Training your personnel is of the upmost importance when dealing with live breakers. This became clear at a municipally owned energy utility company when it ran into a dilemma because the one person qualified to rack the breaker in and out was not available.
The utility’s personnel did not fully rack a medium-voltage breaker—which could have resulted in an arc fault. Fortunately for the personnel, the gear was not energized and no one was harmed. However, the experience taught them a powerful lesson.
There should be no surprises going from the training environment to live equipment. Before your personnel jumps into the field, they should be completely familiar with and confident enough to handle energized equipment in the event of a hazardous situation—which is precisely why the utility insisted on National replicating seven of their switchgear line-ups to use as simulators for their personnel. When your personnel are properly trained, they are fully prepared to enter the field.
This led to the creation of the first TrainSafeTM. One of the latest offerings from National’s broad line of training solutions, TrainSafe Training Simulators are developed exclusively to match customers’ existing switchgear. TrainSafe teaches personnel how to properly rack a breaker in and out of a cubicle, allowing them to become familiar with the feel and sounds associated with this procedure in a safe, controlled environment.
Matching Your Equipment
The training simulators are built by our PEARL-accredited breaker shop using our vast inventory of equipment, including roll-in replacement breakers. They are designed to exactly replicate the internal schematics and existing racking procedures of the customer’s equipment. This ensures that the units are completely accurate for training purposes and double as functional spares.
Borescope cameras and LED lighting are installed inside the cubicle so trainees can see the secondary and primary engagement simultaneously via removable tablets mounted to the front of the cabinet. This would be impossible to see with energized equipment.
Once the breaker is in the fully racked-in position, a trainee can simulate a local close and trip signal from the breaker control switch, which helps them understand how the equipment functions.
The Rack-Out Procedure
To initiate the rack-out procedure, the trainee must first engage the trip button to open the shutter door. Once the shutter is open, the trainee can proceed with racking the breaker to the test or disconnected position.
If the breaker has a stored energy mechanism, the trainee will hear a discharge of the breaker closing springs as it racks-out. This returns the breaker to a discharged and open state for the remaining rack-out procedure.
As for our friends at that utility company: they are now equipped with the know-how and the confidence to correctly rack a breaker in and out, and the ability to identify any irregularities in the procedure.
If You Have a Training Need, We Have a Solution
National can configure TrainSafe simulators for any breaker or contactor style and vintage.
We also have a National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) accredited training center that offers courses on a range of electrical safety and technical topics. These courses are conducted by our team of highly qualified industry experts.
National even has the ability to develop training courses and programs specific to your facility’s needs. For more information about TrainSafe or other training solutions, contact us!
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