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Switchgear Safety

HV switchgear needs to be maintained in accordance with the original manufacturers instructions or procedures compiled by suitably trained organisations.  It is the duty of all users of switchgear to provide management systems that will ensure the safe operation of the switchgear.

The HSE Guidelines Document 483/27 provides a very succinct summary of the issues associated with ageing switchgear – in particular, oil based switchgear. 

Safety Improvements

We can assist in ensuring that the switchgear in service is, as far as reasonably practical, maintained and operated in such a way as to prevent danger, in accordance with the Electricity At Work Regulations.

We can assist with the:

  • Removal of Dangerous Incident Notices and Suspension of Operating Practices (DIN’s/SOP’s) – Switchgear Support Ltd have first hand knowledge of the Brush Switchgear, South Wales Switchgear and Hawker Siddeley Switchgear legacy products and the applicable DIN’s/SOP’s to these products. In most cases the DIN/SOP can be removed by simple modification of the switchgear
  • Remote operation of switchgear – no HV switchgear operator should open and close a circuit breaker whilst standing in front of the switchgear. Wherever possible, the switchgear should be operated remotely – we can implement simple hand held controllers or permanently connect the switchgear to a control center through telecontrol relays
  • Provision of improved protection systems using arc detection equipment
  • Removal of oil/compound (retrofit cb's, oil VT conversions, air cable boxes) – although oil based devices have given extremely reliable service over decades, if a component fails the consequences can be catastrophic.  Many customers are consciously removing oil from their networks, however this does NOT necessarily mean installing new switchgear.  In many instances the oil based components such as circuit breakers and voltage transformers can be retrofitted with oil free products, for example vacuum circuit breakers and cast resin voltage transformers
  • Supply of Castell Interlocks – where inadvertent operation of switchgear or restricted access to areas such as transformer enclosures is required, interlocking can be retrofitted to most types of switchgear
  • Supply of Test Plugs for a variety of equipment
  • Portable earthing devices or attachments
  • Supply of Anti reflex handles to ensure incorrect switching operations are not performed (ie, OFF-ON-OFF)