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EMC Filters Guide


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Electromagnetic field theory
2 Electromagnetic field theory Hans Christian Oersted was a
professor of science at Copenhagen
University. In 1820 he arranged a
5 What makes up the electromagnetic spectrum?
science demonstration to friends and
students in his home. He planned to
7 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and the law demonstrate the heating of a wire by
an electric current, and also to carry
out demonstrations of magnetism, for
8 Where does electromagnetic interference come from?
which he provided a compass needle
mounted on a wooden stand. While
9 EMC filters performing his electric demonstration,
Oersted noted to his surprise that
every time the electric current was
12 Testing switched on, the compass needle
moved. He kept quiet and finished the
13 Points to consider when selecting a filter demonstrations, but in the months that
followed worked hard trying to make
sense out of the new phenomenon. But
14 Standards he couldn’t! The needle was neither
attracted to the wire nor repelled from
Installation it. Instead, it tended to stand at right
angles (see drawing below). In the end
he published his findings (in Latin!)
16 Standard filters without any explanation.
Units 8-10 Long Lane Industrial Estate,
Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 8DU UK
Tel: 01588 673411 Fax: 01588 672718
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It was the scientist Michael Faraday Finally, a Scottish mathematician,
who first studied in detail the James Clerk Maxwell, picked up on
phenomena involving the interaction Faraday’s ideas and was successful in
between electricity and magnetism. developing a theory of electromag- Electric
Amongst his many achievements, he is netism which enabled testable predic- Field
credited with the construction of the tions to be made. Inspired by Faraday’s
first electric motor and the discovery of lines of force, he developed a model Magnetic Field
both the principle and the method that unified magnetic and electrical
whereby a rotating magnet can be forces. Maxwell unified the study of
used to create an electric current in a electricity and magnetism in four tidy
coil of wire (still the basis of modern equations. In essence he discovered
electricity generating plants). that electric and magnetic fields were
intrinsically related to one another, with
He also observed the way in which iron
or without the presence of a conductive
filings arrange around a magnet. They Direction
path for electrons to flow. Stated simply
appear to follow lines of magnetism of Wave
Maxwell’s discovery was this:-
leading out from one magnetic pole
and back to the other pole. He A changing electric field produces a
suggested that the effect of a magnet perpendicular magnetic field
on a wire carrying a current is the
and A changing magnetic field
result of lines of force . Faraday spent
produces a perpendicular electric field
the latter part of his life working to
devise an experiment that would Quite interestingly Maxwell predicted
confirm his theory of electromagnetic that electromagnetism would be propa-
fields but without success. gated through space at a finite rate and
was struck by the similarity between
the predicted speed of electromagnet-
ism and the speed of light. From this
connection sprang the idea that light
was an electric phenomenon and the
subsequent discovery of radio waves.

Michael Faraday
What makes up the electromagnetic spectrum?
The electromagnetic spectrum is a The whole range of frequencies and
family of waves that travel through wavelengths is called the electromag- Frequency Hz Wavelength M
space by way of the production of netic spectrum and different parts of
electric and magnetic fields. Changing the spectrum are given different long-wave radio 3
electric fields are set up by the oscilla- names. These parts of the spectrum 10
tion of charged particles and these have different properties and, conse- 6
changing electric fields induce quently, they have different uses. 10 short-wave radio
changing magnetic fields in the
Therefore, it can be seen that there is
surrounding space. Changing magnetic 0
the need for the coexistence of all 10
fields then set up more changing
kinds of radio services, which use the 9 microwaves
electric fields and so on. The net result
is that the wave energy travels across
electromagnetic spectrum to convey 10
information, with technical processes
and products emitting electromagnetic
All electromagnetic waves travel at the energy as an undesirable by-product. -3
same speed through the same medium Furthermore, the problems of EMC are
millimeter waves 10
or substance but they have a variety of not limited to interference with radio 10
frequencies which provide a correspon- services because electronic equipment red
ding variety of wavelengths. If the of all kinds is becoming more suscep- infrared light orange
original charged particle vibrates tible to malfunctions caused by external yellow
rapidly, the frequency of the wave is interference. This is particularly VISIBLE LIGHT green
high. Because there are many oscilla- relevant in the case of electronic equip- 10 ultraviolet light
tions per second, the corresponding ment that is required to continue
wavelength is short. running for economic or safety
reasons. Banking systems and aircraft -9
Conversely, if the original charged
computers are two notable examples. 10
particle vibrates slowly, the frequency 18 x rays
of the wave is low and the correspon-
ding wavelength is long.
gamma rays 10

