Custom Switchgear Manufacturer From China

  • Over 30 years of industry experience in switchgear manufacturing.

  • Annual production of more than 10,000 switchgear units.

  • Serving over 200 clients across various industries every year.

  • Customizable solutions tailored to meet specific client requirements.

  • Dedicated after-sales support and maintenance services.

Whatoop Switchgear

Whatoop Switchgear

Switchgear is an essential component in electrical systems, acting as a critical tool for protecting and controlling electrical circuits. By isolating and de-energizing faulty equipment, switchgear enhances the safety and reliability of power networks, preventing damage and reducing downtime.

At Whatoop, we are committed to delivering top-quality switchgear solutions for our diverse clientele. Our product range includes low, medium, and high-voltage switchgear units that cater to various industrial and commercial applications. Manufactured under strict quality control measures, our switchgear products are designed for optimal performance and long-lasting durability.

As a testament to our dedication to excellence, our switchgear products have garnered numerous accolades and certifications. These include CCC, CE, UL, and RoHS, which affirm our commitment to adhering to international safety and environmental standards. Whatoop’s reputation for quality and reliability has made us a trusted partner to clients worldwide.

Featured Electrical Switchgears

Medium Voltage Switchgear

Low Voltage Switchgear

Whatoop supply the ABB MNS Low Voltage Switchgear System. The MNS Low Voltage system is a low voltage switchgear assembly. Its design is verified in accordance with IEC 61439-1/2.

Medium Voltage Switchgear

Medium Voltage Switchgear

KYN28 series is WHATOOP high voltage switchboard products, mainly used in power plants, generators, industrial and mining enterprises, large high voltage motor starting and other application scenarios.

High Quality Custom Switchgear Solution

Whatoop provides a full range of switchgear solutions at competitive prices.

Switchboards

Custom Switchgear Features

We provide low-voltage and medium-voltage switchgear for areas including Agriculture, manufacturing, automotive, logistics…

  • Robust construction with high-quality materials, ensuring durability and reliability.

  • Advanced protection mechanisms that safeguard electrical circuits from faults and overloads.

  • Seamless integration with existing electrical systems for enhanced operational efficiency.

  • Easy installation and maintenance, reducing downtime and overall costs.

  • Eco-friendly design, complying with RoHS and other environmental standards.

Whatoop Switchgear Application

Metallurgical Industry

Metallurgical Industry

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry

Airport

Power Plant

Power Plant

New Energy Field

New Energy Field

Residential Building

Residential Building

Steps To Custom Switchgear

Order Review & Confirmation

Upon receiving an order, we carefully review it to ensure that we fully understand the customer’s requirements. We then confirm the order with the customer and send a confirmation letter.

Design & Engineering

We have a team of experienced engineers who develop a detailed design for the switchgear system. This ensures that the system meets the required specification and is customized to the customer’s needs.

Production & Assembly

We manufacture and assemble the switchgear system in-house, using state-of-the-art equipment and skilled technicians. We perform quality control inspections during the production process to ensure that the system is built to the required standards.

Testing & Commissioning

We conduct a series of tests to ensure that the switchgear system operates safely and meets the required specification. Once testing is complete, we ship the system to the customer’s site.

Shipping & Installation

We provide shipping and installation services to ensure that the switchgear system is installed correctly and safely. We provide documentation and support to assist the customer in the installation process.

After-sales Support

We provide after-sales support to our customers, including training on how to operate and maintain the switchgear system, troubleshooting and repair services, and ongoing maintenance and service contracts.

Switchgear Manufacturer FAQ

Found in 1997, Whatoop is a leading switchgear manufacturer in Shanghai City, China, which has specialized in switchgear manufacturing & designing for more than 30 years.

Our R&D team can customize products according to customers’ requirements.

It usually takes three to six months depending on the projects, and we offer at least 1 year-warranty for our products, and full lifespan after-sales service.

Our products are 100% tested before leaving the factory to ensure that the products sent to customers are trouble free.welcome to visit our factory.

Whatoop is open to the cooperation of agents or dealers. If you are interested, feel free to contact us.

HUATON has all the certificates for switch cabinets below 35KVA conforming to IEC standards.

HUATON is located in No. 388, Yitian Road, Pudong New District, Shanghai. If you want to visit us, feel free to contact the sales team and HUATON welcomes your visit.

Switchgear Manufacturer FAQ

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Switchgear FAQ Guide

Switchgear consists of electrical circuit breakers, fuses, and circuit breakers, and is used to manage, protect, and isolate electrical equipment in a power system. Switchgear is used to power equipment so that it can be worked on, and to clear downstream faults.

The reliability of the power supply is directly related to this kind of equipment. In this article, we will discuss what switchgear is, how it works, what it provides, and what types of switchgear are available. Let’s get started.

Switchgear is a device used in power systems to regulate, control, and make and break circuits. Various examples of switchgear include fuses, switches, relays, voltage transformers, lightning arresters, indicating instruments, and control panels. Switchgear in electronic systems consists of electrical disconnect switches, circuit breakers or fuses to control, isolate and protect electrical equipment. It is used to de-energize equipment so work can be done and to clear faults occurring downstream.

In the early days, central power stations used open knife gates mounted on asbestos or marble insulation panels. By manually operating the switch to create the opening, voltage and power levels ramp up rapidly. These are considered highly lethal to everything except the isolation of powered circuits. Oil-filled switchgear allows arc energy to be safely contained and maintained. The switchgear series became a metal-enclosed structure with electrical switching elements that were controlled by oil circuit breakers by the early 20th century.

