Anatel Voltage Surge Requirements

Telecommunication equipment must endure demanding voltage surge resistance testing before being authorized to be used or sold in Brazil. In this article we will detail the voltage surge requirements applied for telecommunication equipment in Brazil.

Brazilian Electricity Infrastructure

As explained in our article How to Obtain an Anatel Product Homologation, any telecommunication equipment intended to be used or commercialized in Brazil is required by law to undergo a homologation process regulated by the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency, or Anatel.

As a part of this process, equipment must take part in laboratory testing designed to assure its safety of use to humans and resistance to adverse conditions, such as electromagnetic emissions, high temperatures and electrical current voltage surges. This is a process similar to what is applied by national agencies from countries like the United States and regions such as Europe, but in Brazil the requirements for electromagnetic resistance are significantly more demanding.

The rigorous procedures are mostly related to the intention of the Brazilian authorities to secure telecommunication equipment in case of instability in the country’s electricity infrastructure. These demanding requirements might seem reasonable when considering the high rates of lightning discharges per year and insufficient investment in power grids.

Manufacturers and importers of telecommunication equipment should be aware of the requirements for voltage surges applied in the country, especially since products approved by international organizations may not necessarily be greenlit by Anatel to be commercialized in Brazil.

Required Products

In general, all telecommunication products that need to be connected to electric outlets are required to undergo testing to determine resistance to voltage surges. This is also the case for equipment powered by telecommunication inputs, such as residential telephone connectors, which need to be tested to ensure these ports are also resistant to electrical surges.

Some of the equipment to undergo these testing procedures include:

  • Cellphone charging cables
  • Modems
  • Landline telephones
  • Signal transceivers
  • TV signal receivers

Testing Requirements

Most of the testing requirements are based on regulatory and guidance measures from organizations like the IEC, CISPR and ITU, and made more rigorous in order to better fit the country’s electricity infrastructure characteristics.

As determined by Anatel resolutions, the testing requirements involve connecting equipment to electricity circuits and simulating voltage surges, in order to the determine if the products remain in working condition after the stress testing.

Some of these tests are applied to the devices electrical inputs, while others are applied to telecommunication ports, which are, for example, the Ethernet port for modems. The climate conditions are specified at a temperature of 22 to 28 degrees celsius and air humidity of 30 to 70%.

Fire Protection

During this test, the equipment is placed on a metallic plate while a 230 VEff current is applied between the telecommunication terminal and the grounding terminal for 15 minutes, with intensity reaching 23 A. While this test is performed the device must not display any visual indication that it might ignite a fire.

Telecommunication Port Overvoltage Protection

For this test, the equipment’s telecommunication ports are connected to generators and applied with up to 1500 V in AC and 2120 V in DC for 60 seconds each, while the device is not allowed to display leakage currents higher than 10 mAEff.

Power Plug Overvoltage Protection

During this test, the device’s power plug is connected to a circuit and applied an overvoltage of up to 1575 V in AC for 60 seconds, during which the device is not allowed to display leakage currents higher than 10 mAEff.

Electromagnetic Disturbances Immunity

This test requires equipment to be immune to a series of electricity surges and disturbances. It is important to note that to be considered immune to these disturbances, the product must be powered and be in working conditions while all these measures are applied, during which it is not allowed to cease to perform its main functions or alter them, or even cease to perform them under normal conditions following the test.

The first tests require the equipment to be submitted to rapid electromagnetic disturbances, including:

  • 1000V disturbances to telecommunication ports
  • 2000V AC disturbances to power plugs
  • 6000V electrostatic discharges applied by direct contact
  • 8000V electrostatic discharges applied by air

The equipment must also be immune to a reduction in voltage of up to 95% for a duration of 300 cycles, depending on the nature of the product.

Electromagnetic Disturbances Resistibility

These tests require the equipment to be powered and have a number of disturbances applied for five to ten minutes, with a minimum interval of one minute in between, following which the products must remain in working condition. Some of these include:

  • 1500V voltage peak applied to telecommunication port, or 1000V peak in case it is an internal port
  • 4000V voltage peak applied between the power outlet and the ground
  • 2000V voltage peak applied to the power outlet

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