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and the law
There is now the European Directive The manufacturers or their authorised Standards
89/336/EEC, which specifically deals representative are required to attest
The generic standards relating to EMC
with EMC. Like a number of other that the requirements of the Directive
are divided into two sections, one for
documents produced by the European have been met. This requires two
immunity and one for emissions, each
Commission this is a new approach things:
of which has separate parts for
directive, which sets out the essential
 A Declaration of Conformity must be different environment classes.
requirements that must be satisfied
kept and made available to the
before products can be marketed
enforcement authority.
anywhere within the EC. It also says Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
how evidence of conformity will be  A CE mark must be affixed to the
provided. apparatus, or its packaging, instruc- EN 50 081 Emissions Domestic Industrial Special
tions or guarantee certificate. Commercial
In the case of EMC the essential
requirements are that electrical and Light Industrial
EN 50 082 Immunity
electronic equipment shall be Compliance
constructed so that:
In essence, for goods to comply with
 The electromagnetic disturbance it the EMC Directive they should be
generates does not exceed a level tested but in reality this is difficult
allowing radio and telecommunica-
tions equipment and other apparatus
because laboratory conditions are not
the same as the real working environ-
Where does Electromagnetic Interference come from?
to operate as intended; ment. Also it is quite possible that
numerous types of other equipment
 The apparatus has an adequate Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can antenna, such as cables, pcb tracks,
could be connected to the goods and it manifest in a variety of ways and the internal wiring and mechanical struc-
level of intrinsic immunity to electro-
is impossible to cover all possible emission source is usually frequency tures. These elements can unintention-
magnetic disturbance to enable it to
configurations. dependent. The interference can be ally transfer energy via electric,
operate as intended.
However, where possible the goods conducted, through mains cables and magnetic or electromagnetic fields,
should be tested either in house or by earthing connections, or radiated. Most which couple with other circuits.
a competent body against the relevant electronic hardware contains elements
standards. A Technical Construction which act in a similar manner to an
File must be produced and be ready for
inspection, if required.
EMC Filters
Instead of designing a filter stage for The capacitors oppose the AC flow of The filter circuit is designed to contend
every new piece of electronic equip- electrons more at lower frequencies with two types of noise. There is Source Common Mode Load
( asymmetrical interference )
ment that is manufactured, there is a and less at higher frequencies. COMMON MODE NOISE, which
convenient solution available in the Inductors on the other hand react manifests itself as a current in phase in Differential Mode
( Symmetrical Interference )
form of a ready made module that can against the rate of change of current; the live and neutral conductors and
be connected between the mains they are more effective at opposing AC returns via the safety earth. This
supply and the electronic unit. The flow of electrons at higher frequencies. produces a noise voltage between Cp = parasitic capacitance

components are selected by the filter Therefore, a combination of series live/neutral and earth. It is often caused Earth Current
manufacturer to give the best reduction connected inductors and shunt by capacitive coupling to the case
of mains conducted interference for connected capacitors is chosen to earth. The other is DIFFERENTIAL
most situations, across the frequency provide suppression over a wide MODE NOISE produced by current
spectrum, using the optimum selection frequency spectrum. The resistors flowing along either the live or neutral Symmetrical Cy
of components. More importantly filters serve to discharge the capacitors when conductor and returning by the other. Interference

