Low Voltage Switchgear Testing

Low Voltage Switchgear Standards and Testing

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Generally, all Switches, Switch Disconnectors, Disconnectors and Fuse combination units are designed to comply with the requirements, Standards, and Testing. All comply with the requirements of IEC 947-3 or EN 60947-3. This also requires a combination of type tests and routine tests before installation. For this reason, normally a sequence of type tests is required to prove that its compliance with the standard. In this post, we will learn about the Low Voltage Switchgear Standards and Testing with Sequence.

Low Voltage Switchgear Standards and Testing:

Switchgear Standards and testing sequence includes the following important tests,

Switchgear Making and Breaking Switching Capacity Test:

Switchgear needs to pass the making and breaking switching capacity test. This test usually shows that this device is suitable for any extreme overload conditions of resistive, inductive or highly inductive loads during operation. The current overload ratings and the categories of duty have been shown in the image. This type of test is performed by operating a selected device a number of times with its assigned rating.

Switchgear current overload ratings and categories of duty.

Switchgear current overload ratings and categories of duty.

Switchgear Temperature Rises Testing:

This test always performed with the highest current rating of the device. By this test, proves that under full-load conditions in service the device will not damage cables. It also includes the terminals and insulating materials or keeps operators at risk through contact with hot accessible parts. Because you really don’t want to operate any circuit breaker which is really hot (Body) during operation time. For this reason, the limits of acceptable temperature rise are stipulated in the standard. If the switchgear surrounding temperature is high then some additional problems can come out.

Related: Circuit Breaker Operation Principle

Switchgear Operational Performance Test:

This operational performance test conducted to prove that, switchgear is mechanical and electrical durability during operation. Generally, a number of on-load and off-load switching operations are made. It depends on the making and breaking operation duty assigned by the switchgear manufacturer.

Dielectric Verification Test:

This dielectric verification test proves that the device will complete the operation sequence without damaging its insulation system. By this test, a fuse switch is also proved by a fuse-protected short-circuit withstand (Breaking). For this test, the tested fuse-links use to have the maximum rating and with a breaking capacity assigned by the fuse link manufacturer. No damage like welding of the contacts must occur to the switch as a result of this test. Disconnector has to provide isolation properties and additional types of tests are performed to prove these properties.

Leakage current test is conducted after the main test sequence. Where the maximum levels of acceptable leakage current are specified. Maybe you already know that the isolator handle needs three times more force than the normal operation force (On). And it is necessary to switch off the device. To perform this test, contacts of one phase being artificially locked in the off position. Then test force is applied to open the switch. During and after this test, the on-off indicators of the disconnector must not give a false indication.

Related: Introduction of Switchgear

But for the routine test is applied to all switch devices include an operational check. In this test, each device will be operated five times to check its mechanical integrity. In the meantime, a dielectric test is carried out at a voltage which depends upon the rated voltage of the device provided by the device manufacturer. Rated operating voltage for low voltage switchgear (380/415 V), the dielectric test voltage is 2500V.

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