Currently, oil-filled equipment has been replaced by the blower, SF equipment, or vacuum. This allows automatic equipment to safely control power levels and high currents. High-voltage switchgear was invented in the late 19th century to operate electric motors and motors. Switchgear can be found in substations, commercial and industrial buildings, paper mills, metal smelters, power distribution substations, and substations. These are mainly used where electrical energy is distributed or utilized in various areas.

The classification of switchgear can be classified according to different standards. Here are the different types of switchgear based on application, voltage, insulation, and construction:

1) Application Type

The main components of the switchgear include switches, circuit breakers, and transformers. It is vital that switchgear is installed in power facilities and substations to protect workers during maintenance and operation and to ensure that the consequences of failure of any part of the equipment are confined to restricted areas. On the basis of application type, Electrical Switchgear can be broadly categorized as,

1. Outdoor switchgear

For voltages above 66 kV, we install external switchgear systems. This is because, at such voltages, the tolerances between wires and the area required for switches, circuit breakers, transformers, and other equipment become so large that it is not feasible to house all these machines indoors. Circuit breakers, isolators, transformers, busbars, and all other substation equipment require huge areas, representing huge electrical clearances associated with high voltages.

Definition:

Outdoor switchgear is an electrical device located in an outdoor substation. The gear contains a breaker for transferring the load without interruption. Therefore, the exterior can contain both high-voltage and low-voltage transformers, a device that is crucial in power transmission.

Application:

  • Voltages above 66kV usually use outdoor switchgear.

2. Indoor switchgear

Indoor electrical switchgear is one type of switchgear. For voltages below 66 kV, the switchgear is usually placed internally due to budgetary considerations. It is usually in the form of metal cladding. In this form of construction, all moving parts are completely enclosed in a grounded metal enclosure. The main purpose of this method is to precisely place and confine any defect to its location of origin.

Definition:

The indoor switchgear is a block module in which there is electrical switchgear of 0.4 kV. Switchgear is a broad term referring to a device that mixes safety control and metering equipment as a whole. Internal switchgear systems are intended to be placed in clean, dry, and climate-conditioned indoor environments.

Application:

  • Indoor switchgear is used to power and switch on equipment such as transformers, transmission lines, motors, and generators.
  • It will regulate and power different devices while protecting the gadget.
  • It can also be used as an internal switchgear to locate problems in electrical systems.

switchgear guide

2) Categories of voltage

Switchgear can be divided into the following categories according to the voltage level,

1. Low voltage (LV) switchgear

Electrical switchgear for low-voltage applications is typically adjustable to 1000 V AC and 1500 V DC. Commonly used low-voltage electrical appliances include oil circuit breakers, air circuit breakers, switch fuses, unloading isolators, HRC fuses, leakage currents, miniature circuit breakers, molded case circuit breakers, circuit breakers, residual current protectors, etc. That means everything you need to protect your low-voltage system. The most typical usage is in low-voltage distribution cabinets.

Definition: 

Low-voltage metal-enclosed switchgear is a kind of three-level power transmission and transformation equipment. It can safely, efficiently, and reliably deliver power up to 1,000 volts and 6,000 amps. This switchgear is typically located on the secondary low-voltage side of a distribution transformer.

2. Medium voltage (MV) switchgear

Switchgear for medium voltage applications is available in classes from 3.3 kV to 33 kV. Medium-voltage switchgear is often used to transfer electrical energy that is connected to different grids. They are mainly composed of ordinary machinery, such as minimum oil circuit breakers, gas insulation, vacuum and gas insulated switchgear large capacity oil circuit breakers, gas magnetism, etc.

Metal-enclosed indoor type, outdoor type, outdoor type without metal shell, etc. also belong to this kind of switchgear. Disruption sources can be oil, gas, and vacuum. No matter what form of CB is used in the system, the basic requirement of the MV grid is to cut off the power in the fault condition. Although it can work in other situations as well. For more information, you can look at medium-voltage switchgear manufacturers.

Definition:

Depending on the maximum voltage they can handle, medium voltage switchgear is classified. Medium-voltage switchgear provides centralized safety and control for medium-voltage electrical equipment and circuits in industrial, commercial, and utility installations, including generators, electric motors, feeder circuits, and transmission and distribution lines.

Application:

  • Standard ON and OFF toggle function
  • Short-circuit current interruption
  • Changes in induced current
  • control capacitor current

3. High voltage (HV) switchgear

Power system operating voltage exceeding 36kV is regarded as high voltage. Due to the high voltage threshold, a current is generated and the switching function is likewise very high. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the construction of high-voltage switchgear.

High-voltage circuit breakers also include SF6 circuit breakers or vacuum circuit breakers, which are key components of high-voltage switchgear. Therefore, high-voltage circuit breakers need to have unique characteristics in order to operate safely and reliably. Fault-tripping and switching functions for high-voltage circuit breakers are relatively rare.

Most of the time, these breakers are ON and can be used after a long time. Therefore, circuit breakers must be reliable enough to ensure safe operation when necessary.

Definition:

A power system with a working voltage exceeding 36KV is called a high-voltage switchgear. Due to the high voltage levels, the arcing generated during the switching operation is also quite high. Therefore, special attention is required during the development of the entire high-voltage switchgear.

Application:

  • High voltage transmission electrical switchgear is used in the substation.
  •  It helps regulate the flow of electricity in the bulk of the grid.
  •  It can operate at rated voltages from 145-800 kV, with neutral load currents up to 4 kA and short circuit currents up to 80 kA.

