Guidelines for Switchgear Maintenance

Why is Switchgear Maintenance Important? In an electrical system, a switchgear is composed…

Why is Switchgear Maintenance Important?

In an electrical system, a switchgear is composed of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment. Switchgear is used both to de-energize equipment to allow work to be done and to clear faults downstream. This type of equipment is directly linked to the reliability of the electricity supply.

Why is Switchgear Maintenance Important

When switchgear goes wrong, the results can be devastating. Repairing the switchgear itself may be costly. But this is minor when taking into account any connected harm and potential risks to individuals.

This is why it is crucial to have an efficient system of testing, inspection, and maintenance for switchgear. Even if a switchgear is stated as “maintenance free”, it should still be regularly tested and serviced.

How often should switchgear maintenance be done?

For most switchgear systems, manufacturers recommend performing maintenance at least once a year. Simple annual maintenance should include cleaning, testing, and inspecting the equipment for signs of wear or damage.

Depending on the environment in which the switchgear is located, more frequent maintenance may be necessary. Using a simple maintenance routine can greatly reduce the potential problems of switchgear. And it can also potentially save yourself the cost.

Maintain efficiency, availability and safety with the right maintenance program

high voltage ring network cabinet

A well-designed maintenance program is essential to ensure the efficiency, availability and safety of low voltage switchgears.

The program should include appropriate maintenance practices that are tailored to the specific operating conditions of the switchgear. This includes regular inspections, testing, lubrication and adjustments as appropriate.

Additionally, it is important to regularly check for any signs of wear or damage, and replace any faulty parts immediately.

By taking action quickly, you can reduce the risk of further complications or additional breakdowns in the future.

To ensure that your switchgear is running at optimal levels, it is also important to monitor its voltage on a regular basis and make changes as needed. With an effective maintenance program in place, you can ensure that your switchgear remains safe, efficient and available for many years to come.

Preventative Maintenance for Switchgear and Electrical Distribution Systems

Develop a Switchgear Preventive Maintenance Plan

Developing a switchgear preventive maintenance plan is essential for ensuring the safety and efficiency of the equipment. The plan should include regular visual inspections, maintenance procedures and a maintenance routine.

Visual inspections are important to detect any potential problems or signs of wear so that they can be addressed before they become a more serious issue.

Maintenance procedures should follow manufacturer guidelines as well as industry standards and best practices to ensure that the switchgear is safely maintained and operated.

Establishing a maintenance routine can greatly extend the life of the switchgear by providing regular, scheduled preventative care.

Properly maintaining switchgear is essential for preventing electrical fires and other safety hazards, as well as improving reliability and greatly extend the lifespan of the equipment.

high voltage switchgear structure

Determine Your Equipment’s Environment

high voltage switchgear with vacuum circuit breaker

Knowing what type of environment your equipment is in can guide many of your decisions. If the switchgear is dusty, is it from normal, outdoor dust, smoke, or coal dust?

Different types of contaminants may require different types and quantities of cleaning products and supplies, like vacuum filters and rags. If you have ceramic insulators, it might be essential to apply wax (contact the producer for the type needed). If the insulators are made from epoxy, lint-free cloths and liquor may suffice.

Environments with high concentrations of chemicals in the air can cause accelerated deterioration of metallic components (especially technology devices). Photographs should be taken to track the physical condition of the equipment. If silver-plated parts appear to be disintegrating or have drastically changed color, infrared imaging may be necessary to confirm that no heat spots are present, as this could mean a potential breakdown.

Use Procedures Specific To Your Equipment Type

Know what type of equipment you are going to maintenance. At a minimum, you should have basic procedures that outline what is needed for each type of equipment to be serviced, such as load break switches, air circuit breakers, vacuum circuit breakers, and motor starters.

Also, remember to check for bolt tightness and insulation coverings (cables & bus) as well as inspect surge arresters and instrument transformers. The procedures should include which type of lubrication to be used, where and how to apply the lubrication, relay information for testing both electromechanical and digital relays, torque wrench requirements, and TTR testing details.

Find out if the equipment you have uses a specific type or brand of lubrication. In some cases, using the incorrect product will void a warranty or is less effective than the materials the manufacturer used.

switchgear internal structure

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