Paralleling Switchgear Maintenance
Paralleling Switchgear Maintenance is a comprehensive overview and inspection of the cubicles and controls within the switchgear. Each paralleling switchgear system is unique in the way they are designed and how they operate. LionHeart Critical Power Specialists deploy skilled Field Service Engineers (FSEs), who see dozens of paralleling switchgear systems every year. Our technicians have a uniquely trained eye for identifying potential problems and reflecting on past experience to make improvements at your facility.
Protecting Your Switchgear Equipment
In addition to problem identification, LionHeart FSEs can also calibrate gauges on the switchgear so your facility engineers are recording accurate data for the run logs kept at the facility.
Depending on the brand and variety of equipment installed within your paralleling switchgear lineup, LionHeart will involve any necessary subcontractors for testing of circuit breakers or protective relays. We will turnkey the entire service to make sure the system is maintained to the highest level.
Why is Switchgear Maintenance Important?
Your paralleling switchgear acts as the brains of the operation, and is responsible for communicating to all of the generators and most often the transfer switches that are downstream. The switchgear is responsible for:
- Receiving remote start signals from the automatic transfer switches.
- Commanding generators to start.
- Monitoring generator output voltage and sine wave synchronous.
- Automatically closing circuit breakers to allow generators to parallel after they come into synchronization.
- Monitoring system load and managing electrical load on each generator
- Shutting down generators to optimize fuel efficiency and engine performance with varying load levels.
One of your largest investments and most critical system components is the Paralleling Switchgear system and LionHeart has the ability to help you maintain this equipment and verify proper operation.
How Often Should Switchgear Maintenance Be Performed?
Switchgear maintenance is recommended to be performed on an annual basis, often times in conjunction with annual load bank testing and circuit breaker maintenance/protective relay maintenance. Coordinating with other LionHeart services allows more thorough testing of the paralleling switchgear equipment.
Sometimes this work can span multiple days, depending on the number of devices and equipment located within the paralleling switchgear lineup; LionHearts Logistics Team will work to coordinate a schedule for performing this maintenance to minimize disruptions at your facility while the maintenance is being performed.
Our Switchgear Maintenance Process
LionHeart FSEs perform Paralleling Switchgear Maintenance by inspecting racking mechanisms for circuit breakers, lubrication of linkages, circuit breaker maintenance (as an additional option), and protective relay maintenance (as an additional option).
Technicians will inspect the following:
- Kilowatt meters
- Frequency gauges
- Sync lights (if equipped)
- Indicator lamps
- Bus detail
- Air filters
Inspecting for corrosion, loose connections, hot spots, and other abnormal conditions that may not yet be affecting system operation is crucial to ensuring reliable operation. Our FSEs will make any and all maintenance recommendations based on the following observations:
- Environment the equipment is in and age of the switchgear components.
- Equipment specifications and procedures that will need to be followed.
- Isolation properties of your switchgear and ability to follow lockout tagout (LOTO) rules for power control.
- Your specific switchgear maintenance plan and schedule.
- Previous testing reports and upcoming testing expectations.
Switchgear Functionality Testing
LionHeart technicians can complete full-service system function test to ensure that all synchronization and control systems work as designed. If possible, technicians will test alarms and protections of the switchgear system. We will also clean the switchgear enclosure, cubicles, and bus detail (if accessible in isolation and de-energized).
Paralleling switchgear systems typically have station batteries and battery chargers to allow the circuit breakers and devices to function even during a power outage or interruption in service. Maintaining these batteries is often overlooked since they are frequently of NiCd construction, and they are expected to last much longer than the engine starting batteries generators use. Station batteries do require frequent maintenance, which includes:
- Topping off the water level
- Cleaning the cell connections
- Applying a grease to the connection terminals which will help prevent future corrosion on the terminals.
We believe no organization should ever be at risk due to the failure of their critical power systems. LionHeart is the team you need for peace of mind.