Generally, assets for industrial production, power generation, and other critical operations must keep running all the time. However, they also need regular maintenance in order to stay reliable. Redundancy only gets you so far - what happens if backup equipment fails while the primary device is shut down for maintenance?
Facility owners lose money for the period that critical equipment fails to perform . Equipment reliability is crucial to business competitiveness. One way to address this power system challenge is to retrofit assets such as air-insulated medium voltage switchgear. This involves upgrading old circuit breakers with current (and far more reliable) vacuum circuit breaker technology. This type of retrofit can extend the lifetime of the switchgear — increasing its availability and safety while reducing maintenance costs. Plus, this measure pays for itself quickly.
Here are some indications that it may be time to retrofit your switchgear -
Existing electrical breakers are beyond their expected lifetime. Existing electrical breaker technology is old (oil or SF6 circuit breakers), spare parts are difficult to locate and expensive. In fact, the OEM for your original circuit breakers may no longer even exist. Also, majority of the current workforce lacks experience in circuit breaker maintenance.
Many a time, the operational staff is trained and confident with the operation of the existing substation but not with new equipment. Frequent changes in regulations or standards also makes it difficult to be updated with the latest in switchgear technology. Retrofitting switchgear costs only about half as much as replacing it. This includes not just equipment costs, but also cable adaptation, building and civil works, installation and commissioning, transportation, taxes etc.
Retrofit projects typically involve downtime of only two days per panel, while offering 15-30 years of additional switchgear lifetime, with improved performance. Or, if you use a retrofit kit, there may be no downtime at all. Medium voltage switchgear retrofits also helps future proof your power system — and gives you confidence that spare parts will always be available if you need them.
Scientechnic offers medium voltage switchgear retrofit solutions — for all type of devices.
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