Switchgear PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on May 17, 2021

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In an electrical system, switchgear consists of electrical disconnectors, fuses, or circuit breakers used to control, protect and isolate electrical equipment. The switchgear is used both to de-energize equipment to permit operation and to troubleshoot downstream. This type of equipment is directly related to the reliability of the power supply.

The earliest central power stations used simple open knife switches mounted on insulating panels of marble or asbestos. Power levels and voltages rise quickly, so opening manually operated switches is too dangerous for anything other than shutting down a de-energized circuit. The oil-filled switchgear allows the arc energy to be safely contained and controlled. By the early 20th century, the switchgear would be enclosed in a metal structure with electrical switching elements using oil circuit breakers. Today, oil-filled equipment has largely been replaced by air, vacuum, or SF6 gas purging equipment, allowing high currents and power levels to be reliably controlled by automated equipment.

High voltage switchgear was invented in the late 19th century to run motors and other electrical machines. The technology has improved over time and can now be used for voltages up to 1100 kV.


Typically, substation switchgear is located on both the high and low voltage sides of large power transformers. The switchgear on the low voltage side of the transformers can be located in a building with medium voltage circuit breakers together with metering, control, and protection equipment. For industrial applications, transformers and switchgear can be combined in a single enclosure called a Unified Substation (USS). According to the latest research by Visiongain, the global switchgear market is expected to reach $152.5 billion by 2029 with a CAGR of 5.9%. Increased investment in renewable energies and increased demand for safe and reliable power distribution systems are expected to increase.

The switchgear assembly consists of two types of components:

Electrically conductive components such as switches, circuit breakers, fuses, and lightning rods conduct or interrupt the flow of electricity.

Control systems such as control panels, current transformers, potential transformers, protection relays, and connected circuits that monitor, control, and protect conductive components.

One of the main functions of the switchgear is protection, that is, the disconnection of short-circuiting and overload currents while maintaining serviceable circuits. The switchgear also provides circuit isolation from power supplies. The switchgear is also used to increase system availability by allowing more than one power source.

Switchgear is as old as power generation. The first models were very primitive: all the components were simply attached to the wall. They were later installed on wooden panels. For fire protection reasons, the wood was replaced with slate or marble. This led to further improvements as switching and measuring devices can be attached from the front and wiring on the back.

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