Humidity/ Moisture problems in Switchgear
The term switchgear, used in association with the electric power system, or grid, refers to the combination of electrical disconnects, fuses and/or circuit breakers used to isolate electrical equipment. Switchgear is used both to de-energize equipment to allow work to be done and to clear faults downstream. This type of equipment is important because it is directly linked to the reliability of the electricity supply.
Power distribution substations have to handle high voltages. High voltage indoor switchboards are generally installed in the switch rooms of the substations. The switchgear distributes power at various voltage levels. Switchgear contain a lot of insulated conductors like busbars. The insulations used in the modern day switchboards can be either condenser can be either condenser type where insulation is made of either synthetic resin bonded paper (SRBP) and conducting aluminium foil in alternating layers or cast resin encapsulated type where cast resin is used instead of SRBP.
How does Moisture Play Havoc with your Switchgears ?
Frequent flash over in switchgear requires expensive repairs and leads to power outage resulting in huge losses in revenue. Power distribution substations have to handle high voltages. High voltage indoor switch boards are generally installed in the Switch Rooms of the substations. The switchgears distribute power at various voltage level.
The insulation currently used in the modern day switchboards are usually of the following types:
Humidity control by dehumidifying such switch rooms ensures that the insulating components do not fail as it eliminates flashover in the case of SRBP insulation, and in the case of cast resin or insulated sleeve insulation, dehumidification keeps the dust dry so that it can be wiped off easily from time to time.
Most switchgear rooms are non air conditioned. However, the current trend indicates that more and more switch gear rooms with hi-tech, state-of-the art PCB controlled switchgears are air-conditioned as the sophisticated controls of the switchgear need temperature control also.
Irrespective of the fact whether switchgear rooms are non air conditioned or air conditioned, humidity control is a must in the Switchgear Rooms. Unfortunately, the whole switchgear needs to be replaced once it is damaged due to short circuiting. This leads to a huge financial loss as these are extremely high value equipment. Additionally, there is also revenue loss due to power outage.
Uncontrolled humidity/moisture in the switch gear rooms is the single major cause for all such losses.
Switchgear failure due to short circuiting can be avoided by controlling the moisture levels to less than 50% RH at ambient condition in the room or in conjunction with an air-conditioner, if the switchgear needs temperature controlled environ also.
The simplest and the most cost effective method to control humidity is to install a Bry-Air dehumidifier. Bry-Air dehumidifiers can maintain RH as low as 1% or even lower at a constant level, regardless of ambient conditions during production, processing, storage and packaging.
Bry-Air has installed dehumidifiers in switchgear rooms controlling humidity at required conditions at power stations in titagarh, prinsep st., bellur, kasba, new ballygunge, etc.