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Power Electronics

Power Electronics Section member companies make static electrical power conversion equipment such as: AD/DC power converters, DC/AC power converters, AC/AC power converters, DC/DC power converters.

The products are power semi-conductor components intended for use as power rectifier regulators and static electrical power conversion equipment, as well as equipment for charging industrial batteries. Power electronics products are used in applications such as:

  • Communication Type Battery Chargers, used for floating and charging a battery and delivering power to telecommunication type loads.
  • Utility Type Battery Chargers, used to power the direct current load directly with the battery eliminated.
  • Uninterruptible Power Systems, used to provide quality and continuity of an alternating current power source by utilizing an UPS that is comprised of semiconductor ac to AC power converter systems and rotary power converters (motor-generator sets) with a dedicated DC electrical energy storage capability (battery).

UPS markets are very broad; the primary uses are are facility operations management and manufacturing. Power converting UPS products are sold in both the domestic and international markets. In the domestic market, products are sold directly by the manufacturer as well as by electrical contractors who work in the areas of backup UPS, power, battery installations, and generator installations. In the international market, products are sold by foreign subsidiary companies with manufacturing and or sales facilities located in European countries.

Some industries use UPS in finished products, including:

  • Aerospace
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Industrial and farm equipment
  • Metal products
  • Scientific and photographic equipment
  • Transportation equipment)

Businesses that use UPS include:

  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
  • Offices and other users of computer/communications equipment
  • Process industries
  • Biomedical facilities and hospitals
  • Government (military systems)
  • Process controls companies
  • Instrumentation companies
  • Transportation companies

Click for detailed product scope information.

Technical Activities

Although the Section maintains NEMA standards for utility-type and communications-type battery chargers (the NEMA PE 5 and PE 7 standards, respectively), the Section's current technical activities are mainly focused on uninterruptible power systems (UPS) and static (solid-state) transfer switches.

With regard to UPS, the Section maintains the NEMA PE 1 standard which is based on the IEC 62040-3 UPS performance standard. The Section also serves as the Technical Harmonization Committee for the U.S.-Canadian binational project to maintain a ANSI/UL-CAN/CSA standard on UPS safety requirements. In addition, the Section supports the operation of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to IEC SC 22H that is currently influencing the harmonization of the IEC 62040-1 standard on UPS safety with the related U.S.-Canada binational standard.

With regard to static transfer switches, the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to IEC SC 22H is also influencing the development of the IEC 62310 standards for safety, electromagnetic compatibility, and perfomance requirements.

Government Affairs

Through NEMA, the section develops industry positions on legislative and regulatory initiatives that may affect member products, markets, and customers. NEMA's work has resulted in contributions to public policy development and in promoting competitiveness, technological progress, and public safety. On the Government Affairs homepage members can search for and e-mail federal representatives to convey opinions regarding energy policy or other issues related to the electroindustry.

NEMA Government Affairs provides specific services to its members and information in the areas of Environment, Health & Safety; Energy; and International Trade & Commerce.

Key governmental activities include:

The Power Electronics Section supports NEMA efforts to reduce tariffs on information technology equipment by participation in a US coalition on the Information Technology Agreement II international negotiations.

The Power Electronics Section is also working on a voluntary product labeling program to educate shippers on the proper care and handling of products containing batteries.

Market Economics

Through NEMA, member companies are able to develop and implement tailored, industry-specific market and statistical programs that benefit participating companies. Reports may include:

  • Product orders and sales
  • Market forecasting
  • Shipments by trading areas
  • Channels of distribution
  • Financial and operating ratios
  • Wages and benefits
  • Foreign trade

The association also conducts economic analyses on the impact of legislation and regulations on member products, and monitors and reports on key industry market indicators. All programs comply with NEMA statistical confidentiality policies. For more information, please see Business & Economy.


Membership in NEMA is open to any firm actively engaged in the manufacture in North America of a product within the NEMA scope and for sale in the open market. Membership of foreign firms is subject to product section policies and NEMA Board of Governors approval.

NEMA operates on a fee-for-service basis. Each product section establishes its projects and activities and approves an annual operating budget. A fee is then established using an annual average of net domestic sales of products within the NEMA scope.


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