You must already know about switchgear if you have come across an electrical transformer. Switchgear’s importance is widely known since it is primarily designed in such a way that whenever there is a problem, switchgear cuts off the electricity.
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Electrical switchgear installation and its importance may not mean anything to a layman. But an electrical plant supervisor knows and understands the importance and critical role that electrical switchgear plays.
The sizeable electrical cabinets that you see in a manufacturing plant are electrical switchgears. Fuses and circuit breakers are used by electrical switchgear in order to detach the electrical equipment. The electrical structures are installed with electrical switchgears in order to de-energize the apparatus to work on and repair any kind of electrical troubles happening in the system.
Use of Switchgears in Electrical Plants
Motors and various other electrical equipment of large capacity use high voltage switchgear, which come with more than 35,000 volts. Low voltage switchgears come with a voltage less than 1000 volts. Insulators such as air, oil, vacuum, and gas are used by switchgears of different types. You can locate switchgears either inside your building or outside covered in metal cabinets. The manufacturing plants which use electrical equipment of large capacity will always get electrical switchgear installed in their plant. In case you are a plant supervisor, you will be held responsible for maintenance and performance of electrical switchgear. The lifeline of a plant depends on efficient working of the machineries without any breakups due to faulty electrical circuits. This can enable the workers to continue their work without interruption.
The kind of maintenance program for your switchgear depends on the material which has been used to make a switch gear and the use of it. You need to understand whether oil filled or blast vacuum maintenance is needed according to your switchgear type.
Types of Switchgear Maintenance Programs
You need to determine the importance of the electric grid to which switchgear is attached in order to decide the type of maintenance.
Things to know about switchgear maintenance are:
- Constant Monitoring: the equipment is attached to the computer system which keeps on updating the several pieces of machinery. This is carried out periodically through planning and testing schedule. This is a cost prohibitive maintenance and is used in case where switchgear is attached to important part of the grid. This needs a sole dedicated person for monitoring.
- Run to failure: It is a very cost effective form of program. In this type, the equipment is allowed to run until it needs repair, which is why no maintenance is done.
- Combination Monitoring: This type is the combination of the above two types. The right choice will save you from large amount of downtime and any other problems.
The switchgear maintenance can also be carried out in-house by the switchgear company. The companies use extra circuit breakers while the others have been sent for being analyzed. The downtime can be prevented when there is electrical outage by maintaining top-class auxiliary equipment.
By Roft Mark