Best Practise in Low Voltage Switchgear Installation, Commisioning, Operation and Maintenance.

The core of every industry today be it Manufacturing, Food and Beverages, Oil and Gas, or Utility hinge on their switch room. On the other hand, the reliability and availability of quality power supply bears the hallmark of well installed, commissioned and maintained switchgears.

For this reason Gil Automation has dedicated a competent center for all switchgear related solutions in the entire industries. This has been made possible through seamless synergies with the switchgear manufacturers like Siemens, ABB, Schneider, Eaton, Alstom, etc. for all categories of switchboard.

In an electric power system, switchgear is the combination of electrical disconnects switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment. This type of equipment is directly linked to the reliability of the electricity supply.

The basic function of switchgear is protection, which is interruption of short-circuit, overload and earth fault currents while maintaining service to unaffected circuits, provides isolation of circuits from power supplies also used to enhance system availability by allowing more than one source to feed a load.

There various switchgear type, below is the classification according to Voltage class:

  1. Low Voltage Switchgears
  2. Medium Voltage Switchgears
  3. High Voltage Switchgears

Low Voltage switchgears

Generally electrical switchgear rated up to 1KV is termed as low voltage switchgear. The term LV Switchgear includes low voltage circuit breakers, switches, off load electrical isolators, HRC fuses, earth leakage circuit breaker, miniature circuit breakers (MCB) and molded case circuit breakers (MCCB) etc.

Applications of low voltage switchgear are the following which are regulated by IEC 61439-1.

  1. Distribution board panel (DB)
  2. Automatic changeover panel (ATS)
  3. Automatic power factor correction panel (APFC)
  4. Motor control center (MCC)
  5. Lighting kiosk panel
  6. Feeder pillar panel
  7. Synchronization panel

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Accessories required in assembling Low Voltage switchgears are:

  1. Incoming Breaker
  2. Outgoing Breakers
  3. Bus bars
  4. Miniature Circuit Breakers
  5. Control Relays
  6. Electric cable
  7. Terminal Rail
  8. Terminal Boxes
  9. Cable duct
  10. Surge protective device / arresters
  11. Panel multimeters
  12. Indicator lamps
  13. Selector switch
  14. Illuminated push buttons etc.

Depending upon the requirement, switchgear may be stand-alone or wall mounted as in the case of an outdoor switchyard or in board formation as in case of a power plant. In most of the switchgears, the facility for local as well as remote operation is provided

The erection includes placing the equipment’s on its foundation, completion of assembly, i.e. assembly of items/sub-assemblies supplied loose, their mechanical and electrical inter-connection, fitting of any extra instruments/devices, and completion of control and power circuits.

 

LV switchgear Maintenance

The electrical switchgear and all its equipment continue to age whether they operate or not. This aging process is due mainly to environmental influences and operating conditions. To ensure that Low voltage switchgear and especially circuit breaker retains the operating and safety characteristics specified in the catalogue for the whole of its service life, it is recommended that:

  • The device is installed in optimum environmental and operating conditions
  • Routine inspections and regular maintenance are carried out by qualified personnel.

A device placed in given conditions is subjected to its effects. The main factors that accelerate device ageing are:

  • temperature
  • vibration
  • relative humidity
  • salt environment
  • dust
  • Corrosive atmospheres.
  • percent load
  • current harmonics

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance consists in carrying out, at predetermined intervals or according to prescribed criteria, checks intended to reduce the probability of a failure or deterioration in the operation of a system.

There are two types of preventive switchgear maintenance:

Periodic maintenance

For each type of product, maintenance recommendations have to be formalized in a dedicated document by the technical department. These verification procedures, intended to maintain systems or their subassemblies in correct operating condition over the targeted service life, must then be carried out according to the time intervals stipulated in this document.

Conditional maintenance

  • To a certain extent, conditional-maintenance operations are a means to reduce (but not eliminate) the recommended periodic-maintenance operations (thus limited to the strict minimum) that require an annual shutdown of the installation.
  • These operations are launched when programmed alarms indicate that a predefined threshold has been reached. (Number of operation > durability, aging indicators…)
  • Electronic trip units in power circuit breaker can propose such functions. Conditional maintenance is the means to optimize installation maintenance.

 

At Gil Automations our engineers also evaluate the condition of your switchgear types to determine the most cost-effective and manageable solution to ensure its overall performance, safety and reliability.

Our MV switchgear & LV switchgear solution portfolio at GIL Automation is well equipped with equipment for installation and qualified Technicians and Engineers skilled to install and commission any switchgear with varying requirements ranges from 33kV, 11kV, 6.6kV 3.3kV down to 0.415KV.

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