ITI (CBEMA) Curve Application Note

Published by Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), 1250 Eye Street NW Suite 200, Washington DC 20005, 202-737-8888,

The ITI (CBEMA) Curve, included within this Application Note, is published by Technical Committee 3 (TC3) of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI, formerly known as the Computer & Business Equipment Manufacturers Association). It is available at

The ITI (CBEMA) Curve and this Application Note describe an AC input voltage envelope which typically can be tolerated (no interruption in function) by most Information Technology Equipment (ITE). The Curve and this Application Note comprise a single document and are not to be considered separately from each other. They are not intended to serve as a design specification for products or AC distribution systems. The Curve and this Application Note describe both steady-state and transitory conditions.

The Curve and this Application Note are applicable to 120V nominal voltages obtained from 120V, 208Y/120V, and 120/240V 60Hz systems. Other nominal voltages and frequencies are not specifically considered and it is the responsibility of the user to determine the applicability of these documents for such conditions.

This section provides a brief description of the individual conditions which are considered in the Curve. For all conditions, the term “nominal voltage” implies an ideal condition of 120V RMS, 60Hz. Seven types of events are described in this composite envelope. Each event is briefly described in the following sections, with two similar line voltage sags being described under a single heading. Two regions outside the envelope are also noted. All conditions are assumed to be mutually exclusive at any point in time, and with the exception of steady-state tolerances, are assumed to commence from the nominal voltage. The timing between transients is assumed to be such that the ITE returns to equilibrium (electrical, mechanical, and thermal) prior to commencement of the next transient.

3.1) Steady-State Tolerances
The steady-state range describes an RMS voltage which is either very slowly varying or is constant. The subject range is +/- 10% from the nominal voltage. Any voltages in this range may be present for an indefinite period, and are a function of normal loadings and losses in the distribution system.

3.2) Line Voltage Swell
This region describes a voltage swell having an RMS amplitude of up to 120% of the RMS nominal voltage, with a duration of up to 0.5 seconds. This transient may occur when large loads are removed from the system or when voltage is supplied from sources other than the electric utility.

3.3) Low-Frequency Decaying Ringwave
This region describes a decaying ringwave transient which typically results from the connection of powerfactor-correction capacitors to an AC distribution system. The frequency of this transient may range from 200Hz to 5KHz, depending upon the resonant frequency of the AC distribution system. The magnitude of the transient is expressed as a percentage of the peak 60Hz nominal voltage (not the RMS value). The transient is assumed to be completely decayed by the end of the half-cycle in which it occurs. The transient is assumed to occur near the peak of the nominal voltage waveform. The amplitude of the transient varies from 140% for 200Hz ringwaves to 200% for 5KHz ringwaves, with a linear increase in amplitude with increasing frequency. Refer to Figure 1 for an example of a typical waveform.

Figure 1 – Typical Low Frequency Decaying Ringwave

3.4) High-Frequency Impulse and Ringwave
This region describes the transients which typically occur as a result of lightning strikes. Wave shapes applicable to this transient and general test conditions are described in ANSI/IEEE C62.41-1991. This region of the curve deals with both amplitude and duration (energy), rather than RMS amplitude. The intent is to provide an 80 Joule minimum transient immunity.

3.5) Voltage Sags
Two different RMS voltage sags are described. Generally, these transients result from application of heavy loads, as well as fault conditions, at various points in the AC distribution system. Sags to 80% of nominal (maximum deviation of 20%) are assumed to have a typical duration of up to 10 seconds, and sags to 70% of nominal (maximum deviation of 30%) are assumed to have a duration of up to 0.5 seconds.

3.6) Dropout
A voltage dropout includes both severe RMS voltage sags and complete interruptions of the applied voltage, followed by immediate re-application of the nominal voltage. The interruption may last up to 20 milliseconds. This transient typically results from the occurrence and subsequent clearing of faults in the AC distribution system.

3.7) No Damage Region
Events in this region include sags and dropouts which are more severe than those specified in the preceding paragraphs, and continuously applied voltages which are less than the lower limit of the steady-state tolerance range. The normal functional state of the ITE is not typically expected during these conditions, but no damage to the ITE should result.

3.8) Prohibited Region
This region includes any surge or swell which exceeds the upper limit of the envelope. If ITE is subjected to such conditions, damage to the ITE may result.

ITI (CBEMA) Curve (Revised 2000)

ITI (CBEMA) Curve (Revised 2000)

Published by PQBlog

Electrical Engineer

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