In your electrical power system, switchgear is the combination of circuit breakers, disconnect switches, fuses and contactors for the purpose of protecting or isolating commercial and industrial applications.
The ability to safely isolate an electrical feed is a necessary step in the operation and maintenance of the application, as well as protecting all those working in the field.
Switchgear can be separated into two main categories; Metal Clad and Metal Enclosed. Both types of switchgear can be a combination of breakers and switches, the difference is found in the structural design of the gear. Metal clad switchgear contains draw-out devices (Breaker, CTs and PTs) that are compartmentally isolated from each other and the main bus by a grounded metal barrier. Metal enclosed switchgear can still have draw-out devices, however the grounded metal barrier is not required and the CTs and PTs are usually fixed mounted. Metal Clad and Enclosed have the same withstand and short circuit capability rating.
Since both types of switchgear traditionally utilize a draw-out breaker as a main form of disconnect, the ability to add a remote operator solution is available for either design. The remote operator solution can used to change the operation of the breaker from open to close or close to open from a designated safe location outside of the arc flash boundary. Within this solution a remote racking device can also be incorporated to remove the operator from the arc flash boundary until it is safe to enter.
When deciding which switchgear to incorporate into your electrical power system, it is important to consider the facility safety plan and arc flash study to determine the best solution.
For more information regarding a Benshaw Switchgear Solution, please contact your local Benshaw Sales Team member.
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