Switchgears are a combination of disconnect switches or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment. The switchgear consists of a cubicle unit that is attached to a lower frame and they help in identifying faults found in an electricity network such as generating, distributing r transmitting and helps in turning off power.
Electric switchgears are the heart of any industrial facility’s electrical system. The switchgears serve as the intermediary between the incoming electricity from the utility companies and all other electrical circuits within the facility. They are of various voltage classes; we have the low voltage (less than 1 KV), the medium voltage (1 KV to 75 KV), high voltage (75 KV to 230 KV) and the extremely high voltage (Above 230 KV). These switch gears can pose a serious risk to workers and if there are accidents, the likelihood of death is very high. It is therefore very important that we know how to handle it with great caution and strict adherence to standard safety procedures. With this in mind, here is how you can perform basic installation for your LV/MV switchgears.
Prior to installation, you need to create the right foundation for it. Whether indoor or outdoor, concrete slabs or pilings, the foundation must have a smooth level surface.
- Measure the floor where you want to install the switchgear with a tape measure and draw and outline of it.
- Mark holes in locations on the wall that will be behind the switchgear. Drill ½ inch diameter holes into wall. Insert cable sleeve into each hole and tap the cable sleeve into the holes.
- Place the anchor brackets onto the lower frame unit; tighten the bolts but not completely.
- Mark the floor for the location of the anchor bolts with a felt tip marker. Drill holes for the anchor bolts into the floor using the power drill. Insert the anchor bolts into the holes and tighten the anchor bolts with the socket wrench.
- Set the lower frame in position on the floor.
- Attach a nut onto each anchor bolt.
- Attach the power cables to the switch gear cubicle which is the unit that will be placed on top of the lower frame. Route the power cables into the lower frame and secure them to the cable brackets with a cable clamp
- Remove the plastic cover and any strappings on the switch gear cubicle. Disconnect the sensor cable from the sensor cable connector.
- Lift the cubicle up into position with a service trolley by using a small crane, secure your switch gear cubicle the lower frame by inserting the bolts the bolt holes. Tighten each bolt fully with the socket wrench, complete all the wiring and cable connections and you are good to go.
N/B: Make sure to leave enough space in front of your switch gears so doors can be opened to pull out breakers and transformers. Other tips that can be helpful in maintaining your switchgears are not to always blow out the equipment because dust, filings, light metals, rags and saw dust can be blown into positions where they become inaccessible and may pass unnoticed. It’s better to vacuum clean the plant. For better safety do not operate your switch gears manually or in switch rooms, New standards advocate for operators to track and operate switch gears form remote locations.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends a maintenance frequency of 3 months to 6 years, depending on how critical the equipment is as well as the nature of the system in which is it installed. Proactive maintenance will improve the safety and reliability of a facility.
We offer a full range of switchgear installation & Upgrade services including:
- AC and DC High Potential Testing
- Protective Relay Testing and Calibration
- Power Factor Testing
- Cable Testing
- Functional Testing of Switchgear Components
- Complete Point to Point Checkout of All Control Circuits
- Verify Relay and Circuit Breaker Settings per Coordination Study
- Circuit Breaker Testing
- Isolation Panel Testing
We also have a full fledge panel workshop with capacity to build LV and MV switch gears, retrofit existing panels, upgrade or repair switchgears.
Find out more about our services on www.gilautomation.com