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Retrofits

Switchgear retrofits

Breathe new life into your old LV and MV switchgear with refurbishing, retrofitting and replacement parts

Typical Retofits
supplied
to our clients

Introduction

What are retrofits?

You wouldn’t replace the entire dashboard on your car if the radio stopped working, would you? The same logic applies to ageing, faulty electrical switchgear that no longer works optimally.

On any switchgear, the panel structural assembly lasts longer than the circuit breakers. The circuit breakers are the most stressed components of the panel because of their mechanical and electrical opening and closing operations.

It may be ideal to replace the complete panel and circuit breaker. But this can be costly. And why replace the panel if it’s still in good working condition?

AMJ Electrical replace faulty/worn circuit breakers - Two basic options:

Option 1 - Complete panel replacement Expensive

You could replace the complete panel but this is not always necessary as the panel is normally still in good condition. 

This option is very expensive as apposed to retrofitting the unit.

Option 2 - Retrofit the circuit breaker Best Option

This is the complete replacement of the circuit breaker and associated equipment directly related to the circuit breaker only. This option does not affect the original integrity and specifications of the panel.

There are 2 retrofit options:

1. Custom manufactured adaption links

We have over 200 retrofit solutions between all major OEM circuit breakers.

Advantages

  • Much cheaper
  • No change of operation
  • Reduce outage time
  • Updated critical equipment

2. Cutting, bending and punching new coppers on site

This option is time consuming and expensive but is utilized when the installation has uncommon circuit breakers.

Services to keep your switchgear running like clockwork

What retrofit is the best fit for your operation?

Whether you’re refurbishing, retrofitting or replacing parts, getting value for the capital outlay is crucial. Bear these factors in mind when considering a switchgear upgrade:

Safety:

Modern switchgear is safer to operate than old switchgear. The trend towards safety and user liability makes this an important consideration.

Operability:

Networks are becoming increasingly automated. This may require technology far beyond the capability of the old switchgear.

Maintenance:

Availability of skilled personnel may become a problem and prices might be exorbitant due to few people knowing old switchgear.

Spares:

Parts have a limited production life. As technology improves the older equipment spares become limited or obsolete and can be very expensive. This leaves a plant vulnerable when units in service fail.

Switchgear retrofits

Designing a retrofit

Putting together the best retrofit solution doesn’t just happen. Our design team must ensure their designs maintain the original characteristics and integrity of the original panel. Where required the following techniques are used in the design process:

  • Type test: We manufacture a prototype and perform the relevant tests. Only viable if retrofitting large quantities so that the cost is minimised.
  • Approximation & extrapolation: If existing data on the circuit breaker verifies its performance, that data could be extrapolated to the new installation if its important features are not changed.
  • Synthesis: If each component is successful in testing the final result could be deemed acceptable.
  • Calculation: It’s possible to calculate whether the equipment in a retrofit would be able to meet the required performance
Why should you decide on a retrofit?

Benefits of retrofitting

  • Replacement breakers don’t require extra space for access
  • Eliminate environmental and safety concerns
  • Less capital outlay compared to new panels
  • Rapid switchgear upgrades that reduce downtime by up to 90%
  • Lower maintenance costs


We provide industry-leading support for LV (up to 1000V) and MV (up to 33 000V).

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