Over the course of this blog series we’ve discussed the many benefits of smart circuit breakers for applications as diverse as wind turbines, industrial plants, hospitals, data centers, and large commercial buildings. As part of a fully digitized power distribution system, these intelligent, connected devices go beyond traditional protection functions to help facility teams simplify routine maintenance, avoid outages, and restore power faster if an outage occurs. In addition, embedded energy metering helps meet new efficiency standards, while Ethernet connectivity makes sure power, energy, and breaker diagnostic data is always available to everyone that needs it. The robust and flexible design of the most advanced breakers enables adaptation to any harsh or demanding environment, now and in future.
All of these capabilities are essentially for helping facility teams improve safety, reliability, and uptime while reducing energy and maintenance costs, extending equipment life, and saving time. But to get the most from smart circuit breakers, you also need to consider the services that support them, and the enhanced services they can enable for your organization.
Peace of mind from the start
When choosing smart circuit breakers, look for vendors that offer responsive support during the commissioning and startup phases to help resolve any issues, if needed. This will help contracted or in-house service teams. During startup, simple data access using mobile devices will help service teams check breaker settings before energizing the system.
Look also for extended warranty programs, to ensure ongoing support wherever breakers are located. To minimize downtime, make sure vendors offer fast repair and replacement service. Finally, make sure that a comprehensive training program is offered so that service personnel are educated about how to effectively manage daily operations and tap into the full benefits that smart breakers offer.
Support over the long term
Some vendors may also offer 24/7 maintenance programs, for facilities that may not have in-house maintenance resources or expertise. These services can support circuit breakers and other energy assets over the entire life cycle. This, in turn, will help extend equipment lifespan, improve energy availability, and keep systems and people safe.
Service organizations can cover different levels of support, from corrective and preventative maintenance to condition-based strategies. Due to the embedded intelligence and connectivity of smart breakers, remote services can access extensive diagnostic data to proactively detect malfunctions before unplanned shutdowns and production losses can occur.
Some vendors may also offer special programs that will upgrade existing circuit breakers to the newest smart models. This is made simpler when old and new models are designed to be ‘plug and play’ in terms of physical dimensions, power connections, electrical features, and thermal properties.
Digitization enables digital services
Smart circuit breakers are fully digitized, both internally and through advanced connectivity options. This enables remote data monitoring services. Cloud-hosted applications give a contracted team of experts real-time access to all smart circuit breakers and other connected devices throughout your power distribution system.
The service partner uses the data to monitor electrical asset utilization, uncover energy inefficiencies, and identify any risks to power quality and reliability. Alarm conditions are immediately communicated to local service personnel to enable fast response, while key insights and other actionable information are shared with the facility team. Together, teams can collaborate to optimize maintenance, avoid future risks to uptime, and implement upgrades or other initiatives that cut energy and operational costs.
The Masterpact™ MTZ range of smart circuit breakers from Schneider Electric, for example, is ‘future-ready’ and ‘services-ready’. We offer complete support services, warranty programs, and convenient e-learning courses. We also offer a complete range of proactive life cycle maintenance services, and expert remote digital services to help you get the most safety, reliability, and efficiency from your breakers and your entire energy infrastructure.
This has been the ninth post in our series on how the newest smart circuit breakers are helping improve operational efficiency and reliability. To learn more about the Masterpact MTZ range, visit the offer range web page.