3) Voltage level

The insulating medium is related to the environment inside the electrical switchgear enclosure. It is used to protect live parts from accidental arc faults. While air is the most common insulator, gas and fluid insulation provide better dielectric stability. This makes the components of the switchgear smaller and thus more convenient Therefore, based on the insulating medium, there are four types of switchgear.

switchgear guide

1. Solid insulated switchgear

The definition of solid insulated switchgear is below.

Definition:

All live parts in the basic circuit of solid dielectric switchgear are molded in epoxy resin and then coated with a conductive layer that is connected to the ground. An all-solid insulation strategy will avoid a single wire-to-ground fault (if it occurs) from developing into a phase-to-phase short circuit.

2. Gas-insulated switchgear/GIS switchgear

Sf6 gas-insulated switchgear is very important for creating substations in load centers. Installing substations near load centers is very affordable and advantageous in many ways. Since it minimizes the length of the feeder, and due to the shorter length of the feeder, the quality of voltage regulation is improved. But the biggest obstacle to installing substations in load centers is space.

Generally, the main load center in any town is located in an extremely congested area where there is rarely enough space for a conventional substation.

Definition:

Gas Insulated Switchgear or GIS can be described as a mechanism for regulating equipment and circuit components in a unified gas tank with a small footprint. Also included being grounding devices to avoid electric shock and lightning arresters to minimize insulation failure caused by lightning strikes for added safety.

Application:

  • Gas-insulated switchgear, commonly referred to as GIS, is used extremely effectively in industry and utilities worldwide in Medium Voltage (MV), High Voltage (HV), and Extra High Voltage (EHV) substations.
  • The choice of GIS depends largely on space constraints, environmental conditions, and lifecycle costs.
  • GIS is helpful in environmental situations such as snowfall or corrosive atmospheres.

3. Air-insulated switchgear/AIS switchgear

Air-insulated electrical switchgear or commonly known as AIS switchgear uses air as the insulating material of its design. For medium voltage power supply systems with voltages from 11KV to 36KV. It plays the role of regulation and protection in the power system.

Definition:

The primary circuit elements of the air-insulated switchgear are constructed in the air-filled chamber. The pressure is stable and does not change with altitude. It is especially suitable for high-altitude environments. The main components of air-insulated switchgear are load switches and fuses, which are low in cost, safe in power supply, and small in size. The main advantages of air-insulated switchgear are its more favorable environmental efficiency and basic easy-to-operate design.

Application:

  • It is often used in distribution stations and small substations in load centers such as residential quarters, high-rise buildings, large public buildings, and industrial enterprises.
  • Air-insulated switchgear is a supplementary power transmission system.
  • It is a medium voltage switchgear that disperses the power of the main distribution installation supplied by a high voltage distribution transformer.
  • Used in airports, power stations, railway stations, shopping malls, etc.

switchgear guide

4. Oil-insulated switchgear

Definition:

Oil-filled switchgear allows controlled and safe regulation of arc energy. Electrical switchgear on the lower side of the transformer can be placed in the building, including medium-voltage circuit breakers for transmission lines, as well as metering, regulation, and protection equipment.

Application:

  • Min oil circuit breakers function very quickly and are used in distribution networks and substations.
  • These circuit switches are designed with live oil tanks and require only a small amount of oil.

4) Structure

The switchgear has the following structure.

1. Ring network cabinet

RMUs were developed in the UK and are now widely used in other countries. In North American power transmission projects, the opposite end of the ring main unit is generally located in the seat-mounted transformer. This combines the switch and transformer into one unit.

RMUs can be differentiated by the type of insulation: air, oil, or gas. Switches for isolating transformers can be fused switches or circuit breakers with vacuum or gas-insulated interrupters. The device may also have a protective relay to control the circuit breaker in the event of a fault.

Definition:

In power supply systems, a ring main unit or RMU is a system developed in a metal-encased switchgear. It is used in the load connection area of ring power supply systems. It consists of two switches in one unit, which can connect the load to one or both primary conductors and a var switch or circuit breaker and switch for supplying the distribution transformer.

Metal enclosure systems are connected to the transformer by sized bus ducts or wires and are usually secured externally. Ring primary wires to enter and exit the cabinet. RMU substations are right in size, extremely reliable, safe, and easy to maintain, replace and expand quickly.

Application:

  • Electrical switchgear such as this is used for medium voltage power transmission between 7200 volts and 36000 volts.
  • RMU (Ring Main Unit) cabinets or medium voltage cabinets are unified motors for interconnection, testing, and incorporation of fixed circuit breakers with transformer protection.

2. Gas-insulated substation

The definition of gas insulated substation is below.

Definition:

A gas-insulated substation (GIS) is a high-voltage substation in which the main transmission components are housed in sealed enclosures and use a dielectric gas called SF6 or sulfur hexafluoride gas as insulation. Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) is a very compact type of switchgear. Due to the use of SF6 (sodium hexafluoride) insulation, the size of the switchgear is greatly reduced. Compared to AIS, GIS is safer, more compact, and maintenance-free.

Application:

  • This product is widely used in medium and high-pressure applications.
  • Gas-insulated substations are small compared to other types of switchgear. They can be installed efficiently anywhere in multi-story buildings or even underground installations. Since the units are factory-manufactured, setup time is greatly reduced.

switchgear guide

3. Metal composite switchgear

Metal composite switchgear involves the construction of medium voltage electrical switchgear in which all electrical components such as input bus, output bus, instrumentation, and main circuit breakers or switches are enclosed in separate metal compartments for an additional level of safety, Sturdy and easy to maintain. Metal-clad switchgear is rated for voltages ranging from 5 kV to 38 kV.

