Industry Analysis

Smart Switchgears

Smart switchgears

An analysis on how IoT is transforming the switchgear space
While the Internet of Things (IoT) has entrenched deep in the consumer lives, the switchgear industry has not remained behind. IoT is transforming the monitoring segment of switchgear and the transmission industry where systems are being developed to provide detailed logs of issues. The switchgear manufacturers have thus moved to include built-in protection and control. Such intelligent devices when combined with IoT form a base for enhanced protection, control and monitoring, said Rajesh Nandwani, VP and Business Unit Head –Switchgear, Anchor Electricals.
Most of the latest solutions in the switchgear segment these days are coherent i.e. these are compatible with multiple systems. According to Sameer Saxena, Director, Marketing, Legrand India, “Another technological advancement is that the switchgear solutions have become smarter – these can connect with the internet and provide comprehensive monitoring. Switchgear products can provide protection function and also can measure all electrical parameters real time to remote monitoring systems.”
Explaining on how IoT is transforming the switchgear space, Rajiv Kumar, Director – Marketing, Electrical Sector – India, Eaton Power Quality Pvt Ltd observes, “Smart switchgear leveraging IoT is enabling better visibility, real-time information, improved predictive diagnostics which overall contributes to higher energy efficiency and better reliability of the power infrastructure.”
How does ‘smart’ switchgear functionThough the very basic purpose of switchgear is to provide electrical distribution and offer protection against various faults, “Smart” switchgear can also measure various electrical parameters and these parameters can be communicated to energy management systems and building management systems on real time basis. Smart switchgear products can also be monitored remotely for their status and also can be given command for operation. With these smart functions the electricity can be managed smartly and effectively to get higher efficiency from the system. Integration of various electrical energy sources like solar and wind can be managed very well with systems fitted with smart switchgear products, said Saxena.
Switchgear is defined as an assembly of switching and interrupting devices, providing control, metering, protection, and current regulating applications. “Smart switchgear is pre-programmed switchgear supporting remote monitoring, configuration and control of embedded intelligent devices through two way real-time communication. It allows monitoring of incoming and outgoing power, automatic transfer of power during peak load and automatic opening and closing to maintain power load. Smart switchgear enables better monitoring, control and communication, allowing energy saving and better management,” Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director, HPL Electric & Power Ltd explained while commenting on ‘smart’ switchgear function and how it is changing the electricity management landscape.
Smart switchgears are the latest genre of switchgears which are transforming the electrical systems and management. Buildings (commercial, residential and industrial) consume a lot of energy and world over initiatives are being taken to save energy and reduce the negative impact on the environment. “In such a scenario,” Seth adds, “Smart switchgears come in action by measuring, connecting and saving to help manage energy and bring energy bills down significantly.” Also, with the 100 smart cities initiative announced by the government, the demand for smart switchgears is expected to rise further. These cities will be built with GIS-based (Geographic Information Systems) town planning, using advanced ICT technologies covering that will feature smart switchgears.
According to Rajiv Kumar of Eaton, “Smart switchgear enables the power management piece of any infrastructure to be integrated at enterprise-level with other major components of a smart infrastructure – whether it is integration with the networks, servers , storage of data centres for a smart city, or SCADA systems of industrial plants. This enables power to be monitored and controlled optimally.”
Smart switchgear is the new terminology given to programmable power-distribution solutions that are equipped with self monitoring features. The technology plays a major part in making such products intuitive and user-friendly. Commercial and industrial spaces continue to use such switchgear to effectively monitor and control the power transmission and distribution. However, Nandwani observes, it is still at the nascent stages of development when it comes to residential premises in low-voltage switchgear. 

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Most Popular

To Top