Switchgears are a critical element of any well-designed, modern energy management system. They protect critical infrastructure from damage due to electrical faults by controlling the flow of electricity through a system. They are called 'switchgears' because mechanical elements such as fuses and circuit breakers (what the term 'gear' refers to) regulate the flow of electrical power by 'switching' on or off.
Switchgears refer to a wide range of solutions used in a variety of settings, from industrial or commercial to power transmission and distribution. They are broadly categorized by the range of voltage they can handle: low-voltage (up to 1000V), medium-voltage (1000V to 35kV) and high-voltage (above 35kV). In this article, we'll be focusing on LV switchgears.
As the demand for energy increases, so does the need for good electrical hygiene. LV switchgears are a cost-effective, easy-to-integrate component in modern energy management systems to achieve that. Here are some of its many benefits:
Anomalies such as sudden current spikes due to overloads, short-circuits or earth faults are potentially disastrous in an electrical system. LV switchgears most important function is to swiftly detect and isolate these faults. They do this by mechanically isolating the fault to prevent damage to the hardware and the rest of the electrical system. This improves the safety of an electrical system. By isolating the fault, LV switchgears protect connected equipment, distribution networks as well as people from dangerous electrical incidents like fires, explosions and from the risk of electrocution.
By isolating the electrical fault, LV switchgears have the potential to tangibly reduce maintenance costs. Less time and money is spent in finding electrical anomalies and replacing damaged equipment. Good LV switchgears (for example, our range of Thermal Magnetic MCCBs) are also designed to perform in adverse conditions like high humidity or extreme temperatures. In some industrial systems that contain extremely large loads (such large motors or pumps), the damage that inrush current can cause is a major concern. Well-designed LV switchgears allow custom trip adjustments to handle inrush currents effectively, but at the same time avoid nuisance tripping which can cause significant downtime.
Some LV switchgear products can be integrated into energy management automation networks, allowing users to monitor and control their equipment and system automatically or remotely. For example, microprocessor MCCBs can be programmed to constantly monitor the system for abnormalities and take swift corrective action, without intervention. Certain LV switchgear products also have the capacity to be integrated into automation systems via IoT communication modules to allow for real-time monitoring.
Governments across the world are increasingly focused on increasing energy efficiency without compromising on electrical safety, both for economic and environmental reasons. Several governments have energy efficiency standards that commercial and industrial setups must meet, from the US Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative to India's National Mission for Advanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE). Upgrading energy infrastructure is essential not only to remain competitive in today's world but to remain compliant with current and future trends in energy regulation.
Modern energy management has to be far more attentive to safety, reliability and efficiency. Businesses have a vested interest in thinking strategically about how to achieve good energy hygiene in a cost-effective manner and LV switchgears are a straightforward solution to that end. Elmeasure has a wide variety of high-quality LV switchgears solutions for a broad range of applications. Get in touch with us for more details.
Circuit Breaker Standards
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