Knowing the Basics: Switchgear

Switchgear represents an integral part of any electrical power system as well as an important safety feature. Switchgear has undergone huge transformations from their earliest and far more rudimentary appearance, to the far more complicated and technical devices we see today. Nevertheless, the main purpose of switchgear remains the same – to control the flow of electricity.

Previously, switchgear was operated manually by knife switches. These could be operated by hand and would cut the power supply accordingly. As voltages started to increase, however, the formerly used knife switches became increasingly more dangerous to use.

Since that time manually operated systems later became oil-filled and eventually gave way to the modern SF6 or air blast. These new systems rely on a host of safer components as well as more automated ones. Not only are circuit breakers now used to immediately cut an electrical supply, computer technology has been able to advance enough so that they are able to re-divert electrical supply should a sudden interruption occur.

It is in this guise that the most advanced switchgear systems are having their greatest uses. Since power can be automatically re-directed to say, an emergency power generating source, there is no need for components to lose power at all. This is particularly essential in data services that could lose valuable information, or in emergency equipment that relies on constant power.

Secondly, the automatically responsive systems will minimize any damage to electrical equipment as fuses and Circuit Breakers deal with any sudden cuts in power. This is important as surges in electricity can harm electrical systems and components.

It is with regards to safety, however, that switchgear has seen the greatest transformation. Starting with a move away from manually powered systems, switchgear is now safer than ever to handle. Furthermore, switchgear is able to cut power supply to important electrical equipment in order to allow work to be carried out on it.

Without this important piece of technology, electrical currents would not be adequately controlled and the safety of electrical equipment could not be ensured. Not only that, switchgear allows us to safely direct the flow of currents in moments of sudden power loss as well as effectively re-directing the supply of current so that electrical components do not have to be without supply.

Although switchgear is simply put an essential part of any electrical system, it is always worth investing in the best and adapting your components to your particular needs. If your company cannot be without electricity, due to data loss issues for example, then more advanced and automated systems may be needed. Always make sure to get the best advice possible and start to get knowledgeable with regards to all the other components you will have to oversee and maintain.

As companies and businesses develop, so too will the purveyors of quality electrical equipment. If you are interested in finding out more, simply get in touch with your local supplier of electrical power systems and get advice on how yours could be improved or modified.