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Chapter I

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY


Imagine life without the existence of electricity. Almost everything in this modern society
is connected and associated with electricity. It brought us to a world with an extraordinary and
unexpected technologies which changed our lives to the extent and became a part of modern life
and one cannot think of a world without it.
From the generation, electricity is being produced or generated, transmitted and
distributed to the consumers. But beyond that, electricity cannot be produced, transmitted and
distributed to the customers without the head of the power system, the switchgear.
Switchgear plays a vital role in power distribution. Switchgear is used both to de-energize
equipment to allow work to be done and to clear faults downstream. It can be operated manually
as when required and it is also operated during over current and short circuit or any other faults
in the system by sensing the abnormality of system. The circuit breaker senses the faulty
condition of system through protection relay and this relay is again actuated by faulty signal
normally comes from current transformer or voltage transformer.
Protected relays or switch gears includes protected current transformers, voltage
transformers, protective relays, time delay relays, auxiliary relays, secondary circuits, trip
circuits, etc. Each component plays its own role, which is very important in the overall operation
of the scheme. The protective relaying is the team work of all this components. The protective
relaying

also

provides

the

indication

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of

the

location

and

type

of

the

fault.

Fuses, isolators, contactors and circuit breakers are the main components of switchgears.
Fuse is a device which protects the electrical wires, cables and other electrical equipment against
overloading and short circuit. It contains a fuse element which breaks the circuit by melting it.
Isolator is a simple switchgear device with limited application and basically used to visibly
isolate a section of electric circuit or installation from the rest. It is also known as disconnect or
isolating switch. Lastly, circuit breaker is an automatic device capable of making and breaking an
electric circuit under normal and abnormal condition in the event of overloading or short circuits.
Switchgear has a proven record of reliability and performance failures are rare, but there
are precautions that should be taken to ensure the safety of personnel working with or in the area
of switchgear. Older types of switchgear have with time been proven to be deficient in some
areas. This together with changing system fault levels and poor or no maintenance can lead to
high safety risks to personnel in aged switchgear installations. This risk can be largely eliminated
by performing system studies followed by remedial actions such as retrofitting aged installations
with modern circuit breakers, high speed protection systems, remote switching or ultimately the
Internal Arc Fault feature.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY


This study aims to:
1. Make a clearer understanding of switchgears and enumerate its types and
classifications.
2. Identify and describe the parts and functions of the switchgear.
3. Determine the classification, application and operation of switchgear.
4. Differentiate and identify the applications of low, medium, and high voltage
switchgears.
5. Give details and know the functions of current transformer, voltage transformers and
net metering.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY


Switchgears, being the overall head of the power system, by knowing it thoroughly it
may be a great help to the following:
1. This study will mainly benefit the students with an electrical-related courses and
electrical practitioners especially students enrolled in Bachelor of Science in Electrical
Engineering to practice awareness on their own field and to expand their knowledge on
how switchgear works.
2. The study also welfares those engineers or people who is assigned in such industry. It
may help them in practicing safety to avoid damage or destruction.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION


The study only focused on medium voltage switchgear and limits only on the topics
included in the objectives which are: the types and classifications of switchgear, parts of

switchgears, application and operation of switchgear and the functions of current and voltage
transformers and net metering.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
Electrical circuit breaker - is a switching device which can be operated manually as well as
automatically for controlling and protection of electrical power system respectively.

Figure 1.1 Circuit Breaker


Current transformer (CT) - is used for measurement of alternating electric currents. When
current in a circuit is too high to apply directly to measuring instruments, a current transformer
produces a reduced current accurately proportional to the current in the circuit, which can be
conveniently connected to measuring and recording instruments. A current transformer isolates
the measuring instruments from what may be very high voltage in the monitored circuit. Current

transformers are commonly used in metering and protective relays in the electrical power
industry.

Figure 1.2 Current Transformer


Potential transformers (PT) (also called voltage transformers (VT)) - are a parallel connected
type of instrument transformer. They are designed to present negligible load to the supply being
measured and have an accurate voltage ratio and phase relationship to enable accurate secondary
connected metering.

Figure 1.3 Potential Transformer/ Voltage Transformer