Why take the retrofit option?
When it comes to upgrading or replacing existing switchgear, there are a number of choices faced by the switchgear owner. In some cases the whole switchgear is replaced with new equipment and tested to the latest standards. However, this may be an unnecessary and expensive option when it is actually possible to simply replace the moveable portion of the switchgear which does all the switching work. Most faults are found in this mechanical section and usually only this part is beyond economic repair. In many cases the fixed part is good for another 25 years life as we have seen in many substations with old Reyrolle and Hawker Siddeley and GEC switchgear.
What is the process to determine the state of the switchgear?
Each case must be evaluated on its technical and commercial merits. We can provide a full technical audit of the equipment in your substation and provide a prognosis of the immediate, short-term and long-term dangers if interventions to repair, maintain, refurbish or replacements are not made.
- Inspection and cleaning of standoff insulators and bushings, new clusters may be required
- Infrared testing where possible on cable terminations and busbars
- Partial discharge testing of panels (insulators, bushings..)
- Torque busbar bolts; ductor testing of breaker in the panel
- Routine partial discharge testing of retrofits in the factory and ongoing in the substation
As part of a retrofit upgrade we recommend the following upgrades and interventions to lengthen the life of the switchgear: