A Closer Look into the True Cost of Replacing Electrical Switchgear

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switchgear replacement project
Eeasy and intuitive way for engineers to rank available options by total installed cost and lead time

During my switchgear modernization presentations all over the US, I am constantly reminded of the concerns customers face with their aging electrical infrastructure. For the most part, these center around safety, reliability and productivity:

  • Replacements parts are very hard (or impossible) to be found and priced as an aftermarket product
  • Plants are exposed to forced outages and loss of production due to poor equipment reliability
  • Employee safety is often in question due to slow opening time, increasing the arc flash hazard
  • Arc chutes of old circuit breakers contain asbestos, adding to safety concerns for maintenance personnel
  • Circuit breaker mechanisms have a lot of moving parts, that need lubrication or reconditioning
  • Low- and medium-voltage switchgear and circuit breakers are beyond their expected useful life

It gets to a point that engineers of these plants need to decide whether to replace or upgrade existing equipment.

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