This produces a noise voltage between

Cx 1 L Cx 2
comply with the numerous safety rules the supply is disconnected and for
and the approval costs have been damping resonances. The enclosure is the live and neutral conductors.
spread over a large number of units normally produced from metal to
The chokes fall into two groups; current Asymmetrical Interference current
because the filters can be universally provide good earth bonding.
compensated or common mode and
series or differential mode types. The
Filters work by providing an impedance current compensated choke has two or The differential mode chokes are larger
mismatch between the power line and three windings on a toroidal core. The due to the higher current handling
the equipment, which reflects the direction of each winding is chosen to requirement. Using a core made from a
generated noise back to its source. In give an opposing current flow, hence highly permeable material will reduce
order to maximise the impedance balancing the flux. The result is that a its size.
mismatch the choice of filter circuit much smaller choke can be used.
should take into account the imped- Furthermore, the common mode
ances of the source and load. currents, which are in phase in the two
or three conductors, have an additive
The main components inside the filter
effect, thus presenting higher imped-
are chokes, capacitors and resistors.
ance against the common mode noise.

A typical REO filter built into metal enclosure

(lid removed). The main components; capaci-
tors and inductors can be clearly seen.
Capacitors also fall into two groups; X drills, is 0.25 mA. Equipment that is The frequency range of interest for The electromagnetic field strengths
Class and Y Class. The X Class capac- permanently connected to the mains emissions from most products is associated with the emissions
itors are connected between live and supply may have a leakage current of 150kHz to 30MHz. The emissions are measurements range from a few
neutral, or between phases, to reduce up to 5mA. Industrial equipment measured using a spectrum analyser millionths of a volt per meter to a few
differential noise. They are tested to normally has higher leakage current and then they are compared with the thousandths of a volt per meter. It is
withstand mains voltage. Y Class limits but in each case particular care Class B limits for domestic or light difficult to represent this scale in a
capacitors on the other hand are more must be taken to ensure that earthing industrial applications or Class A limits linear manner and so a logarithmic
critical because they are connected regulations are observed. for industrial applications (Standard EN scale is adopted. The spectrum
between live/neutral and earth to 55 022). The spectrum analyser will analyser plot has decibels as the unit
reduce common mode noise. Because give a sweep of the entire spectrum of measurement along its vertical axis.
of this they have to be tested to ensure range and indicate the emission levels, A decibel is a ratio of two power
that they cannot fail to short circuit. usually as a print-out. The limits are values, which in this case is the
Needless to say they are more expen- also indicated and frequencies with increase in power caused by the
sive. unacceptable emission levels are emission compared with the power of
highlighted. the reference voltage. For conven-
For higher levels of attenuation, several ience, because power is proportional to
stages of chokes and capacitors can The picture shows a screen capture
the square voltage, the ratio of the
be added and this is known as a multi- from a spectrum analyzer. Note that
voltages is squared instead of
stage filter. the sweep range is 150 kHz to 30 MHz
measuring power.
and the red line (quasi-peak) and
Another important factor is the earth purple line (average) indicating the
leakage current. The larger the Y Class limits for light industrial and domestic
capacitor the more the 50 Hz current use (Class B). The two frequency
that will leak to earth, raising the poten- curves for the equipment under test are
tial of the filter enclosure. The quasi peak in blue and average in
maximum permissible leakage current green. The vertical scale is in dBV. In
depends on the application but to give order to conform the curves should not
an indication the maximum earth exceed their corresponding limits.This
leakage for double insulated equip- is the format for the results as
ment, such as hedge trimmers and prescribed in EN 50 081-1 for
conducted emissions.

