|Life extensions and safety upgrades|
We know that Low and Medium voltage distribution systems are complex and involve a wide variety of electrical and mechanical components. Therefore, life extension of these systems can be a complex decision. All of the elements of the switchgear must be considered as well as overall system design. When you compare the expense to upgrade the aging equipment to a wholesale system or equipment change out, you generate complex decision parameters that require a structured evaluation. For example, what is the impact of the outage time needed for each alternative? The issues associated with extending the life of existing switchgear can be grouped into the following categories, each with associated questions. Below are the categories and some of the variables that need to be considered when evaluating the right direction and to determine if it is cost effective while meeting your performance improvement expectations.
- Maintenance cost – have your O&M costs for this equipment gotten out of control?
- In house talent for maintenance
- In many cases all the talent exited the building at the last retirement party, therefore your options are very limited.
- Does it meet your current needs?
- Have technological developments resulted in new capabilities that would improve the safety,reliability or capability of your system?
- Can the existing equipment be enhanced or upgraded to meet your current requirements?
- What is the impact on the risk of operating my electrical distribution system of alternative levels of expenditure?
- There are tools available that allow owners/operators to evaluate the options they desire as safety and life extension upgrades and compare that to the cost of a complete change out of their existing gear with new equipment.
To learn more about switchgear assessment please contact http://www.abb.us/mvservice or +1 800 435 7365 , 1 800 HELP for more information.