Switchgears are essentially used to control power supply including connecting, operating, protecting, or even disconnecting the electrical supply thus ensuring 100% safety of the system. MCBs, RCDS, RCCB, RCBO, contactors, relays, monitoring devices, distribution boards, plug sockets, pushbuttons, load break switch, MV relays, etc. are switchgear and their accessories.
They perform some crucial set of functions in the industrial arena such as: –
- The main function of switchgear involves protection, isolation, and control. It is actively involved in the prevention of short-circuits. Hence, they are usually coupled with circuit breakers and fuses.
- Enhancing system availability by engaging multi-source to feed a load
- Depending on prevailing conditions, it can complete or break the electric supply. In case of an emergency situation, the switchgear comes handy to curb the electric supply.
There are three types of switch gears namely LV (Low voltage), MV (Medium voltage), and HV (High voltage) Switchgear.
In the current unprecedented times, where system up-time and budget optimization are the top-most priority, product shelf-life comes to play.
Maintaining the product well and following basic strategic tips, extending the life of the switchgear becomes easy.
Here are the top 7 tips to extend the life of your switchgear.
- Spot the loose bus connection through thermal imaging
A stitch in time saves nine. To ensure your equipment is functioning to its best capabilities, it is essential to spot the faults early on and have them repaired. This can be done efficiently through thermal imaging on a regular basis to avoid complete system outage.
- Follow the maintenance guidelines
Inspecting, Cleaning, Tightening, and Exercising the switchgear is imperative from time to time. Depending on the functional environment, the frequency of these activities might change. With areas such as mills, textile, etc. where dust and fiber might easily accumulate on the equipment, cleaning and maintaining becomes an important activity. Lubrication of the switchgear is also necessary to ensure no equipment degradation and smooth functioning.
- Annual Maintenance Contract
Each product has a specific individual shelf-life. This useful life is largest at the beginning of the operation and decreases over time due to various reasons such as power fluctuations, operational issues & unfavorable environmental conditions.
Moreover, during unforeseen circumstances such as breakdowns, production loss, maintenance costs, and stress levels within the team increase. In order to offer comprehensive support, there are various reliable tailored service contracts that cover the entire life cycle thus, supporting the optimal utilization of all equipment.
- Keep a Track.
Monitoring your switchgear on a regular basis is imperative to ensure any break-down, wear, and tear, or degradation of insulation is detected well beforehand and the corrective measures are taken. Even if the switchgear is outdated, they tend to have a long shelf-life if they are maintained well. Ensure that you follow all the maintenance instructions shared to you by the service/product provider. Keep a track of the data to monitor the performance of your switchgear.
- Stay Up-to-date
A significant cost and longevity of the system without any downtime can be achieved with regular and strategic replacement and upgradation. It is a cost-effective and low maintenance technique. Rather than purchasing the whole new set, upgrading the already existing system is not only easy on the pockets but, a sure shot life-extending hack.
- Utilize Predictive Maintenance Tools
While monitoring the on-going data and analyzing the output, an automated system whether online or installed that warns and alerts about a forthcoming break-down or system failure can be extremely handy. Online monitoring tools are extremely feasible since they can be accessed from any place and at any time. They essentially run a continuous survey and update the user in real-time. This can be extremely beneficial for faults that can not be detected once in a blue moon physical inspection.
- Avoid the lengthy hassle by performing Short Circuit Analysis and rating
Just like every other electrical equipment, every switchgear has a short circuit rating. Performing a short circuit rating analysis is important to ensure the quality of the switchgear. This drastically helps in avoiding irreparable damage that can be caused by a faulty product. Hence, electrical equipment should always be purchased from a reputed authorized distributor.
Hope these quick tips prove to be useful not only for extending the life cycle of your switchgear but also its reliability. Also, keep tabs on your purchases and read the product manual carefully before investing in any electrical equipment. Watch out for authorized distributors that provide post-sale services.