Medium Voltage Switchgear

A switchgear is a mechanism that shuts off power to electrical equipment and is composed of circuit breakers, fuses, and disconnect switches. The purpose of a switchgear is to control power to electrical equipment, or to protect and isolate the equipment from potential abnormal electrical current. For example, in order to repair a specific piece of equipment, a worker first would use the switchgear to shut off the power to the equipment. Medium voltage is defined as between 600 V to 69 kV600 and medium voltage switchgear would be used, for instance, in surface mining industries. A medium voltage switchgear can stop the current in between 30 to 150 milliseconds, depending on the age of the equipment. A medium voltage switchgear is typically housed outside a building and can be triggered manually or remotely. Suppliers of these essential electrical items can be sourced by businesses at

The circuit breaker is the primary component in the switchgear that causes the interruption of the electrical current. The circuit breaker interrupts the current by pulling apart the contacts. The types of circuit breakers are distinguished by the mechanism that prevents an arc of current jumping across the contacts after the contacts have been pulled apart. The simplest medium voltage switchgears operate with open-air insulation. Air insulation works by elongating the arc until it cannot sustain itself, or by a puff of compressed air. The down side of air insulation is that it takes up a lot of space. Gas insulated switchgears are more expensive, but also more effective, and use pressurized sulphur hexafluoride or carbon dioxide to insulate contacts and conductors. As sulphur hexafluoride is a potent greenhouse gas, more recently built switchgears use carbon dioxide. Oil insulation works by the vaporizing of oil into hydrogen gas, which forms a bubble around the arc.

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