Smart Grid Watch
Low Voltage Retrofit - Turning old into new
Aging low-voltage switchgear can be modernized with new direct-rack replacement circuit breakers from Siemens, providing minimal downtime and significant cost savings over replacing the entire system.
New low-voltage replacement circuit breakers are designed based on proven medium-voltage replacement circuit breaker philosophy, utilizing a Siemens common core operator technology and a smart direct-rack solution.
Siemens’ service organization in the United States has launched a replacement line for low-voltage circuit breakers. Brian Wahl, Low-Voltage Replacement Circuit Breaker Application Engineer notes, “the advantage for customers is, instead of investing in all new switchgear, they can efficiently and economically replace the old circuit breakers with new modern, flexible and extremely reliable replacement circuit breakers, which can extend the life of the gear for decades.”
Many customers can relate to this situation, or a similar one; the low-voltage products in their facility have become outdated, lacking the operational and safety features of modern technologies on the market. One solution is to invest in replacing the entire system and switchgear, using scarce resource capital. But there is another option that provides modernization and reliability and costs approximately half as much. A more efficient solution, customers can make their systems state-of-the-art and boost performance by maintaining their existing switchgear and replacing outdated low-voltage circuit breakers with new Siemens direct-rack replacement circuit breakers.
Based on a proven medium-voltage replacement concept
Siemens has been offering reliable medium-voltage replacement solutions for nearly 40 years. Now, the low-voltage replacement circuit breaker team, headed by Application Engineer, Brian Wahl in the U.S., has developed the new generation of replacement circuit breakers within the Siemens Customer Services organization, supporting legacy products. Since the first low-voltage replacement solutions were brought to market, Brian Wahl and his team have sold the new low-voltage circuit breakers to different customers in the United States, including power plants, industrial facilities, and hospitals. In principle, low-voltage circuit breakers are needed just about anywhere power is distributed. While a hospital may have only a few low-voltage circuit breakers, an oil refinery or utility may use hundreds. “The low-voltage replacement solution is based on our proven medium-voltage replacement circuit breaker concept,” notes Wahl. “All of our medium-voltage designs are based on a Siemens common core operator technology, and designed as direct replacements where we engineer the truck and primaries to meet the requirements of the different equipment manufacturer’s designs. We use this same concept for our low-voltage replacement circuit breakers as well. And like our medium-voltage circuit breakers, our low-voltage replacements are designed so that the primaries connect directly to the existing bus.”
Pioneering U.S. solution
Moreover, the new circuit breakers allow for an advanced communication system that also makes it possible to operate, configure and monitor equipment remotely. The replacement circuit breakers are assembled in North Carolina. Wahl and his team have confidence in their product and can see the application used worldwide. The engineer notes, “low-voltage replacement circuit breakers provide an economical and effective solution for modernizing existing electrical systems, while simultaneously extending product life and minimizing down times.” Further product details can be found in this brochure.
The following circuit breakers are available in pre-engineered designs.
- Siemens (RL, SB)
- ABB/ITE (K Line)
- Westinghouse (DB, DS)
- GE (AK)
Customers who require replacements for other manufacturer’s models should contact their local Siemens representative. For a quotation, go to http://usa.siemens.com/techsupport
Contact: Debra Tutt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
YouTube video: Brian Wahl explains how the new replacement circuit-breakers work.
Additional information about services at www.siemens.com/td-services