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Electrical Preventive Maintenance of Air Circuit Breakers


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Electrical Preventive Maintenance of Air Circuit Breakers

Recommended minimum practice for preventive maintenance


Insulation
Remove and clean interphase barriers. Clean all insulating materials with vacuum and/or clean lint free rags. If it is
necessary to use cleaning solvents, use only solvents recommended by the manufacturer.
Inspect for (early) signs of corona, tracking, arcing, or thermal or physical damage.
Ensure that insulation is left clean and dry.

Contacts
Ensure that all contacts are clean , smooth, and in proper alignment. Ensure that spring pressures are maintained
according to manufacturers specifications. On silver contacts, discoloration is not usually harmful unless caused by

insulating deposits. Clean silver contacts with alcohol or silver cleaner using non-abrasive cloths.

Insulation barriers (left: Interface barrier; right: Earth barrier)

Contact resistance tests using micro-ohmmeter (photo credit: ecmweb.com)

Manually close breaker to check for proper wipe, contact pressure, contact alignment, and to ensure that all contacts
make at approximately the same time.
If possible, a contact resistance test should be performed to determine the quality of the contacts. Microohmmeters, which are used to perform contact resistance tests, apply a DC current through the entire closed circuit
breaker current path, including the contacts, pivot point, and stab connections of the circuit breaker. The test set readout displays the contact resistance directly in micro-ohms.
Older breakers equipped with carbon contactors generally require very little maintenance. Examine for proper
pressure, deterioration, or excessive dressing which may interfere with their proper operation.
Draw-out contacts on the circuit breaker and the stationary contacts in the cubicle should be cleaned and inspected
for overheating, alignment, and broken or weak springs. Coat contact surfaces with contact lubricant to ease mating

(see manufacturers recommendations).

Arc Interrupters
Clean all ceramic materials of loose dirt and examine for signs of moisture, make sure the assemblies are clean and
dry. Examine for cracked or broken pieces. Dirt and arcing deposits may be removed by light sanding do not use
emery cloth or wire brushes which may leave conductive residue behind. Repair or replace as necessary.
Examine arc chutes for dirt and/or dust accumulations and clean as necessary. Dielectric testing of arc shields may
be recommended by the manufacturer. Check air puffer for proper operation.

Operating Mechanism
Inspect for loose, broken, worn, or missing parts (consult manufacturers schematics for required parts). Examine
for excessive wear of moving parts. Observe that operating mechanisms function properly without binding, hanging, or
without delayed action.
Ensure any lubrication is done according to the manufacturers specifications.

Figure 1 Cutaway view of the molded case circuit breaker

Ensure mechanisms are clean, properly lubricated, and all bolts and screws are properly secured. Repair or replace
as necessary.

Auxiliary Devices
Inspect operating devices for proper operation and general condition. Ensure all indicating devices are fully functional
and properly set.

Auxiliary devices (aux. switch, alarm switch, shunt trip and unrevoltage trip device)

Protective relays and circuit breaker trip devices should be inspected and tested according to manufacturers
specifications and applicable industry standards such as those issued by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

References:
Standard for and electrical preventive maintenance (EPM) program The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection
and Insurance Company
Fuji Electric FA Components & Systems Catalogue

About Author //
Edvard Csanyi
Edvard - Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for
design of LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, buildings and
industry fascilities. Designing of LV/MV switchgears. Professional in AutoCAD programming
and web-design. Present on

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9 Comments
1.
moulay najim
Nov 16, 2014
Yes, i am satisfy.
(reply)

2.
Sen
Nov 03, 2014
Hello Sir
My ACB now one terminal have been burn and it occur tree time , so how can i solve it ?
(reply)
3.
sachin s
Aug 13, 2014
Hello Sir..What is function of the micrologic control.?
(reply)
4.
karim pourmosa
Jul 11, 2014
nice
(reply)
5.
akhtar
Mar 30, 2014
DEAR SIR
HOW THE ACB GOT FEED INSIDE THE FRAME
(reply)

6.
michael k kudahor
Mar 25, 2014
Better still what to consider in other to improve the power factor of a plant .
(reply)

vijay
Nov 03, 2014
Most of the plants were fitted with synchronous condenser or generator to cop up with
power factor issue. Also, condensers are fitted at various places where inductive loads are located.
While installing a new inductive machinery it is advisable to take its pf into consideration.
(reply)
7.
michael k kudahor
Mar 25, 2014
it educative to know you share such a deep insight, i would love to know what are the best and
affordable ways of improving power factor of a plant?
(reply)
8.
DEEPAK AGRAWAL
Feb 07, 2014
Hello Sir,
Can we control kvar ratings of a power factor capacitor by varying voltage supplied to it, by varying the
triggering of thyristors and thus control power factor in a more significant manner?
(reply)
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