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Testing and Commissioning of

Electrical Equipment
TOPIC: Installation and Commissioning tests of
Circuit Breaker

USN: 1BI16EE018
 Prepare foundation, support structure of the circuit breaker in position
as per the plan.
 Check for the horizontal level.
 Assemble operating mechanism.
 Extend supply to auxiliary system.
 Measure insulation resistance.
 Check open and closing contacts.
 Make terminal connections.
 Operate breaker from local control panel.
 Operate the breaker from control room as per the instructions and also
by operating the respective relays.
 Put it in actual service.
Installation procedure for circuit breakers:

In the process of installation of circuit breakers, the preliminary preparations such as study of
drawings, acceptance, report checking certificates, test reports of the equipment, completion of
civil engineering work, arranging the tools, organizing the labor, preparation of schedule of
installation, preparation of sequence cards for erection etc. are to be done. The different steps of
installation include:

1. Sequence card for erection of switchgear equipment

2. Location of switchgear
3. Unpacking
4. Foundation
5. Erection
6. Bus bar earthing connections
7. Connection of main cables
8. Earthing

After the installation, the circuit breakers and protective gear are
subjected to certain tests at site to ensure proper assembly and
readiness of the circuit breaker. The commissioning tests include:
 Power frequency over voltage withstand test
 Dielectric test on auxiliary circuit and control circuit
 Measurement of resistance of main circuit or contact resistance test
 Tightness test or SF6 gas leakage test
 Design and visual checks
 Mechanical operation tests
Power Frequency Over Voltage Withstand Test:
The power system may experience different temporary power over voltage conditions may be due to sudden
cut of load from the system, wrong operation of online tap changer, insufficient shunt compensation in the
system, etc. Power frequency over voltage withstand test of circuit breaker is performed to verify sufficiency of
insulation strength of the main circuit to withstand this kind of abnormal over voltage conditions of the system. The
circuit breaker should also be designed to be capable of withstanding over voltages due to lightning and
switching impulses. A circuit breaker like other costly engineering equipment, are designed for safely facing all
kind of abnormal situations, but at the same time, the designers cannot sacrifice economical aspects.
Dielectric test on auxiliary and control circuit:
There may be abnormal over voltage condition in the auxiliary and control supply circuits, too. Hence, the
auxiliary and control circuits of breakers should also be gone through short duration power frequency voltage
withstand test. Here test voltage of 2000 V is applied for duration of one minute. The insulation of auxiliary and
control circuit should pass this test, and there should not be any destructive discharge during the test.
Measurement of the resistance of main circuit:
The resistance of main circuit is measured from DC voltage drop across the circuit. In this test, direct current is
injected to the circuit and corresponding voltage drop is measured and from this resistance of the circuit is
measured. The injected current would be from 100 A to maximum rated current of the circuit breaker. The
maximum measured value can be 1.2 times the value obtained at the temperature rise test.
Tightness Test
This test is carried out on mainly gas insulated switch-gear. In this test, leakage rate is measured. This test
ensures the desired lifespan of the switchgear. Here all the jointing points in the gas containing paths are
covered air tightly with thin sheets of polythene (preferably transparent) for more than 8 hours and then
the gas density inside this covers is measured by inserting gas detecting port of a gas detector through a
hole now created on the covers. The measurement is taken in ppm unit and should be within the
specified limit. Maximum limit of gas leakage 3 ppm / 8 hours, is taken as standard.
Visual Checks:
The circuit breaker should be visually checked for language and data on the templates, proper identification mark of any
auxiliary equipment, color and quality of paint and corrosion on metallic surface, etc.
Mechanical Operation Test:
The breaker should consistently open and close its contacts. In mechanical endurance test the circuit breaker is opened and
closed many times (nearly 1000 times). Few opening and closing operations (nearly 50 times) is done by energizing the relay
and the remaining are by closing the trip circuit by other means. Mechanical test on high voltage ac circuit breakers are
conducted without charging the main circuit. During mechanical tests adjustment or replacement of any part of the circuit
breaker is not allowed. However lubrication is to be applied as per the instruction of the manufacturer.
After repeated closing and opening operation, the contacts and other parts of circuit breaker must be in good position and
there should not be any permanent deformation of any parts. The dimensions must be within original limits. During repeated
operations, the breaker parts in the assembly may fail. The circuit breaker is then considered to have failed in the
mechanical test. The tests are to be conducted after the improvement in the design and manufacture. Successful
performance in the mechanical endurance test proves the adequacy of design and also good quality of material used in
manufacture. Though 1000 close and open operation are specified in the standard, the manufacturer may conduct nearly
10000 times or more operations to ascertain the reliability.
Benefits of Circuit Breaker Testing:
 Quick and easy to perform on site
 Circuits can be tested on or off load
 Tests performance of whole tripping cycle
 Tests overall timing of tripping system
 Find early indications of possible problems
 Identifies need for maintenance
 Build up a test record database for trending
 Pick out the bad actors