Switchgear Power Systems in Commercial Buildings

A switchgear power system is a switch system comprising of circuit breakers, fuses and electrical disconnect switches. Together, these devices are combined to create isolation and protection of electrical equipment. Such systems are fast replacing the old knife switches in commercial buildings.

Switchgear power systems were invented in the 19th century. The core by then was the operation of motors amongst other electrical machines. Slowly, the use of these gadgets slowly found its way into the building industry with many building contractors adopting it. There are three types of switch gear systems;

  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Vacuum

Switchgear systems can further be classified according to their current rating voltage class or even interrupting rating amongst many other criteria that could be used.

There are many reasons that have led to this rapid adoption of these systems in the building industry. Safety is one of them. By use of trapped key interlocking, the modes of operation can be predefined hence enabling the adoption of complex schemes. This is very important for those buildings that have stand by generators. When the mains supply goes off, the generator line is switched on. This is possible because the switchgear power systems allow for load to be fed by more than one source.

By interrupting power to areas of a circuit that have short circuited or overloaded but feeding those that have a clean bill of health, a switch gear power system ensures that in the event that a circuit in any part of a commercial building short circuit’s, only that circuit is not fed with power or rather is isolated but the entire building is kept supplied with power. This way, operations within the building will not be hindered.

Most switchgear power systems used in building are gas insulated as opposed to oil insulated. This is primarily to reduce o oil spillage which could be a hazard in a commercial building. The switch gear system is therefore mounted outdoors where there is a high air circulation for proper insulation. Its switches are largely motor operated and a few manually.

Given the advantages accrued from this type of switching system, close to every modern commercial building has adopted it. The promise of uninterrupted operations even in the event circuits in a section of the building has short circuited or overloaded is enticing enough for occupants. The fact affected areas are isolated from power supply comes as a relief in repairing the affected area as the power wont have to be switched off in the entire building while repairing the affected area. This eliminates unnecessary interruptions. Switchgear systems unlike the knife switches are safer given the fact that they are remote operated. Besides, it also exhibits minimized arching and therefore reduced risk exposure. Despite providing all these, it’s comparatively cheap. If you are a commercial building developer, this is the type of switching to install. It helps you reap from your commercial building while serving your occupants efficiently.