Save Money and Improve Reliability by Retrofitting Existing Switchgear Lineups


Industrial electrical distribution systems typically consist of switchgear lineups to distribute power to various loads.  Switchgear lineups are vital to an industrial facility to maintain production, process, and revenue stream.  Frequently, existing switchgear lineups at such facilities are deemed to be in good condition but lack many modern-day technologies that could be benefiting you.  Instead of replacing the equipment to achieve benefits, you can retrofit and save up to 60% in capital costs.  By performing retrofit services, the following enhancements can be established to achieve modern-day capabilities:

Improved Protection for Personnel and Equipment.  By replacing the existing protective relay or trip unit components with appropriate digital multi-function devices, enhanced protection such as arc flash energy reduction, zone-selective interlocking, high-speed differential protection, trip coil monitoring, and stuck breaker protection can be established.

Improved Reliability to Plant Operations.  By modifying the existing hardwired AC/DC controls with PLC overlay, automatic source transfer schemes can be established.  This can include automatic transfer to an alternate source in the event of a utility outage, closed-transition utility restoration, or seek the live source capability.  With automation, particularly where manual operations cannot be performed in a timely manner, plant operations will not be compromised by a utility outage.

Establish SCADA Integration.  By modifying the existing equipment control circuits, electrical equipment can be integrated for functionality with a remote monitoring system.  This can include an existing centralized monitoring facility or a smartphone device.  With SCADA integration, electrical system conditions can be monitored real-time without manual intervention.  Such functionality allows a quicker diagnosis of pending electrical system issues to achieve greater reliability of plant operations.

Integrate Renewable Energy Sources.  By repurposing existing switchgear lineups with modified controls and intertie protection schemes, power connectivity can be established with solar photovoltaic or combined heat & power (CHP) sources.  With such connectivity, significant electricity cost savings can still be realized without incurring the capital cost of electrical equipment replacement.

The complete replacement of switchgear is often unnecessary and too costly.  It won’t cost you anything to hear our specific recommendations on how you can save money.  If you would like to know more about how to retrofit your electrical system for enhanced functionality, feel free to call me at (240) 582-3900  — Priyan De Silva, Helios Electric LLC.