It's recognized that the current members of TC 81 have inherited a bad situation. But they need to step up and act quickly. It must not take the usual four years to enact the long overdue reform.
IEC standards allow for regional or national differences to exist in the main body of a standard. Sometimes a country or region wishes to adopt an international standard, but some condition existing in that country or region prevents full compliance with the standard. The IEC refers to that condition as a "national essential difference" and gives that country's national standards body the right to incorporate it into the IEC standard.
ISO/IEC Directives Supplement, 2012, Ed. 7.0 2012.05 Annex SC ( which can be found here) informs how it is to be done: "An IEC National Committee may provide a statement to be included in an International Standard informing the user of particular conditions existing in its country." Such statement "may become normative requirements in a regional/national adoption of the standard in the region/country concerned. Such an adoption is a modified (MOD) version of the IEC standard." The document goes on to say that "each national committee has full authority over statements concerning conditions in its country," and also "the inclusion of the statement does not need the approval of the relevant (IEC) technical committee."
If lightning in your own country is not of the 10/350 waveform variety, you have a "national essential difference."
Study the The CIGRE 2013 Technical Brochure 549 on lightning parameters and see if you find evidence that lightning in your country conforms to a 10/350 waveform. Any national standards-making body determining that the lightning in its country is not of the 10/350 waveform variety, may take immediate action with a simple statement such as:
"National Essential Difference in Federal Republic of Germany: Based on CIGRE's 2013 Technical Brochure 549 "Lightning Parameters for Engineering Applications" and as confirmed by our country's own experts, lightning in the Federal Republic of Germany does not conform to a 10/350 waveshape. Therefore the Federal Republic of Germany's modified MOD 62305 Series will not use a Class I Test or any other references to a 10/350 waveform."
(Note: The above statement is only an example-you'd have to insert your own country's name. We did not choose "Germany" because we believed it would be easy for this website to gain acceptances there. But, since that is where the rush to 10/350 began, we warmly and sincerely invite the men and women of good will in that country to lead the way in removing 10/350 from lightning protection standards and practices.)
(Hinweis: Die obige Aussage ist nur ein Beispiel, müssen Sie Ihre eigenen Land den Namen eingefügt werden. Wir haben nicht "Deutschland" selektieren, weil wir glaubten, es wäre leicht für diese Website, um dort akzeptiert zu werden. Aber, da der Ansturm auf 10/350 begann es, deshalb wir heißen Sie herzlich und aufrichtig laden die Männer und Frauen guten Willens in diesem Land in den Weg bei der Beseitigung von 10/350 von Blitzschutz-Standards und Praktiken zu führen.)
Be proactive. Act now.
Those already on standards bodies: get to work immediately on reforming any standard that is based on a 10/350 waveform. From this moment on, refuse to support or approve any standard where the 10/350 waveform mandatory test requirement is still in force. This includes IEC 62305 Series, IEC 61643 series, IEC 60364 series, and all others. If someone proposes an amendment, correction or addition, refuse to sign off on it unless it ALSO includes the deletion of all mandatory 10/350 Class I testing requirements and any statement inferring that lightning can only be or is best represented by a 10/350 waveform. If you are interested in upgrading lightning surge protection standards in your country but are not yet on a regional or national standards body, we invite you to join.
Send an email to the officers of TC 81 expressing your concern:
Chairman: Mr Mitchell A. Guthrie (US)
Secretary: Mr Giovanni Battista Lo Piparo (IT)
Asst. Secretary: Mr Carlo Mazzetti (IT)
Technical Officer: Mr Damien Lee (Singapore)
Make your voice heard. Refuse to specify spark gap protectors for critical installations. Refuse to specify MOV SPDs that cannot divert current peaks of at least 160kA to 200kA at critical service entrance installations. Get involved in your local SPD standards committee. You can make a difference. If this website makes sense to you, share it with your fellow workers and on social networks. Share your experiences concerning confusing or inadequate instructions from standards using the 10/350 waveform. Share lightning protection failures known to you. Help improve the quality of lightning protection in your area.
Do not allow spark gaps to be used to protect sensitive electronics. There are much better options that really work. Finding out about them will not be hard and will save you the aggravation and expense of having your equipment damaged or your network shut down as the result of lightning damage.
If you witnessed the hijacking of a standard, share it with fellow workers and on your social networks.
If you know of instances where following the standards and using spark gaps led to damage or destruction, broadcast them broadly.
If you have suggestions on how best to replace the 10/350 waveform in standards, make them known.