UFES retrofit on non-ABB switchgear

2012-01-26 - Fire damage had halted steel tube production. After partial decontamination of the substation, ABB MV Service installed a completely new 10 kV switchgear system equipped with the innovative UFES (Ultra Fast Earthing Switch) arc eliminating technology. After verifying the advantages of the UFES retrofit solution at the 10 kV ABB switchgear, it was important for the customer that also the non-ABB switchgear is upgraded to the highest level of internal arc protection.

Originally, ABB planned to use the existing ‘UFES-service box’ retrofit solution to install the UFES directly into the non-ABB switchgear. However, since this solution could have only been realized through a considerable engineering effort as well as loss of warranty on the newly installed switchgear, it was then decided to install the UFES in the cable compartment of the incoming feeder – a solution which had already been used on one of previously installed ABB switchgear units. Unfortunately this idea had to be dropped due to possible dielectric problems.

Eventually, an empty panel was shipped to the service workshop in Ratingen and re-engineered by ABB service specialists to integrate the UFES. On site, the existing switchgear only had to be extended with the modified spare panel.

In order to detect both current and light, the non-ABB panels already installed on site were also equipped with ABB’s TVOC-2 light detection system.

This project illustrates the flexibility of UFES and how it can be integrated in both ABB as well as in non-ABB switchgear. In this case, the know-how of ABB’s engineering department combined with the high level of expertise of its service specialists enabled the UFES to be mounted in switchgear from other major manufacturer.

Customer Benefits

After verifying the advantages of the UFES retrofit solution for the 10 kV ABB switchgear, it was important for the customer that the switchgear from other manufacturer should also be upgraded to the highest level of internal arc protection. This has resulted in significant advantages:
  • Highest possible protection for operating personnel on ABB and non-ABB switchgear
  • Greatly increased system availability by preventing major internal damage within the switchgear and in the local environment
  • Drastic reduction of downtimes and repair costs in case of an internal arc.

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