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Understanding Switchgear: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Understanding Switchgear: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Switchgear is a fundamental part of an electrical power system. Because electricity serves essential functions, its supply needs to be done securely. However, in maintaining the security level of electrical distribution, it is sometimes difficult to employ safety devices due to their variety. Switchgear should be used to overcome this problem.

Switchgear is vital in the operations of an electrical power system because of its different features and functions. Here are some of the most important information about switchgear.

What is switchgear?

Switchgear is an electrical device used to switch, control, and protect circuits and devices in an electrical power system. It is usually connected to an electric supply system and utilised in low- and high-voltage power transformers.

The primary purpose of switchgear is to de-energise equipment for maintenance and testing. Whenever a defect or failure occurs in a power system, a heavy current runs through the electrical equipment. It causes enormous damage to the apparatus and supply disruption to the user. The use of a switch allows the elimination of the defect without any safety risks.

In essence, switchgear permits the switch of distributors, transmission lines, generators, and other electric-powered equipment to go on and off, especially when necessary.

How does a switchgear work?

Switchgear typically consists of several devices, such as relays, circuit breakers, switches, fuses, isolators, potential and current transformers, lightning arresters, and indicating devices. Of these devices, the relays and circuit breaker usually perform the primary functions of switching and protecting a piece of equipment from damage or the power supply from interruption.

The relays automatically take action whenever there is a fault in the system. They close the defective circuit and disconnect the disrupted line. This function ensures that the equipment is not damaged or the power supply will not get interrupted whenever a fault occurs. To put it simply, relays make sure that the faulty parts in an electrical system remain isolated while the healthy ones continue to function as usual.

What are the features and functions of switchgear?

Switchgear often comes with many features and functions. The essential features of switchgear include:

  • Boosting the reliability of the interconnectivity and capacity of generating stations.
  • Facilitating quicker responses to malfunctions.
  • Providing hand-held operations in case of faults in electrical control.

When it comes to functionality, switchgear:

  • Protects equipment from fault currents and short circuits.
  • Provides isolation to the circuits from power supplies.
  • Maximises the availability of the electrical power system by permitting more than one source to feed a load.
  • Opens and closes the electrical circuits under normal and abnormal conditions.
  • Operates manually under normal conditions to ensure the operator’s safety and the proper utilisation of electrical energy.
  • Operates mechanically under abnormal conditions to protect the power system from damage once a fault occurs.


Switchgear is undoubtedly an integral part of an electrical power system. It is extensively used in industrial setups to facilitate smooth power distribution. Whenever you need an upgrade to your existing switchgear or require switchgear installation, hiring the services of a specialist is what you should do.

Several electrical and mechanical engineering companies in Singapore provide highly trusted generator overhauling, switchgear and transformer services, and electric motor rewinds for businesses across various industries. To guarantee the protection and efficiency of your equipment, it is always the best option to seek the help of these professionals!