Switchgear is an essential component in electrical systems, designed to protect and control various electrical equipment. It comprises a combination of fuses, disconnect switches, circuit breakers, and other elements that work together to isolate, protect, and control electrical gears from defects and failures. In this blog post, we will discuss switchgear, how it works, and its types.
What Is a Switchgear?
Switchgear systems are connected to the electric supply system. They can be found in low and high-voltage sides of power transformers. They are used to de-energize electrical equipment for maintenance and testing purposes, ensuring the eradication of defects. When a failure or defect occurs in the power system, such as a short circuit, a heavy current runs through the electrical equipment, causing significant damage to the apparatus and disrupting the supply to the users.
Switchgear allows switching on or off distributors, transmission lines, generators, and other electrically powered equipment during standard operation.
How Does Switchgear Work?
The primary components of automated protective switchgear are the circuit breaker and relay. When a fault occurs, the relay activates and closes the trip circuit, automatically disconnecting the faulty line. This action ensures that the operative and healthy sections continue to run, maintaining the standard and required supply load with these measures, and there will be no supply disruption.
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Types of Switchgear
All electrical apparatuses must withstand heavy currents to prevent damage and supply disruption during faults or defects in the power system.
HV: High Voltage Switchgear
High voltage switchgear controls power systems with a voltage above 36KV. Due to the high voltage, the arcing generated during switching operations is also high. Consequently, extra care is taken during the manufacturing process of high-voltage switchgear. A high-voltage circuit breaker is the main component of HV switchgear. It must possess specific features for reliable and safe operations.
LV: Low Voltage Switchgear
Switchgear rated up to 1KV is typically referred to as low-voltage switchgear. LV switchgear includes low voltage switches, earth leakage circuit breakers, HRC fuses, offload electrical isolators, molded case circuit breakers (MCCB), and miniature circuit breakers (MCB).
MV: Medium Voltage Switchgear
Switchgear systems with a voltage ranging from 3KV to 36KV are categorized as medium voltage (MV switchgear). These switchgear come in various types, such as metal-enclosed outdoor type, metal-enclosed indoor type, indoor or outdoor type without metal enclosure, and more.
The interruption medium of this switchgear can be a vacuum, SF6 gas, or oil. The primary responsibility of the MV power system is to interrupt heavy currents during dire situations, regardless of the type of circuit breaker used in the medium voltage switchgear system.
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Whether you need to upgrade your existing switchgear or require new switchgear installation, Swartz Engineering can help. Please find out more about our upgrade service or get in touch today.
For more information about these solutions and how Swartz Engineering can assist with your mining and electricity needs, click the links or check out the contact details at the bottom of the page.
Products We Offer
Swartz Engineering strives to provide top-quality products to achieve our customer's needs. Our products include:
- Type 76 DC Relay
- Type 82 DC Relay
- Swartz Engineering’s Type 64 Ground Relay
- Type 32 Reverse Current Relay
- Type 150 DC
- CSM Shield Monitor
- Metal Oxide Surge Arrestors
- MVIS SL Slim-line Contactor
- Fully-tested Power Control Rooms
- Swartz Engineering’s Portable Substations
For nearly half a century, we have proudly led the industry in ensuring safety and efficiency. Swartz Engineering is a trusted family-owned company dedicated to providing top-notch power distribution solutions for the electrical industry. Contact us today!
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