Definition:

Metal-clad (MC) medium-voltage switchgear containing withdrawable motorized circuit breakers is enclosed. MC electrical switchgear is manufactured in sections to separate the components of the switchgear. Metal-encased switchgear with withdrawable circuit breakers for easy maintenance is widely used in industrial facilities as well as in power production and energy distribution facilities.

Application:

  • Metal cladding is suitable for systems with greater available fault currents.
  • Circuit breakers used in metal-clad switchgear may improve synchronicity within electrical systems.

4. Metal-enclosed switchgear

The definition of Metal-enclosed switchgear is below.

Definition:

Among the metal-enclosed switchgear are circuit breakers, mains fuses, fusible switches, and management and metering systems. These machines can be placed in public areas without any need for separating barriers.

Application:

  • This type of electrical switchgear is installed in commercial and many industrial establishments, especially when the input power is higher than 480 or 600V.

5. Withdrawable switchgear

The definition of withdrawable switchgear is below.

Definition:

Withdrawable switchgear offers a more flexible power solution than permanent switchgear because key aspects within the power system are adjustable. Accessibility of the ends of functional parts in withdrawable switchgear. However, it is only possible after the functional unit has been withdrawn from the system. This ensures that the terminals are always removed from the power supply before performing maintenance operations.

The economical design gives the operator quick access to critical parts requiring maintenance, as the withdrawable elements are placed on a carrier that can be easily and safely removed from and reassembled into the switchgear.

Application:

  • Withdrawable electrical switchgear in a double busbar configuration facilitates the use of one circuit breaker. As a result, the two busbar systems can transmit power alternately.

6. Power distribution cabinet

This type of electrical switchgear ensures that the power supply is completely transmitted within the facility. Power distribution cabinets are also known as switchboards, switchboards, circuit breaker panels, or panels. The wires are connected to the distribution board and the power is sent through the circuit breakers in the secondary circuit.

Definition: 

A switchboard is a system designed to provide the supply and redistribution of electrical energy, the safety of power lines, and the safety of overload and short-circuit currents. Additionally, it can meter energy usage when connected to a power meter.

Application:

  • It can be used in industrial and mining units to collect power in the substation room.
  • This can be used for centrally controlled power distribution bases with higher power supply reliability standards.
  • The power distribution cabinet is usually used as the main power distribution equipment, including the power distribution control of the production site of the industrial and mining industry.

switchgear guide

Switchgear has two components, the control system, and power conduction. Power conducting components include circuit breakers, fuses, switches, and surge arresters to interrupt the flow of electricity. Control systems include control panels, transformers such as potential and current protective relays, and connection circuits for monitoring, controlling, and protecting various components of power conduction.

Switchgear covers all kinds of equipment concerned with interrupting and switching currents under different conditions including normal and abnormal. It includes fuses, switches, relays, circuit breakers, and various other devices.

1. Change:

Switches are used to conveniently turn electrical circuits on and off. It can be used under different conditions of full load or no load. However, it cannot interrupt the fault current. Every time the switch’s contacts open, an arc is created in the air between the contacts.

This is true in the case of circuits with high voltage and large current capacity. According to the opening degree of the contacts, the switch can be divided into an oil switch, air switch, and isolation switch.

2. Fuse:

A fuse is a thin ribbon or short length of wire that melts when excess current flows through it long enough. It is inserted in series with the circuit to be protected. Under normal operating conditions, a fuse is recognized by the element at a temperature below the melting point.

It is known for carrying a normal load current without any overheating. In the event of an overload or short circuit, the current through the fuse increases the element beyond its rated capacity.

This is known to raise the temperature at which the fuse element melts, further opening the circuit it is protecting. This is how equipment and machinery are protected from any type of damage caused by excessive current flow. Fuses are known for performing various interrupt and detection functions.

3. Breaker:

Circuit breakers are switching devices used to open and close circuits under various conditions including full load, no load, and other fault conditions. It is designed in such a way that it can be operated manually or using remote control under normal and faulty conditions.

A relay circuit is used with a circuit breaker for the latter operation. A circuit breaker consists of fixed and moving contacts that are enclosed in a strong metal tank that is further immersed in an oil called transformer oil.

4. Relay:

A relay is a device used to detect a fault and provide information to a circuit breaker to interrupt a circuit. The main winding of the current transformer is connected in series with the circuit to be protected. The primary winding includes the main conductors.

The second circuit includes a secondary winding of a current transformer connected to a relay operating coil. The third is the trip circuit, which consists of the power supply, the fixed contacts of the relay, and the trip coil of the circuit breaker.

The main functions of this device include the following.

  • It protects equipment from short circuits and fault currents.
  • The device isolates the circuit from the power supply.
  • It increases system availability by allowing multiple sources to power the load.
  • It can open and close circuits under normal and abnormal conditions.
  • Under normal conditions, it can be operated manually, thus ensuring operator safety and proper power utilization.
  • In abnormal conditions, it operates mechanically. In the event of a fault, the device detects the fault and separates the damaged component in the power system. Therefore, it protects the power system from damage.

