Proper Selection Of A Recloser – Part Ii

January 23, 2014

In Part I of our article on the proper selection of a recloser, we looked at the role of a recloser and identified two of the major types of reclosers currently used by the power transmission and distribution industry. In Part II, we’ll list questions to ask in the selection of a recloser, as well as a bit about features, accessories, and other considerations related to the selection process.

It can be easily said that each type of recloser has a particular application. In the proper selection of a recloser, power generation transmission and distribution companies should begin the process by defining their specific need. Questions to ask:

 

  • Do you need single phase or three phase protection?
  • What is the system voltage?
  • What is the available fault current at the location?
  • What is the minimum trip value and the timing sequence?

 

The last question in the list is fairly important, given that the timing sequence governs how many times the recloser will operate. If you have a temporary fault in the system, the recloser will trip, the lights will go out, and then it will reclose, restoring electricity. Typically, the recloser will do this up to four times before it locks itself out. There are a number of operating parameters built in, and you need to know how they want these programmed before installation.

Features and accessories: Obviously, there are many more features and accessories available to power transmission and distribution industry clients interested in reclosers and related equipment. If a utility is interested in a system that allows for record keeping, event tracking, and forensic analysis, they’ll make good use of the electronic controls and data systems. On an electronic recloser (oil filled or encapsulated) there’s a microprocessor relay that constantly monitors the current and records all the resulting data. The electronic recloser measures power, voltage, current, kWh, fault data, and other event data.

Power monitoring is one of the main advantages for the electronic controls, but software that goes along with the electronic control systems can provide additional functionality-including the access to real-time information. Additionally, electronic controls can be hooked to a SCADA system that allows you to remotely monitor and control numerous processes.

Other considerations: If you are considering one of the larger recloser systems (three-phase, electronic), there are mounting bracket and hardware considerations to discuss. If you need a control panel installed, there should be a conversation about features and associated costs as well. Also, if there’s a manufacturer brand you prefer, or a need for specific accessories, it will be important to speak with a professional to help decide what’s best for the application and the job.

Recloser maintenance: Some reclosers have less maintenance concerns than others (especially encapsulated reclosers). When it comes to troubleshooting reclosers and problems, Solomon Corporation is always available as a resource. We provide repair and maintenance to the power generation and distribution industry, including municipals, rural electric associations, electric cooperatives, and investor owned utilities. We also help troubleshoot problems for members of the manufacturing industry.