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IEC 61439-1 Minimum Size for PE, PEN Conductors


In 2010, the new standard IEC 61439 series was published to replace the IEC 60439 series.

The purpose of the IEC 61439 series of standards is to harmonize as far as practicable, all the general rules and requirements that apply to LV Switchgears and Controlgears (ASSEMBLIES) and to obtain uniformity of requirements, consistency in the verification, and to avoid the need for verification to other standards.

Minimum Size

The table below provides a guideline on the minimum size of PE/PEN conductors. This table has been similar to Table 3 IEC 60439-1 (1999) except for the addition of a note about harmonics.

Minimum terminal capacity for copper protective conductors (PE, PEN)
Cross-sectional area of phase conductors S
Minimum cross-sectional area of the corresponding protective conductor (PE, PEN) Spa
S ≤ 16 S
16 < S ≤ 35 16
35 < S ≤ 400 S/2
400 < S ≤ 800 200
800 < S S/4
a Current in the neutral may be influenced where there are significant harmonics in the load.

Source: IEC 61439-1 2011 Table 5

A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia, and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE - 1st Place April 1991) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept selection, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction, and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and wastewater pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).

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