Screen capture from a spectrum analyzer

Points to consider when selecting a filter
The performance and hence quality of The current rating is also very impor- Over temperature
a filter may be assessed by looking at tant especially in instances where the limit + 85C
its insertion loss characteristics. This load produces high peak currents and
data is published by all reputable filter the RMS is not a true indication of the Lower temperature  Relative Humidity
manufacturers and the following is an real current. Higher than expected limit - 25C  25/85/21  95% 21 days/year
example. currents can cause core saturation, in
the inductors, thus drastically reducing The current has to be derated for
the filter s effectiveness. Most filter ambient temperatures of greater than
Damping symmetrical manufacturers will take this into  2  [ 2]
[dB] asymmetrical 40C
account when designing a filter but this
100 data is not normally published.  =   √(85-)/40
80 The permissible current rating is
The acceptable level of earth leakage
60 current for the installation must also be subject to ambient temperature. Below
known and the filter selected, accord- 40C a filter can be used at its rated
40 ingly. current. The current reduces for higher
20 temperatures. At 85C the current is
The components in a filter are classi- reduced to zero. (For 25/85/21 ) 40C 85C
0 fied for a range of climatic and
mechanical requirements, including
.15 1 10 30 lower temperature limit, over tempera-
Frequency [MHz] ture limit and relative humidity. Unless
otherwise stated REO filters conform Standards
The curves can be used to assess with Environment Category IEC 68-1.
whether a particular filter will provide All REO filters are built to the following All materials are UL listed and in many
sufficient suppression for a known standards:- cases filters are UL approved, or
interference pattern. However, precise approval can be obtained in a short
performance can only be established VDE 0565 Part 1 - 3
by testing under real conditions. The DIN EN 133200
higher the dB value the greater the IEC 68-1
degree of suppression achieved.
Installation Standard Filters - Single Phase
A filter should be positioned as close CNW 101 CNW 102
as possible to the connection to the Single phase, 250 V, cost Single phase, 250 V, high
supply; ideally before the mains switch effective unit for general performance unit suitable
in the front panel and fuses. Otherwise purpose. for most applications.
the connecting cables could provide a
Size (inc terminals) Size (inc terminals)
coupling path via stray induction to the Type Current
Type Current
unfiltered cables. CNW 101/3 3A 80 45 30 CNW 102/3 3A 93 50 40
CNW 101/6 6A 80 45 30 CNW 102/6 6A 93 50 40
Wiring on each side of the filter should CNW 101/10 10 A 92 50 30 CNW 102/10 10 A 93 50 40
CNW 101/16 16 A 92 50 30 CNW 102/16 16 A 118 50 40
be well separated and extend straight CNW 101/20 20 A 92 50 30 CNW 102/20 20 A 118 50 40
out from the filter s terminals. If this is
not practical the output cables should
be run at 90 degrees to the input
cables to reduce the likelihood of
The filter should be correctly rated for
the local supply voltage. CNW 201 CNW 116
230V / 440V 2 line Single phase, 250 V,
A good ground connection is required bookcase style filter. optimised unit for use with
between the filter casing and earth. motor drives.
The ground connections must have
large contact surfaces and be made Size (inc terminals) Size (inc terminals)
Type Current Type Current
onto bare metal, not painted. CNW 201/16 16 A 255 50 126 CNW 116/8 8A 120 105 57
CNW 201/30 30 A 255 50 126 CNW 116/12 12 A 120 105 57
CNW 201/50 50 A 255 50 126 CNW 116/20 20 A 140 105 57
CNW 201/63 63 A 255 50 126 CNW 116/30 30 A 140 105 57

L L'

N(L2) N'(L2')
Standard Filters - Three Phase
CNW 103 CNW 104 CNW 105 CNW 204
3 phase, 3 x 440 V, 3 phase, 3 x 440 V, 3 phase, 3 x 440 V, 3 phase, 3 x 480 V
3 line mains filter with 3 line mains filter with 4 line mains filter with bookcase style filters, with
high attentuation. very high attentuation. high attentuation. very high attentuation.

