Circuit Switcher: Learn the Purpose, Cost, and Lead Time to Procure

Circuit switcher
Circuit switcher

Purpose of circuit switcher

  • A circuit switcher is a switching device like a circuit breaker. It interrupts the power flow.
  • It is typically installed on the high voltage side of the transformer.
  • Historically the fault interruption capability was lower (~5kA) and therefore was only operated for faults occurring on the load side of the transformer. New-generation switchers can interrupt up to 40kA, making it comparable to a circuit breaker and therefore can be operated for faults occurring on the source and load side.
Circuit switcher
Circuit switcher for transformer protection, installed on high voltage side
Circuit switcher on high side of transformer
Another instance of a circuit switcher for transformer protection. Image credit: First Energy, Penelec Power.

Cost of circuit switcher

  • 345kV 1600A switcher: ~$200,000
  • 138kV 1200A switcher: ~70,000

Lead time to procure circuit switcher

  • ~18 weeks for a 138kV unit
  • ~28 weeks for a 345kV unit

Information on cost and lead time is for your general knowledge only. Contact vendor with your equipment specifications for actual figures.

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Circuit Switcher: Learn the Purpose, Cost, and Lead Time to Procure 1

Substation Major Equipment

It’s only stupid-simple, let’s begin.

In a distribution substation, the available ground-fault current on the low side of the step-down transformer is excessive, over-dutying the switching equipment. What is your cost-effective solution to reducing the fault current?
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