About Low Voltage Switchgear Power Systems

A Brief Overview of Low Voltage switchgear power systems

All electrical energy whether it be coal, nuclear or renewable, which is utilized globally for residential, industrial, commercial and infrastructural purposes is generated at power stations. The transfer or distribution of electrical energy from a power station to the consumer is an integral part of this chain. This is due to the fact that, without a reliable energy distribution system many residential, industrial and commercial entities would no longer efficiently operate.

The same is also true on a smaller scale, regarding the distribution of energy within an installation. Two crucial components of a power distribution system within a facility are ‘switchboards‘ and ‘switchgear’ devices. Facilities that require heavy industrial applications generally utilize low voltage ‘switchgear’ devices, or ‘switchgear’ power systems, as the heavier electrical load requires more a robust structure.

A Short History of Low Voltage switchgear power systems

Low voltage switchgear power systems which comprise both passive components, which refer to the mechanical structure of the device, and active components such as: fuses, circuit breakers and electrical relays, are utilized to make or break electrical connections. Systems such as these have been in existence since the 1930′s.

While not many changes have occurred regarding fuse technology, there have been numerous advances in the technology surrounding Circuit Breakers and electrical relays. Such as the conception of new tripping devices for circuit breakers and more advanced detection devices for electrical relays. Contemporary circuit breakers are consequently: manufactured from much more advanced materials, include digital trip devices and require far less maintenance than their forbearers. Electrical relays in comparison are now fitted with highly sophisticated microcontrollers, which use complex software programs to detect faults.

Low voltage switchgear power systems are therefore, contemporarily much more complex entailing not only distribution and protection regarding the electrical load, but additional measurement, and regulation of the system.

The Benefits of Low Voltage switchgear power systems in Industrial Settings

Low voltage switchgear power systems in an industrial setting provide continual power to as much of the facility as possible and protect personnel from electrical hazards such as arc blasts. This is highly beneficial as arcing faults have been reported as one of the biggest issues facing the manufacturing industry. Arcing faults may not seem to be that significant however, in 2008 alone; over 2000 people were treated for severe burns steaming from workplace arc blasts.

Protection from arcing faults is mainly undertaken via various preventive measures such as remote real-time monitoring and diagnostics that allow workers to remain distanced from equipment. Recent technological advances have however, also reduced the amount of time taken for a system to register a fault and deny energy to the faulting component.

Whilst these types of power systems have advanced greatly since their inception, these advances don’t compare to the huge developments that have been seen in both high and medium voltage switchgear systems. Many experts consequently propose that the technology involved in low voltage switchgear systems will soon undergo further improvement, especially regarding faster interruption of faults.