Are there independent test laboratories that a Market Surveillance Authority could use to verify that the test results reported by transformer manufacturers on covered products are accurate?

We would encourage Market Surveillance Authorities to speak to transformer manufacturers about independent test laboratories that they may be aware of who are capable of testing transformers. In our experience, there are a number of independent laboratories in Europe, but it is uncertain whether they have the ability to test low voltage distribution transformers. Often these facilities are designed to test power systems components such as switchgear, bushings, current transformers, etc. where there is no need to measure losses or test at higher frequencies.

We are aware, however, of at least one test lab in Germany (FGH Engineering & Test GmbH in Mannheim) that is capable of performing these tests. The issue has to do with the way transformers are sold in Europe – it is a self-certify business, where the labs that can do the required tests are almost entirely in-house with the manufacturer. This is because the European harmonised standard requires the manufacturer to do the tests, so there has been little scope for independent labs to be contracted to do this type of work, thus they haven’t invested in that developing that capability.