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06/Oct/2019

7 ways to enhance Switchgear’s life

Switchgear is a device used for switching, controlling and protecting electrical circuits and equipment. It is the backbone of modern day electrical apparatus and plays a crucial role in keeping the facilities up and running. It is vital to keep Switchgears in good state to avoid fire accidents and other hazardous situations from erupting. Switchgear health can be maintained by taking the following precautions -

  •  Perform infrared inspections 

Thermal imaging (infrared) is possible when the equipment is energised. An infrared inspection can identify loose bus connections before they result in full or partial equipment outage. Having infrared viewing windows installed allows infrared inspections to be done quickly and safely.

  •  Exercise circuit breakers on an annual basis

A simple but valuable practice is to manually operate circuit breakers once a year. This keeps the contacts clean and helps operating mechanisms move freely.

  •  Recondition the equipment

A more intensive maintenance option for circuit breakers is in-shop reconditioning, which should be performed when the on-site maintenance work scope cannot bring the circuit breaker within tolerances defined by current industry standards. The circuit breaker is completely disassembled, cleaned, and inspected. Damaged parts are refurbished or replaced and pivot points are re-lubricated before the circuit breaker is reassembled.

  • Keep good records and trend performance

Tracking test data provides a better idea of the expected life of the equipment and helps to focus maintenance efforts on the areas that need it the most.

  • Upgrade the Equipment

Online monitoring tools are available that can provide warnings of impending failures. Online monitoring systems operate continually and have the advantage of recognising a condition that may not be apparent during a one-time inspection.

  • Outsource preventive maintenance via a long-term service agreement

Very few electrical maintenance or contracting companies can perform all the required maintenance activities for an electrical distribution system. Outsourcing preventive maintenance will ensure that maintenance will not be overlooked and standardised scope of work is used throughout the duration of the agreement.

  • Online monitoring systems

Online monitoring tools are available that can provide warnings of impending failures. Online monitoring systems operate continually and have the advantage of recognising a condition that may not be apparent during a one-time inspection.

 

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