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What to Consider While Buying Switchgear Equipment

Switchgear Equipment

Switchgear and switchboard play a critical role in power distribution. When it comes to making large-scale electrical updates on behalf of a business, buying the right switchgear equipment requires extensive research and expert consultation. You want to spend money wisely as you are making an investment that will affect the company’s operations for years to come. You want to choose the best path to buying the right equipment to avoid any malfunction or inefficiency and keep the business running. Here, we’ll discuss what you should pay attention to before making the final call. So, let’s start!

The Reason For Making The Switchgear Upgrade

First and foremost, get clear on what is driving your decision to buy new switchgear equipment. Some of the reasons could be-

  • The company is expanding or planning to add another commercial or industrial site.
  • The current switchgear has failed or has caused a disaster, resulting in unnecessary overloads or leaving the business vulnerable to a disaster.
  • The company has expanded to such a point that the current switchgear can’t keep pace with the system fault.

In any of the cases mentioned above, you have three options to choose from, i.e., replace the switchgear, retrofit the current equipment, or refurbish the equipment. Also, it is advised to conduct switchgear inspections regularly to avoid any potential disaster.

Check How Long The Switchgear Will Last

Depending on factors like switchgear validation, or the level of maintenance it received, the switchgear can last for up to 20 years. If the business has been around for a few decades and is running on the original equipment, make sure to evaluate its functionality to avoid any costly breakdown. Invest in quality switchgear equipment that will last for years.

Keep track of Your Business’s Energy Needs

The type of switchgear equipment you should choose depends on your business’s power needs. The electrical system designed for a commercial building works differently from the one that is used for an industrial site. So, evaluate your organization’s power usage and requirements. Gain knowledge about the voltage in your system both regularly and during the event of a peak load. You can also go through power quality surveys to get a summary of power factor, load, and harmonic data findings.

Consider The Efficiency Of A Switchgear

With advanced solutions, it is possible to ensure the efficiency of switchgear and switchboard. You can go with a switchboard that is capable of operating critical procedures remotely. In the event of a power cut, the generator needs to be fully functional without requiring anyone to come in. Also, you want to make the switchgear system easy to operate. Color coding is a better and simpler option than labels or marks. Make sure that all the switches are interlocked in case of any electrical control failures. 

Keep General Visual, Mechanical Inspection In Mind

The next thing to keep in mind is, inspect the electrical and mechanical condition of the switchgear and switchboard. While performing acceptance testing, check if the equipment data matches the project drawings or specifications. This is necessary because switchboards are designed for specific applications; thus, they should not be explicitly approved by the manufacturer.

Furthermore, the equipment should be clean. All the shipping braces, documentation, and loose parts should be shipped inside the cubicle. When you are performing maintenance programs, use electrical industry-accepted cleaning methods to clean the assembly. 

Corona And Moisture Inspections For Switchgear

In case corona occurs in the switchgear assemblies, it is localized in air gaps between the high-voltage bus bar and the adjacent insulation. COVID19 might also form around the bolt heads or other sharp projections that are shielded. Corona in low-voltage switchgear is non-existent, though. So, inspect the switchgear for evidence of corona and moisture. Check the outdoor assemblies for leakage. Also, all interior or exterior lighting should be inspected or maintained for proper operations. The area should be well-lit at all times so that you can respond during emergency situations or other security issues.

Conclusion

These are some of the things to keep in mind while buying switchgear and switchboard equipment. Keeping these handfuls of things in mind, you will be able to invest your money in the right equipment that will provide you with value in the long run.

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