Tips & News - January 2012


allowed us to get one for demo and testing. Before we took delivery of our first switch, our Hubbell representative told me that a neighboring utility had about 45 BP3 (three- phase) switches installed. So, I visited a couple of those locations to see for myself how they had made the BP3 work for them. I also spent some time with their transformer shop foreman, who is responsible for getting the switches ready to install. With some minor changes to my original vision, the BP3 seemed like the perfect solution. Successful Trials GVEC ordered a few of the three-phase by-pass BP3 switches and built a mock setup at our facility that mimicked field conditions. We then gave a demonstration to the line crews and the members on the standards committee to see what they thought. Everyone involved was excited about the installation, operation and improvements this switch could make to our future critical tie locations.

Even when the reclosers are wrapped around a pole, the BP3 is a simple way to add isolation/by-pass switches.

We use adapters to orient the connectors on the switch tabs to get the jumpers headed in the right direction. However, the ideal situation would have been to have a choice of connector orientation, so the switch would be turnkey ready. (We use a 90-degree orientation. Jumpers run vertically from the switch to the primary line.) We currently have seven BP3 switch assemblies installed and have found the installation to be simple and cost effective. I wish I had the BP3’s 30 years ago. Three Successful Applications The first installation was part of GVEC’s Smart Grid initiative. We had a normally-open air break switch at the end of two different circuits that were fed from two different substations. We planned to remove the air brake switch and replace it with a three-phase electronic recloser in a normally-open position. And, we needed to be able to isolate the recloser, in case our people ever needed to work on a downed line. On this job, the three electronic reclosers were in one large cluster that wrapped around the pole. The BP3 switch assembly allowed me to run the jumpers and maintain clearances. The second installation was on a transformer step-down rack. One of our scheduled system improvements was to convert a primary line to 14.4kV and move a step-down rack further down the line. Since installing another pole was not an option for us, I had to mount the three reclosers on an existing pole at the load end of the step-down rack. The BP3 switch allowed me to run my jumpers the way I wanted to. At the third site, we used the BP3 switch with a three-phase electronic recloser. This installation was similar to our first, but in this case, the three-phase recloser was all in one can and bolted to the pole. The BP3 simplified the design and installation, making it easier to operate than our previous switch option.


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