Circuit breakers and relays are the most common components found in automatic protective switching equipment. The relay will activate and normally close the trip circuit in the event of a fault, thus automatically disconnecting the faulty line. Then, the typical and required mains load is run by the functioning part. The cabinet manufacturer thus ensures that no damage is done to the equipment and that there is no interruption of supply.

All-electric equipment is susceptible to high currents when there is a fault or defect in the electrical system, which means equipment can be damaged and power can be interrupted. Circuit protection devices distribute power to different areas of a facility and to the electrical loads within those areas. They also provide protection for individuals and equipment by limiting the electrical current flowing through the facility.

switchgear guide

The switchgear belongs to the generation; the original model was primitive because all the components were fixed to the wall. But later, these were mounted on wooden panels. Later, these planks were replaced by marble or stone slabs for fire protection.

This further leads to improvements, since it is now possible to connect measuring and switching devices to the front, while the wiring is at the rear. A tumbler switch with a common fuse is considered the simplest switching device. This is used to protect and control devices in offices, homes, and lights.

For circuits where high rating, HRC, or high breaking capacity fuses are used with switches, they can function as shielding and control circuits. In high-voltage systems, switchgear is not profitable.

Switching devices basically involve interrupting and switching the current that exists under various normal or abnormal operating conditionsIf a higher-rated circuit is available, an HRC or high-breaking capacity fuse used with a switch can protect and control the circuit.

When a fuse blows, it usually takes time to replace it, which disrupts service to customers. Fuses cannot interrupt large fault currents caused by high-voltage system failures.

As electrical systems advanced, lines and various other devices began to operate at high voltages. These are known for carrying high currents. Every time there is a short circuit in the system, the high current flowing through the equipment can cause considerable damage.

To interrupt large fault currents, automatic or simple circuit breakers are used. A circuit breaker is a switching device that can open or close a circuit under various normal and abnormal conditions.

Its main features include the following.

  • Manual Control Provisions
  • quick operation
  • well-established discrimination
  • overall reliability
  • Common problems
  • Setup Preparation: This is the most important method. Having a proper plan and arranging the initially required materials will make the work process run smoothly.
  • Inspection of switchgear: After the switchgear leaves the factory, although it is guaranteed to be kept properly, it still needs to be properly inspected before it is put into use.
  • The setup works:   here is one of the main steps. Properly prepare the entire setup for installation.
  • Installing the switchgear: Now, the main work. Install the switchgear. The detailed steps for the same are given below. Switch cabinet components need special attention.
  • Check the switchgear: inspection is key. As you go through these major steps, it’s important to check at each stage. However, initial and final inspections are considered the most important ones. Here we are talking about the final inspection.

switchgear guide

  • Toolbox: All the necessary tools will be included.
  • Portable Hand Tools: This is necessary for securing and adjusting items.
  • Portable Drilling Machine: This is for securing holes and spaces in bolts and screws to make required adjustments.
  • Grinder: This is required for grinding purposes.
  • Digital Multimeter: This tool is used to measure voltage, current, and resistance.
  • Tape Measure: This is for measuring the area so you can hold switchgear and other necessities in the correct position.
  • Safety Shoes: This is to avoid any injury to the staff as the area will be filled with such substances.
  • Hard Hat: This is again to protect the head while working.
  • Safety Glasses: This is because there will be a lot of drilling and grinding which can affect the eyes.
  • Fluorescent Vest: This one is for body protection.
  • Safety Gloves: These are used to protect hands
  • Mobile Cranes: Used to move loads.

Personnel responsible for switchgear installation are Project Manager, Construction Manager, QA Engineer/QC Engineer, and Site Engineer. Safety materials alone will not achieve the purpose, and it is also important to follow certain procedures.

  1. Hire a professional to do the test work and operate the power tools.
  2. Proper lighting of nighttime work areas is very important.
  3. A PPE kit should be worn when working on the circuit.
  4. If there is a risk in the switchgear, it needs to be detected as early as possible.
  5. Contingency plans should always be in place.

It is also important to store it with care and prevent any related damage. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the material is always covered and stored in a dry space. Materials received on-site should first be thoroughly inspected before use. Any discrepancies should be notified as early as possible, which not only helps the whole process to be economical but also saves time.

In addition, on-site personnel ensures that the material is free from any minor defects, and if any such issues are found, it is repaired or sent to the site for rectification.

  • Verifying all components is the first step. All relays, fuses, meters, breaker sizes, bus bar sizes, etc. are verified.
  • The installation should be consistent with the provided store format.
  • Floors should be ready for installation with foundation frames grouted in open trenches.
  • Clearance must be left on the rear side to provide room for maintenance work.
  • The bus connection should be firm.
  • The manufacturer’s specification for cable radius needs to be followed.
  • Cable pulling, termination, and crimping required
  • A proper ground connection to the switchgear must be provided.
  • The electrical switchgear manufacturer’s recommendations regarding materials should not be disregarded.
  • All cable entries and other openings in rooms or floors involved in the process must be sealed with a suitable sealant.
  • The room needs to have proper air conditioning, the air conditioning unit needs to be installed outside rather than inside, and no water is allowed in the room.
  • The connecting cable length between the switchboard and the battery unit should be 4 mm.
  • Proper seating and spacing for fixing screws and bolts must be provided.
  • Frames and panels will be brought to position using the lifting method and placed systematically following the previously prepared model.
  • Trench construction and covering must be carried out according to a predetermined plan.
  • All equipment supports must be provided in the correct manner and must be properly installed. Vacuum circuit breakers and power distribution cabinets are very critical components and must be installed and fixed.
  • Next, the switchgear is moved in and placed on a concrete base, and fully assembled.
  • Make sure the installation is certified fit.
  • Install all cable brackets, cable ends, and termination fittings.
  • Don’t forget to tighten the connectors while grounded.
  • Wiring must be done at the main terminal block with numbered strips and appropriate box fuses.
  • The manufacturer’s instructions regarding the relay and the timer must be followed correctly.
  • Design controls and buttons for major power distribution systems.
  • The finished wood metal should be wrapped in acrylic plastic.

