Testing Switchboard – Switchboard Compliant to AS/NZS 61439.1


Switchboard Compliant to AS/NZS 61439.1

AS/NZS 61439 is the new series of standards for low voltage switchgear and is an adoption of IEC 61439 series with AS/NZS modifications. It was introduced in May 2016 with a five year transitional period to replace AS/NZS3439:2002 series in 2021. If you are installing a low voltage switchboard on site after 24 May 2021 it must comply with the new standard AS/NZS 61439.1

Switchboard builders are responsible for compliance of their completed assemblies, based on the original manufacturers verified design. The new standard brings a raft of changes and some key points to consider are: Verification Methods AS/NZS 61439.1 specifies three methods for verification, replacing TTA and PTTA; verification by testing, comparison with a tested design, or assessment.

  • Verification by testing – this involves conducting type-tests proving the design fulfils the requirements of the standard.
  • Verification by comparison with reference design – this is permissible only for temperature rise and short circuit verification by comparison with a type-tested design.
  • Verification by assessment – this is permissible in some cases e.g. for temperature rise by calculation up to 630A and 1600A, form of internal separation, reference to manufacturers data in relation to incorporation of switching devices, electrical connections, terminals, resistance to abnormal heat and fire and UV radiation of insulating materials etc.

As a contractor or engineer, you should get proof that your switchboard supplier is fully type tested to 61439.1.

The new standard will impact manufacturers, assemblers and end users involved in all types of switchboard assemblies – from distribution boards up to 250A, right through to low voltage main switchboards above 250A.

A tester that meets the current testing requirement for the AS/NZS 61439 Standard is the HT Italia FULLTEST3.