One of the main components used today that enables the safe use of electricity is known as switchgear. Switchgear wasn’t around when electricity was first discovered, but if it wasn’t for it, we wouldn’t have come such a long way in implementing electricity in our everyday lives. Although switchgear is mostly associated with electrical switches, they are not the main components. Switchgear also includes isolators, fuses, relays, lighting arresters, circuit breakers, current transformers, potential transformers, indicating devices, and more.
This is basically a system connected to the electric supply system which helps keep regulate the flow of electricity so appliances and devices work more efficiently and don’t get fried when a shortage occurs. If it wasn’t for all of these components we wouldn’t have made use of electricity as much as we have today. A lot of companies have helped in the development and manufacturing of switchgear with one of them being Clipsal. One of their most popular outlets is the 56C420, and that’s for a good reason.
Made with an IP66 rating in mind and a polycarbonate cover, this 3 pole outlet allows you to work with voltages as high as 500V and 20A. With pins made from phosphor and bronze, the quality 56c420 outlet reaches new levels of capabilities since this makes it a low mercury product. This low voltage AC socket is surface mounted and can operate in temperatures between -25°C and 75°C at a frequency of 50Hz. The 56c420 also comes with 4 round pins. This outlet has a depth of 108mm, a width of 101mm, and a height of 204mm while conforming to AS/NZS 3133 and AS/NZS 3123 standards. This industrial connector from Clipsal is a green premium product that also conforms to EU RoHS regulations.
How to Wire Up a 3 Phase Plug
- Industrial plugs are those that often rely on 3 phase power, and wiring a 3 phase plug, either in an industrial or commercial setting involves the same process. First, you need to open up the plug with a screwdriver and inspect it. You’ll see 5 slots in which you’ll need to attach wires. The slots are labelled with numbers from 1 to 3 and 0, while one of the slots has a sign with a line on top of a shape that looks like the letter “T”.
- Next, you’ll want to strip the wires you’ll be attaching to the slots. To strip the wires you can use an x-acto knife or electrical pliers. You need to clamp down on a wire about half a centimetre away from its end. Clamp or press down on the wire until you have cut through its insulation bot, not the metal part.
- The metal needs to be untouched, as otherwise, you need to start all over again and shorten the length of the wire. Twist the pliers or go around the wire with a knife to cut off the insulation completely. Once that’s done just pull the insulation off the wire and you’re done.
- Once stripped, insert the stripped wires into the sockets (slots) in the plug. The red wire needs to go in L1 (line 1), the white wire in L2 (line 2), the blue wire in L3 (line 3), and the black wire in 0 or N (neutral). You’ll connect the green wire in the T-shaped sign with a line on top of it. This slot allows for different devices to be plugged in, making it more versatile.
- Once all the wires are placed into their correct socket, tighten them using a screwdriver as well as the screws you’ll find on the top of the sockets. After that, open the plug, and before you use it make sure to check for loose wires sticking out. The plug should also sit tightly in place.
Types of Switchgear
First, we have low voltage switchgear and this type of switchgear comes rated up to 1 kV. Also known as LV switchgear, it consists of earth leakage circuit breakers, offload electrical violators, HRC fuses, low voltage switches and more.
With medium voltage switchgear, you can work with voltages from 3 kV to 36 kV, MV switchgear comes in different types. These include metal closed indoor switchgear, metal-enclosed outdoor switchgear, or both indoor and outdoor switchgear without a metal enclosure. What is known as the interruption channel, of this type of switchgear is SF, oil, and vacuum. The main reason to use this type of switchgear system is to disrupt heavy current in defective situations.
This type of system can control voltages over 36 kV which is also able to generate high arcing. This is why additional safety measures are taken when using high voltage industrial switchgear systems. Usually, a high voltage circuit breaker is the main component of an HV switchgear system but it needs to be extremely reliable and have specific features as well.