why TesT Breakers
Some of the most important of the many reasons for testingcircuit breakers are:
Substation breaker testing is an important task for any utility.The breakers are there to facilitate the flow of current duringnormal operation and to interrupt current flow in the event ofa fault. But any and all electrically operated devices are, sooneror later, likely to experience some kind of failure. That failurecan be caused by many factors, including ageing and externalfaults. The utility operator has to be prepared and have a planin place to handle every situation.This document will help readers to understand what is involvedwith keeping circuit breakers operating at peak performance.Breakers are mechanically challenging devices requiringperiodic adjustments. The need for some of these adjustmentscan be determined visually and they can be given the attentionneeded without testing. However, in most cases, it will benecessary to carry out electrical testing to find out what is thecause of out-of-tolerance conditions.This document primarily deals with electrical testing.The task of the utility is to generate power, transmit it anddistribute it with maximum availability. While doing this, it isimperative that losses are kept to a minimum, and acceptablelevels of power quality and safety are maintained. All of thismust be done in an environmentally friendly manner. Breakersplay an important part in making this happen.High voltage circuit breakers are extremely important for thefunction of modern electric power supply systems. The breakeris the active link that ultimately has the role of quickly openingthe primary circuit when a fault occurs. Often, the breaker hasto perform its duty within a few milliseconds, after months,perhaps years of idly standing by. Since RCM (reliabilitycentered maintenance) and condition based maintenancehave become the established strategies for most owners andoperators of electric power delivery systems, the need forreliable and accurate test instruments for field use is clear.Protection systems are put in place to detect all electricalfaults or other abnormal operating conditions and they arecoordinated to disconnect the smallest possible part of apower system in the event of a fault. With good systemdesign, it should be possible to quickly restore normaloperation.When a fault is detected by a protective relay and a tripimpulse is sent to the breaker operating mechanism, thebreaker has to function as specified and interrupt the currentas soon as possible or severe damage may occur. The cost ofdamage caused by a malfunctioning breaker can often reachmillions of dollars.Proper functioning of a breaker is reliant on a number ofindividual components that have to be calibrated and tested atregular intervals. The trigger for maintenance intervals differsgreatly between utilities but the intervals are often basedon time since last test, number of operations, or severity offault current operations. Environmental considerations suchas humidity and temperature, whether the breaker is locatedin a desert or coastal region, also play into the maintenancescheme.Mechanical wear and lubrication often affects theperformance of breakers, so being able to trend missioncritical parameters and compare these with factory thresholdshelps to verify proper breaker functionality.
What’s in the name...?
For over 100 years, Megger has been a premier provider oftest equipment and measuring instruments for electrical powerapplications. The Megger trademark was first registered inMay 1903 and is closely guarded by the company. AlthoughMegger is best known for its world-famous range of insulationtesters, the company provides a full service solution to meetall electrical test and measurement needs. Megger productsprovide testing solutions for the most critical maintenanceareas, including cable fault location, protective relay and circuitbreaker testing, and power quality testing. With such a diverseproduct offering, Megger is the single source for electrical testand measuring instruments.The Megger product offering spans 30 distinct product groupswith over 1,000 specific products.Circuit breaker test sets, watt-hour meter test equipment andprotective relay test instruments, instruments used for testingand maintaining transformers, batteries and undergroundcables and other products designed for the power industrywere formerly supplied under the Biddle, Multi-Amp, PAXDiagnostics and Programma brands. Among other innovations,Megger developed the first completely automatic, softwaredriven protective relay test system in 1984 and the firstcommercial cable fault locator in 1950.Manufacturing insulation testers from 1kV to 10kV is whereMegger started, and the Megger brand name is so well knowntoday that maintenance professionals often incorrectly use itas a verb when they refer to insulation testing on wiring. Thisfamous name dates back to 1889, when the first portableinsulation tester was introduced with the MEGGER brand.Recently, Megger acquired PAX diagnostics, adding sweepfrequency diagnostic test equipment to its portfolio. Meggerenjoys an outstanding reputation in the areas of groundtesting, oil testing and as a supplier of electrical contractormaintenance tools such as multimeters, portable appliancetesters and clamp-on meters.The most recent addition to the Megger product line isan innovative range of instruments for testing data andtelecommunication installations. Working with both copperand optical technologies, and collaborating closely with themajor industry players, Megger has developed easy-to-useproducts to keep the costs of test and measurement down andproductivity up.Megger also operates the renowned AVO Training Institute,which offers top rated training for electrical maintenance andsafety through the network of Megger offices. In addition,the company manufactures STATES
terminal blocks andtest switches, which are specified by many major electricutilities. For over 65 years, test technicians and engineershave depended on STATES products to provide easy access towiring on panel boards and switchboards, to eliminate wiringreconnection errors and to save operator time.Megger manufactures and markets products on a globalscale. Its principal manufacturing sites are in College Stationand Dallas, Texas; Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Dover, Englandand Täby, Sweden. Sales and technical support offices aremaintained at each manufacturing site as well as in Sydney,Australia; Toronto, Canada; Paris, France; Oberursel, Germany;Mumbai, India, Johannesburg, South Africa; Oberkulm,Switzerland, Chonburi, Thailand and Bahrain, UAE. Witha global network of hundreds of sales representatives,product literature and user manuals in eight languages, andmultilingual product software, Megger is a local supplier forcustomers anywhere in the world.All Megger products meet the highest standards for quality,reliability and safety. All of the company’s facilities are certifiedas meeting the requirements of the ISO 9001 quality standard,and the Dover and Täby sites are also certified to ISO14001,the international environmental standard. Megger is constantlystriving to maximize quality, thereby ensuring that theexperience of its customers is always world class.
who should read ThIs documenT?
This document is intended for engineers and technicians in thepower, industrial and utility sectors who wish to learn how totest substation circuit breakers.HV Breakers in a transmission scheme can be viewed asforming a tree starting with the generating station, fanningout to the transmission grid, to the distribution grid, and finallyto the point of consumption.