All switchgear belonging to medium voltage switchgear, such as SF6 gas insulated switchgear, metal-enclosed switchgear, metal composite switchgear, pad-mounted switchgear, and vaulted or underground switchgear, are installed in this way. However, certain differences can be seen in the installation procedures of low-voltage switchgear and high-voltage switchgear.

switchgear guide

Switchgear is typically built to withstand harsh environments and the forces imposed by operation. A switchgear’s life expectancy is the maximum amount of time it can operate without requiring major repairs.

The life expectancy of switchgear is defined as mechanical or electrical. Mechanical life depends on switch design, contact mass, and acceleration among other factors. Electrical life is mainly affected by the operating temperature and is usually short.

The service life of a switchgear also depends on its rated voltage. Low-voltage switchgear typically lasts 20 to 30 years, whereas high-voltage switchgear typically lasts 40 years or more. However, longevity can be greatly affected by several factors, including:

  • The environment in which the switchgear operates
  • How to use the switchgear
  • Maintenance quality of switchgear
  • The quality of the switchgear itself

While switchgear will eventually age and need to be replaced, there are ways to extend its life expectancy that users can take advantage of. Tips for increasing switchgear life expectancy are provided below.

You want the switchgear that distributes power throughout your facility to last as long as possible.  Fortunately, this is possible – with regular maintenance of switchgear and following a few best practices. Things to do to extend the life expectancy of your switchgear include those listed below.

1) Switchgear maintenance plan

A switchgear maintenance program is an absolute must if you want to extend the life of your switchgear. However, the plan should be designed by a qualified electrical engineer and include all recommended maintenance tasks for your particular switchgear.

Establish a work order system that generates maintenance tasks according to a set schedule for switchgear maintenance checklists.  This will ensure that all suggested tasks are executed in a timely manner and nothing is missed.

Be sure to include preventive maintenance tasks, such as predictive maintenance, preventive maintenance, and corrective maintenance.

1. Switchgear predictive maintenance

Switchgear predictive maintenance is maintenance that takes place before any problems occur with the equipment. This may involve conducting tests to identify potential problems and then taking steps to fix them before they cause any damage.

Predictive maintenance is often seen as the best way to maintain switchgear as it helps avoid costly repairs or replacements. It is also less disruptive than other types of maintenance because it can be performed while the equipment is still in use.

2. Switchgear preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance refers to activities designed to prevent potential problems from occurring. This often includes performing regular maintenance practices, such as visual inspections and making sure the equipment is clean and free of debris.

Switchgear preventive maintenance, like predictive maintenance, will help prevent problems before they occur. It helps reduce the cost of running the equipment and also prolongs the life of the equipment by avoiding problems.

3. Corrective maintenance of switchgear

Corrective maintenance is performed after a problem has already occurred. This type of maintenance involves repairing or replacing damaged parts or making adjustments and upgrades to existing equipment.

Corrective maintenance of switchgear helps to ensure that the equipment is safe for use and can continue to operate normally. In addition to ensuring that the electrical distribution system does not experience prolonged downtime, it also helps prevent further damage from occurring.

switchgear guide

2) Switchgear thermal monitoring

One of the biggest causes of reduced switchgear life expectancy is thermal damage. Thermal damage occurs when switchgear overheats due to electrical faults or other problems. High switchgear temperatures can also arise from sources external to the equipment, such as high-temperature operating environments.

Monitor the temperature of switchgear with a thermal imaging camera or infrared thermometer to spot potential problems before they cause damage. Check for any hot areas, as they may indicate an electrical fault or other problem that needs to be addressed.

Take steps to prevent overheating, such as providing ventilation to cool equipment or installing air conditioning in hot environments. This will greatly extend the service life of the switchgear and avoid unnecessary costs.

3) General switchgear monitoring

In addition to monitoring switchgear temperatures, it is also important to keep an eye on the equipment for any other potential problems. This requires a visual inspection to determine the condition of the switchgear.

Regularly inspect components for physical damage such as broken insulation, loose connections, or bent frames. These problems can lead to electrical failures, which can cause overheating and shorten life expectancy.

Also, monitor the switchgear for any unusual sounds or vibrations, as these may indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. By monitoring your switchgear and taking steps to fix any issues found, you can significantly extend its life.

4) Switchgear arc flash protection

The occurrence of a switchgear arc flash generates extreme heat and pressure. In a circuit breaker, the heat will eventually wear out the contacts. In other parts, arcing can cause insulation damage and, worse, cause switchgear to catch fire or explode.

One of the best ways to protect switchgear from arc flash damage is to install components that clear arc faults in a short amount of time, such as snap-action circuit breakers and other switches. It is also important to invest in a modern switchgear monitoring system that includes light sensors to detect arc flashes.

Another way to protect switchgear is to ensure that all electrical panels and cabinets are properly labeled. This will help ensure that only qualified personnel or switchgear technicians work on or near the equipment.

