Different Types and Classifications of Switchgear Power Systems
A basic function of switchgear power systems is protection of short circuits and overload fault currents while simultaneously providing service continuously to unaffected circuits while avoiding the creation of an electrical hazard. switchgear power systems also provide important isolation of various circuits from different power supplies for safety issues. There are many different types and classifications of switchgear power systems to meet a variety of different needs.
Types of switchgear power systems
Switchgear power systems can vary, depending on several factors, such as power need, location of system and necessary security. Therefore, there are several different types of switchgear power systems and each have their own unique characteristics to meet the specific needs of the system and its location.
A very effective form of switchgear power systems is a gas insulated switchgear (GIS) system. In this type of system, conductors and contacts are insulated by pressurized sulfur hexafluoride gas. While effective, it is very expensive, however. Other common switchgear power systems include oil insulated and vacuum switchgear.
A circuit breaker is also an important part of switchgear power systems and their safety and function. A circuit breaker that is housed within switchgear power systems enclosures is a primary component that can interrupt fault currents. A circuit’s arc is quelled when the circuit breaker pulls apart the contacts and disconnects the circuit. The design of this system requires careful consideration regarding how and where it will be utilized. Generally speaking, circuit breakers fall into four major categories; oil, gas, vacuum and air. On average, Circuit Breakers are able to kill a current’s flow in 30 ms to 150 ms, depending on the circuit breakers age, design and construction.
Classifications of switchgear power systems
There are generally 10 different classifications associated with switchgear power systems; current rating, interrupting rating, voltage class, insulation type, interrupting device, operating method, type of current, application and purpose. Additionally, those classifications can be further broken down for added specificity. For example, a voltage classification can be further defined either as low voltage (less than 1,000 volts AC), medium voltage (1,000-35,000 voltage AC) and high voltage (more than 35,000 volts AC). By utilizing these classification and sub-classifications, equipment designers and engineers can ensure that the right equipment is utilized with different switchgear power systems.
While classification of switchgear power systems are important, it does not mean that only one classification can be used within a specific system. For example, a single line-up can combine several different types and classifications of switchgear power systems. Additionally, ratings and specifications of switchgear power systems must meet several different standards and requirements, which can include IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) within North America and the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards around the world.
switchgear power systems
Ultimately, switchgear power systems play an important role in an overall power system and larger power grids. When electrical designers and engineers take the time to understand all the requirements a system will require, the safest and most thorough electrical system can be developed.