Size (inc terminals) Size (inc terminals) Size (inc terminals) Size (inc terminals)
Type Current Type Current Type Current Type Current
CNW 103/3 3x3A 118 53 40 CNW 104/3 3x3A 170 98 70 CNW 105/3 4x3A 118 53 40 CNW 204/7 3x7A 255 50 126
CNW 103/6 3x6A 118 53 40 CNW 104/6 3x6A 170 98 70 CNW 105/6 4x6A 118 53 40 CNW 204/16 3 x 16 A 305 55 142
CNW 103/10 3 x 10 A 118 53 40 CNW 104/10 3 x 10 A 170 98 70 CNW 105/10 4 x 10 A 118 53 40 CNW 204/30 3 x 30 A 335 60 150
CNW 103/16 3 x 16 A 170 98 70 CNW 104/16 3 x 16 A 170 98 70 CNW 105/16 4 x 16 A 170 98 70 CNW 204/42 3 x 42 A 330 70 185
CNW 103/25 3 x 25 A 170 98 70 CNW 104/25 3 x 25 A 170 98 70 CNW 105/25 4 x 25 A 170 98 70 CNW 204/55 3 x 55 A 330 80 185
CNW 103/36 3 x 36 A 290 148 70 CNW 104/36 3 x 36 A 290 168 110 CNW 105/36 4 x 36 A 290 148 70 CNW 204/75 3 x 75 A 330 80 220
CNW 103/50 3 x 50 A 290 148 70 CNW 104/50 3 x 50 A 290 168 110 CNW 105/50 4 x 50 A 290 148 70 CNW 204/100 3 x 100 A 380 90 220
CNW 103/80 3 x 80 A 320 168 110 CNW 104/80 3 x 80 A 350 168 140 CNW 105/80 4 x 80 A 320 168 110 CNW 204/130 3 x 130 A 440 110 240
CNW 103/120 3 x 120 A 320 168 110 CNW 104/120 3 x 120 A 350 168 140 CNW 105/120 4 x 120 A 320 168 110 CNW 204/180 3 x 180 A 440 110 240
CNW 103/150 3 x 150 A 320 168 110 CNW 104/150 3 x 150 A 350 168 140 CNW 105/150 4 x 150 A 320 168 110

L1 L1' L1 L1' L1 L1'

R L R L1 L2
L2 L2'
L2 L2' L2 L2'



L3 L3'
L3 L3' L3 L3' Cx1 Cx2

Cx1 Cx2 Cx3 Cy3

Cx1 Cx2 Cy1 PE N N'
PE' Cy1 Cy2 PE PE'

CNW 106 CNW 203 CNW 703

3 phase, 3 x 440 V, 3 phase, 3 x 480 V Over voltage protection device, For details of our full range of EMC
4 line mains filter with very bookcase style filters, 3 x 440V for easy installation filters and custom design solutions
high attentuation. with very high attenuation. into new or existing equipment.
Efficient protection against high
Size (inc terminals) Size (inc terminals) voltages, lightning strikes and
Type Current
Type Current
Call 01588 673411
L H L H transients. Attenuation of inter-
CNW 106/6 4x6A 240 150 65 CNW 203/16/SE 3 x 16 A 230 50 80 ference down to approximately
CNW 106/10 4 x 10 A 240 150 65 CNW 203/25/SE 3 x 25 A 230 50 80
CNW 106/16 4 x 16 A 240 150 65 CNW 203/36/SE 3 x 36 A 280 60 150 50dB at 1MHz.
CNW 106/25 4 x 25 A 240 150 65 CNW 203/50/SE 3 x 50 A 330 56 150 Visit our website
Max. Surge Size (inc terminals)
L1 L1'
Type Current kA
L1 L2
L1 L1' L W H
L2 L2'

L2 L2' CNW 703 80 205 90 75


Cx1 Cx2 Cx3


L3 L3' L3 L3'
R Cx1 R
PE Cy1 Cy2 PE'