5) Transformation of switchgear

Switchgear technology is constantly evolving. By retrofitting existing switchgear with the latest technology, you can extend its life expectancy while improving its performance. Some of the latest switchgear technologies you may want to consider include flash mitigation devices and advanced monitoring systems

Retrofitting or upgrading switchgear is a big decision, but definitely worth the investment. By keeping up with the latest switchgear, you can increase the safety, reliability, and performance of your equipment, as well as its longevity.

In addition to upgrades, ensure that switchgear is repaired in a timely manner. This means taking action when a problem is first discovered. Fixing problems early will save you time and money in the long run, while also helping to extend the life of your switchgear.

6) Proper switchgear training

It is important to properly train all personnel who will work with the switchgear. This means everyone who comes into contact with the equipment, from maintenance personnel to those who use the switchgear on a daily basis. Switchgear training should cover proper operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Industrial facilities, commercial buildings, and even residences use switchgear. It can (and does) fail, just like any other electrical equipment. When this happens, it can mean all kinds of problems, such as downtime, lost production, and even injury.

Therefore, every facility owner or manager expects that equipment to always perform as expected. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. However, knowing the main reasons for electrical switchgear failures can help you prevent them.

switchgear guide

Switchgear failures arise from many different causes. Some are caused by the equipment itself, while others are caused by external factors. Regardless of the cause, failure of electrical switchgear can have serious consequences. Below is a list of the most common causes of switchgear failure. We’ll discuss how to prevent them later.

1) The switchgear is connected incorrectly

A switchgear connection is a bolted, screwed, or welded connection between different parts of a switchgear. Over time, these connections may loosen due to vibration or other factors. When this happens, an electrical arc can occur that can damage the equipment or start a fire. This type of failure is usually caused by poorly maintained switchgear.

2) Switchgear insulation degradation

Switchgear insulation is used to protect against electric shock. It can also help prevent fires by providing a barrier between live electrical parts and arc extinguishing or cooling. Over time, insulation can degrade from heat, chemicals, or other factors. When this happens, it can cause the switchgear to fail.

3) Improper maintenance of the switchgear

Switchgear should be serviced regularly by qualified personnel. Switchgear servicing includes regular cleaning, inspection, and testing. Occasionally, however, service intervals may be extended or skipped entirely. As a result, dirt, dust, and other contaminants accumulate, eventually causing the switchgear to fail.

4) Old switchgear components

Like any other type of electrical equipment, switchgear has a limited lifespan. The older the switchgear, the more likely it is to fail. That’s why it’s important to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended replacement schedule. This includes replacing old switchgear components and, if necessary, upgrading to the new switchgear.

5) Environmental reasons

Switchgear is designed to withstand a range of environmental conditions. However, extreme conditions can still cause failure. This includes high humidity, high temperatures, and even salty air. External causes of switchgear failure also include the entry of animals such as rodents into the equipment.

The selection of switchgear starts with the assessment of the requirements of the electrical system and ends with the installation of the selected switchgear. Between these two steps, every electrician must consider several factors such as cost, space constraints, and more. Here are the steps for selecting a switchgear.

1) Obtain input from stakeholders

Gather input from all stakeholders in the project, whether it is a new installation or an extension of an existing installation. This includes input from the project general contractor, facility manager, and anyone else who has a say in the switchgear selection.

Each stakeholder will have their own idea of which type of switchgear is best for the project, so it’s important to understand each person’s perspective before making a decision. After all, the switchgear you choose will have a direct impact on the entire project.

switchgear guide

2) Understand your specific needs

Next, evaluate your system. What are its voltage and amperage requirements? What type of load will be placed on it? This will give you a basis for selecting your switchgear. Therefore, you need to determine the following.

  • Amount of power in kilovolt-amperes or kVA
  • Voltage level (in kilovolts or kV)
  • Type of load (e.g. motors, lighting, transformers)
  • Duty cycle (50Hz or 60Hz)

Have a clear understanding of the environment in which the switchgear or component will operate. This includes conditions such as temperature, humidity and dust levels. Are there factors that could lead to an accelerated rate of corrosion, such as saline conditions and excess moisture?

Make sure you understand the space limitations of the installation site. This includes indoor and outdoor spaces. How big is the space of the power distribution room, and what are the requirements for access?

All of these have an impact on the safety and performance of the switchgear, so it is important to understand them from the outset. You can begin to narrow down your options with a good understanding of the electrical system and its specific requirements.

3) Choose a switchgear

Determine which type of switchgear is best for your project. This will determine how well the equipment can handle environmental conditions and how easy it is to maintain. Your main options at this step are:

  • Air Insulated Switchgear, AIS
  • Gas Insulated Switchgear, GIS

Air-insulated switchgear is cheaper. However, it requires more maintenance than GIS and is less resistant to environmental factors such as dust, salt, and chemicals. Air-insulated switchgear also requires more space at high voltages.

Gas-insulated switchgear is generally more expensive than air-insulated switchgear, but it has several advantages. It takes up less space and requires less maintenance because it is not exposed to environmental elements such as dust and chemicals. You can also use gas-insulated switchgear in space-constrained high-voltage applications, and it will last longer than AIS. Once you’ve decided on the type of switchgear that’s best for your project, you can move on to the next step.

