IEC TS 63058-2021 Switchgear and controlgear and their assemblies for low voltage – Environmental aspects.
5 Environmentally conscious design
5.1 General
The need to reduce the impacts on the natural environment of a product during all phases of its life – from acquiring materials to manufacturing, distribution, use, re-use, recycling and disposal – is recognized in most countries around the world. The choices made at the design stage largely determine what those impacts will be during each phase of that product’s life. There are, however, considerable obstacles that make the task of selecting the best environmental options very complex. Selecting design options to reduce environmental impacts can involve difficult trade-offs, for example larger copper section for contacts increases use of raw material but reduces energy consumption. Following the principles of ECD, as specified in IEC 62430, during product development is a method of reducing the potential environmental impact of a product. This ECD process should be documented as given in the company’s management system (e.g. ISO 1 4001 or ISO 9001 ). See ISO 1 4006 for further advice. If the company does not have a management system in place, the ECD should be documented and implemented accordingly in an adequate way, for instance with process instructions.
ECD basically requires the identification, measurement and reporting of particular impacts. IEC 62430 describes the principles of ECD with the goal of reducing the potential environmental impacts of products. Additionally, LCA provides the possibility to quantify the ECD approach.
5.2 “Cradle to grave” approach Generally, the most significant reductions of potential environmental impact of a product can be achieved by a “cradle to grave” approach. However, improvements can also be accomplished through modifications to individual or multiple stages in a product’s life cycle. Figure 3, based on Figure 1 of IEC Guide 1 09:201 2, shows the conceptual relationship between provisions in product standards and the environmental impacts associated with the product during its life cycle, for example the product’s function, its design, performance and other external considerations and associated environmental impacts. Those relationships are discussed in more detail in Annex A. Figure 3 also illustrates a product improvement cycle that leads to pollution prevention and resource conservation. Product’s environmental impacts are determined by the inputs that are used and the outputs that are generated at all stages of the product’s life cycle. Changing any single input, either to alter the materials and energy used or to influence a single output, may affect other inputs and outputs (see Figure 3).
5.3 Inputs
Inputs basically fall into two broad categories; materials and energy, both characterized by their initial resources.
Material inputs used in product manufacture shall be considered, including packaging. Materials for prototypes in product development (not placed in service) are negligible and shall not be considered.
Energy inputs are required at most stages of a product’s life cycle. Energy sources include fossil fuels, nuclear, recovered waste, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar and wind energy, which all have a specific set of associated environmental impacts.
NOTE For low-voltage SG&CG and their assemblies, inputs in the use phase are generally limited to electrical energy (regardless of the source of this energy). Spare parts and maintenance can be considered negligible.
5.4 Outputs
Outputs generated during a product’s life cycle comprise the product itself, intermediates and by-products, heat, emissions to air, soil and water, waste materials and other potential releases.
Emissions to air water and soil are mainly generated during manufacturing phase and EOLphase (obtaining raw materials, manufacturing, recycling and energy recovery).
With the exception of heat from power loss, low-voltage SG&CG and their assemblies do not release significant emissions during the use phase.
NOTE Limited noise, for example due to fans, are not considered in this document as they do not have environmental impact.IEC TS 63058 pdf download.