A Closer Look into the True Cost of Replacing Electrical Switchgear

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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