Switchgear is vital electrical equipment to help control the flow of electricity. What you may not know is that there are at least three levels of switchgear and each has its own specific uses. This is worth noting, especially if you have certain power demands you need to meet with your company/factory, or you are located in a place where it is necessary to generate your own power.
High Voltage Switchgear
High voltage switchgear helps control the highest amount of energy you can get, and the flow of that energy. Major power stations require high voltage switchgear because they are channeling so much power. These stations are also intense magnets for lightning storms. If the stations are struck by lightning (which happens often), then the switchgear on these stations helps channel and diffuse the extra surge in power in a manner that is both safe and conducive to the equipment onsite.
Most of the time, these high voltage stations are located outside cities and towns. This prevents any residual interference that can occur, as well prevent human illnesses connected to the exposure of the intense, high voltage energy. They are also located outside of city limits for anyone who lives a great distance away from standard power lines and can only receive electricity via underground power lines and these major power substations.
Medium Voltage Switchgear
Medium voltage switchgear is much more common than people realize. It is used in every major factory and industry across the country. It is also used in planes, giant cruise and freighter ships, and even in submarines. This switchgear safely and effectively protects people against electrical explosions and surges in energy, while simultaneously protecting all of the industrial equipment and power generators.
You can see much of the medium voltage switchgear in large cabinets installed on factory walls or sitting on factory floors. In planes, ships, and submarines, the switchgear is often out of sight, except to the crews that maintain these modes of transportation and the crew members that are responsible for everything electrical. The medium voltage switchgear tends to resemble large fuse boxes with a few extra manual throw switches and buttons.
Low Voltage Switchgear
Low voltage switchgear exists because power lines above ground exist. While the phrase "low voltage" is applied to power lines and minor power substations, do not let that fool you. There is still enough power in an overhead power line or minor power substation to cause major injuries and fatalities! That is why the lines, minor substations and power poles are equipped with switchgear.
Additionally, if you want to install a generator on your own property, and you want the generator to kick on automatically, you can ask an electrical contractor to install switchgear on your own fuse box. Many homeowners who live remotely and rely on a generator to help create electrical power choose to install low voltage switchgear. It has multiple benefits for homeowners with generators.
Communications Companies Use Switchgear Too
Yes, switchgear is electrical equipment, but communications companies cannot operate without electricity. This is why communications companies also have their own power boxes (often located on street corners). Communications companies rely on the power provided by electric companies, but the energy flow into the communications equipment still has to be controlled too. Hence, the switchgear is installed in the communications equipment to prevent outages of telephone and internet services. This is a vital function of switchgear in a role that helps prevent fatalities during natural disasters or national emergencies, where communication with the public and communication between emergency services and the public are an absolute necessity.