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The twenty-first century has given us many inventions. The internet of things (IoT) – smart devices that can connect to the internet and link the real world to the digital world – has made a significant impact on our daily lives. We couldn’t have imagined being able to monitor the lighting in our house or unlock the garage door with our phones long ago, but  it is practically possible now. However, IoT and smart technologies are more than just linking devices in your house. It is also converting medium voltage switchgear and other MV network components.

When it comes to decisions like capital investments and technology updates, the medium voltage sector has a pragmatic reputation. This comes as no surprise. Electrical equipment, such as switchgears, typically have a lifetime of 15-30 years or more, but equipment standards and technologies are evolving at a much faster pace. The primary function of electrical equipment operators is to keep the network operational and in proper working order. So, why install new technology that necessitates equipment shutdown as well as training and support for operators?

A more reliable, cost-efficient and safe MV network is the requirement.

 

Innovation Is the Way

One recent development has been the decentralization of operations within a building’s administration or medium-sized industrial plant’s services. This is due to the high cost of having experts track each service separately, such as water, power, internet, connectivity, and protection. The challenge is- figuring out how to offer facility managers the resources they need to handle these programs together.

Although, traditional protection, control, and measurement systems have also evolved to provide better support and services but their availability is limited to shielding equipment in the case of a failure. But how do we avoid a failure inside the equipment while still ensuring that the part responsible for fixing the fault is operational? Also, how can we do this in real-time?

Greater visibility of facilities and greater control over organizational health is achievable with increased connectivity. It also provides edge control capabilities, allowing for the right decisions to be taken at the right time to increase uptime and operating performance. This technology increases the importance of data by turning it into simple and future-oriented plans.

Here are a couple of the most significant advantages of providing access to your MV switchgear:

  1. Reduce Downtime and Improve Productivity

Connectivity offers real-time updates about the system’s fitness. This allows you to find opportunities for change, avoids network downtime by identifying faults, lowers maintenance costs, and increases performance.

  • Increases Safety

Electrical switchgear failure can result in severe injury and property damage. New, network-connected switchgear provides advanced arc flash detection features, eliminating the chance of harm to people and equipment. Connectivity improves safety and efficiency by allowing for local or remote monitoring and controls switch/fuse-switch functions.

  • Enhance Monitoring Capabilities

Because of advanced condition and sequential monitoring tools, connectivity provides better insight into operations and uses real-time data to facilitate successful decision making.

  • Monitor Power Connections

Abnormal temperatures can be detected, either on cable or busbar links, because of 24/7 thermal surveillance of hot spots. Consumers can be alerted to possible trouble areas and take proactive action to stop the unplanned shutdown.

  • Monitor Environmental Status

An online device that monitors condensation inside the switchgear aids in the prevention of premature ageing in harsh environments.

  • Track Circuit Breakers Performance

Real-time monitoring of circuit breaker performance provides up-to-the-date insight, and performance data can be used to improve predictive maintenance and create long-term maintenance plans.

The energy business is evolving as a result of day-to-day challenges such as increased demand and a greater drive towards decarbonization. And, the latest trend indicates that this condition will last. Therefore, it is time to consider whether your company has the necessary technology to meet future objectives and needs.