowledge to design and construct a switchboard giving confidence to cover responsibilities as prescribed in AS/NZS 61439
- Total back-up support from two long standing, trusted brands in the market - NHP and CUBIC
- NHP stocks and supplies parts flat pack to customers from our local warehouses in Australia and New Zealand

Consultants can access a quality solution that represents your company through a reputable brand with a safe and reliable history
- Compliant to AS/NZS 61439 for power distribution and motor control centres up to 6300A
- Minimised time auditing design verification with the CUBIC Overall IEC 61439 Verification Certificate
- Minimise the risk by only dealing with NHP trained and accredited Assembly Manufacturers.
- Flexibility to modify the design during and after a build.
- Short delivery time
- Peace of mind with product backing and reliable technical support from NHP and CUBIC.

End Users can enjoy the long-term peace of mind via a sustainable solution from a world-wide system with a proven track record
- Independently tested for AS/NZ 61439 providing non-biased verification
- Assembled from high-quality mass-produced parts.
- Maximised onsite health and safety with arc fault containment and fully insulated busbar options
- Minimised downtime by using demountable or fully withdrawable options.
- Robust design for longevity - tested for seismic zone and high vibration installations.
- Rapid retrofits and upgrades without the need of cutting or welding. Future modifications will always be possible thanks to no parts obsolescence.
- Choice of accredited Assembly Manufacturers while maintaining a site standard.

NHP Concept Panelboards - applicable standards
The Concept range of panelboards has been designed and tested to both Parts 2 and 3 of 61439. All of the of the catalogued Panelboards up to 250A are to part 3 and the 400A models are to part 2.

Part 3 - AS/NZS 61439.3 Distribution Panelboards
· Intended to be operated by ordinary persons
· Current rating not exceeding 250A (InA 250A)
· An outgoing circuit not exceeding 125A (Inc 125A)
· No form of separation (if needed must be to part 2)

Part 2 - AS/NZS 61439.2 Distribution Panelboards
· Any current rating. The Concept Range is most commonly available in 160A, 250A, 400A or 630A
· No current limit on an outgoing circuit
· Specified to have a form of separation

NHP Concept Panelboards - testing and performance

NHP has conducted thorough testing utilising 3rd party Nata accredited test laboratories such as TÜV Rheinland Australia Pty. Ltd. as well as the NHP internal test station.

NHP has gone over and above the requirement of the standards to ensure maximum safety and reliability of the product. One key example of this with the short-circuit withstand testing of complete assembly with variety of circuit protection devices at fault levels starting at 10kA right up to 63kA (backup with an external upstream device).

Concept Panelboard solutions

NHP has an extensive range of Panelboard models in stock, allowing for a quick turnaround if you need that panelboard urgently. Some of the standard off the shelf configurations consist of:
• IP40 Concept One, IP42 Concept Plus, IP66 Concept Premier
• Grey or Orange colours
• 24-96 way
• Main Switch options: None, 160A, 250A, 400A isolators or up to 200A MCCB
• Single or dual metered
• Extra row
• Accessory modules
• Standard or Isolation chassis
• Advanced RCD testing retrofit solutions

Concept Panelboards offer value-add solutions that are built to your specifications based on standard Concept Panelboard design. NHP’s XPD software allows these designs to be drawn up quickly, further improving the turnaround time from enquiry to supply.

Staying within scope of the design

One important feature with the 61439 series of standards is that the complete assembly is verified to comply. If you start to make additions or alterations to the design, then the person doing this works takes on the responsibility for this altered design and needs to ensure the updated assembly is verified to comply with the 61439 standard - the original manufacturer is no longer responsible.

With the Concept Panelboard, range there are several additions or alterations that can be completed to a catalogued configuration, so that the assembly still complies to the standard.

Is it acceptable under the AS/NZS 61439 series to test with devices from one manufacturer and then substitute these devices from a different manufacturer without re‐testing? Read this whitepaper to learn more!

Device Substitution

For more information on NHP’s 61439 compliance packages or other SMART Power Distribution solutions, please call your local NHP Account Representative or email us:

Australia - 1300 NHP NHP

New Zealand - 0800 NHP NHP

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