4) Switchgear circuit breaker

Switchgear Circuit Breaker Choosing the right circuit breaker for your system is very important because it is the heart of the switchgear. If you are considering a relatively high switchgear voltage rating, the interrupting medium of the breaker will be critical. The four main switchgear breaker options are:

  • air circuit breaker
  • gas circuit breaker
  • oil breaker
  • vacuum circuit breaker

Air-insulated circuit breakers will use either plain air or blast air to extinguish the arc flash. Gas-insulated circuit breakers use an inert gas such as sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) to extinguish the arc. Oil-insulated circuit breakers use a different type of mineral oil to extinguish the arc, while vacuum circuit breakers rely on a vacuum to do the job.

5) Select switch device configuration

How would you like your switchgear to be designed? Switchgear constructions vary widely, and each design has advantages and disadvantages. For example, some designers design switchgear types to be more compact or accessible than others, while others are meant to be more secure. Switchgear design options include:

  • Ring Main Units (RMU)
  • Open circuit breaker
  • Single and double busbar configurations
  • Withdrawable
  • Front-end access
  • Rear access
  • Metal cladding
  • Metal closure

What you choose mostly depends on your needs and preferences. For example, withdrawable switchgear is easier to maintain, while front-mounted switchgear leaves you with more space (you can mount it on the wall).

Where do you want the cable terminated? Front, back, or sides. Choose the best switchgear cable arrangement based on your space considerations and other factors. Also consider the level of accessibility, especially if space is limited. Having switchgear within easy reach is also easier to maintain.

More importantly, consider its security. Safety switchgear incorporates safety functions such as arc extinguishing or arc resistance, dead-space-free construction, heavy-duty switchgear enclosures, and reinforced panels or doors.

Some switchgear designs also improve safety by isolating the switchgear into a grounded enclosure. Consider all of these characteristics during your switchgear selection process.

switchgear guide

6) Switchgear ratings and standards

Match your system requirements with switchgear ratings. These are the maximum values the switchgear can handle without suffering damage. The main switchgear ratings you will consider include the following.

  • Maximum rated voltage in kV
  • Short-time withstand current (in kA)
  • Short circuit current rating in kA
  • Continuous rated current
  • Insulation level and dielectric strength in kV
  • Dielectric Strength (in kV)
  • Power frequency rating in Hz
  • The IP rating of the switchgear

Switchgear manufacturers also design their equipment to meet various standards. Different standards may mean different features and functions, so it is important to understand which type is used by a particular switchgear manufacturing company. The main organizations for switchgear standards are:

  • IEEE
  • American Standard
  • UL
  • THERE IS NO

7) Determine switchgear cost

Because your switchgear selection process will ultimately come down to cost, the initial purchase price is not the only factor you should consider. Installation and lifecycle costs (such as maintenance) also have to factor into the equation. Therefore, the switchgear costs are summarized as:

  • Initial purchase cost or switchgear price
  • Switchgear installation cost
  • Switchgear operating (energy) costs
  • Switchgear maintenance cost
  • Switchgear repair and replacement costs

The amount paid depends largely on the type and function of the switchgear. But the good news is that prices have come down in recent years thanks to technological advancements. That said, you need to compare the prices of different switchgear brands.

In particular, be aware of specific switchgear maintenance requirements. How often should switchgear be inspected? Are there any parts that need to be replaced periodically? How much does it cost to maintain?

Also, be sure to work with a reputable switchgear manufacturer or supplier to get the best value for your money. When it comes to top switchgear manufacturers, selecting a manufacturer is the final step in the switchgear selection process.

8) Switch technology

Switchgear technology has advanced greatly in recent years, with recent advances allowing for more compact and efficient switchgear designs. That said, when selecting a switchgear manufacturer, you need to consider the following factors:

  • The company’s experience in designing and manufacturing switch cabinets
  • Company R & D capabilities
  • The company’s switchgear manufacturing process and quality control procedures

In addition to your company’s capabilities, there are some modern technologies you should consider:

  • Remote switchgear monitoring
  • Smart switch cabinet
  • Arc detection and resistance
  • Solid State Switching Relays

switchgear guide

9) Find a reliable switchgear manufacturer

Finally, choose a switchgear company to source your equipment. Because there are many switchgear manufacturers and switchgear suppliers in the market, you need to think carefully before making a decision. When looking for a reliable manufacturer who can provide you with the switchgear you need, some things to consider include:

  • Manufacturer’s experience
  • Quality of the switchgear
  • The price of the switchgear
  • Switchgear delivery time
  • Switchgear Warranty
  • customer service

An experienced manufacturer will have the know-how to manufacture high-quality switchgear. On the other hand, they must also be able to offer it at a competitive price. To do this, make sure to get quotes from multiple manufacturers before making a decision.

Another important consideration is delivery time. After placing your order, you need to know how long the switchgear will take to deliver. This is especially important if you have tight deadlines.

Finally, make sure the manufacturer provides good customer service. How easy is it to get in touch with customer service? What are their operating hours? What is the knowledge level of the customer service representatives? This is useful if you have any questions or problems with your switchgear.

Here are some common questions about switchgear.

1). What is the importance of switchgear?

It is used to isolate and protect electrical equipment from fault currents.

2). What is the function of the switchgear?

It helps protect appliances and motors.

3). What is the difference between a switchboard and switchgear?

Typically, switchgear is used for lower voltages up to 600 volts, while switchgear is used for high voltages up to 350 kV. Various aspects of switchgear and switchboards differ, including voltage levels, design, and application.

Switchgear is an important part of an electrical circuit, and understanding its components, features, and functions will allow you to select the appropriate commercially available switchgear. The function of switchgear may be different, such as high-voltage switchgear and low-voltage switchgear. Using this information, you can locate manufacturers and suppliers of switchgear and its components.