When facility switchgear breaks down, it usually results in catastrophic consequences. The damage to the switchgear alone can be exceedingly expensive, not to mention that there is risk of depressing corollary damage and the possible risks to people.
Switchgear used in factories and plants include electrical equipment like power transformers, distribution transformers, interrupter circuits, circuit breakers, generator switchgear, bus ducts, protective relay panels and motor controllers. Switchgear testing is distinctively tailored for the analysis of the unique equipment features being tested.
Disaster prevention is very much possible though effective switchgear testing implementation where it is necessary to use inspection and maintenance processes. That is why an annual switchgear inspection and assembly is very much required.
Switchgear Testing Inspection Procedures
- Prior to cleaning a unit, it is essential to perform the following inspection processes:
- Inspection of electrical, mechanical and physical conditions
- Inspection for corona or moisture existence
- Inspection of alignment, anchorage, grounding as the required clearances
- Inspection of bolted electrical connections to ensure high resistance
- Verification of the correct barrier installation and function
- Inspection of mechanical components which will indicate that the device is going to operate correctly
Switchgear Testing Cleaning
Cleaning the unit includes verifying that the circuit breaker as well as the fuse corresponds well to the coordination study and the drawings. It also involves use of the right lubrication for all moving parts and sliding surfaces. During the cleaning process, all active unit components are also tried and tested for full performance quality.
Cleaning the switchgear also allows plant and factory managers to make sure that all filters are in place and the vents are clean and clear. This also confirms the appropriate operational sequencing of mechanical and electrical interlock systems.
Importance of Switchgear Testing
Switchgear testing is very important for effective maintenance, which is considered by many people as low priority. It must be understood that system and unit maintenance is necessary because if it is not properly conducted, risk of physical injury is inevitable. Not only that, there is also the danger of irreparable damage to the equipment and less productivity. Switchgear testing ensures the safety of people and guaranteed electrical switchgear reliability.
Switchgear and transformers are the main functioning units of an industrial plant’s electrical system. They serve as the mediator between the inward electricity that comes from utility providers and the rest of the facility’s electrical circuits.
Benefits of Switchgear Testing:
- Proper implementation of switchgear maintenance allows for:
- Extension of switchgear life
- Guaranteed maximum system performance, effectiveness and security
- Elimination of considerable financial loss connected with service interruptions
- Prevention of unplanned and unwanted expensive repair costs
- Guaranteed constant consistency of electrical distribution functions
Switchgear testing is principally the concern of factories and industrial plants’ facility managers since a malfunctioning switchgear can cause total plant production shutdown. The testing process is applied to troubleshoot an identified unit problem or used for preventive and effective unit maintenance.
Detailed switchgear testing involves the process of high potential cable testing, relay calibration testing, testing for insulation power factor, evaluation of control wire function, and testing for transformer saturation as well as polarity testing. Additionally, the electrical cable system that connects the switchgear to other facility circuits are also analyzed and tested.
Keeping the switchgear safe is very important and it can be done properly and effectively through proper switchgear testing. Electrical switchgear may provide severe risk to people. If the aspects of the power system fall short of expectations, risk of injury or death becomes very possible because the workers will be vulnerably exposed to dangerous change in electricity flow.