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Case Studies

UK Power Networks - Retrofit and Telecontrol

UK Power Networks - Retrofit and Telecontrol Case Study

  • Retrofit of 25 Crompton Parkinson oil circuit breakers with vacuum circuit breakers, including disposal of the 25 OCBs
  • Provision of telecontrol equipment on 25 panels
  • Provision of senior authorised person to control all switching duties to ensure Switchgear Support Ltd provided the complete turnkey package

Since 1998, UK Power Networks has successfully embarked upon a major retrofit programme (> 1,000 CBs) in order to considerably reduce customer interruptions and customer minutes lost.

As much of the East of England network and north London primary substations had OCBs which were manually operated, the company was unable to remotely control many of its feeders.  By installing modern retrofit circuit breakers with the associated telecontrol relays, the control and monitoring of its key feeders could easily be achieved.

Although nearing the end of its primary retrofit programme, UK Power Networks identified a further requirement for 25 feeder circuits of original Crompton Parkinson manufacture that would greatly benefit from remote control.

Having been involved in the company’s retrofit programme from the onset and with detailed knowledge of the total requirements, Switchgear Support Ltd (SSL) were requested to :

  • Supply 25 retrofit vacuum circuit breakers for the Crompton Parkinson type ALA, ALB, FLA, FLB, ULA, ULB ranges
  • Provide telecontrol equipment for the 25 panels
  • Provide new earthing umbilicals for each substation
  • Install/test the breakers and telecontrol equipment
  • Provide the senior authorised person to ensure we had full control of all circuits to be retrofitted
  • Dispose of all removed oil based equipment via fully licensed means, thus ensuring :


Switchgear Support Ltd provided the complete turnkey package

Dave Johnson, Director of SSL, said: “As I had been directly involved in retrofitting in excess of 500 Brush/South Wales and Crompton Parkinson circuits for UK Power Networks, we were only too pleased to assist the company in the supply, installation and testing of this last batch of 25 Crompton Parkinson retrofit CBs.  By working closely with the company’s control centre, we ensured a continuous programme of work to ensure the company realised its objectives as soon as possible – the only requirement from the company being to deploy its telecontrol commissioning team to put the final link through to control”

Photos courtesy of UK Power Networks