What is Low Voltage Switchgear & What Is it Used for?

15 Jan 2024

What is Low Voltage Switchgear & What Is it Used for?

Welcome to the latest blog from Varming Consultant Engineers, as part of the regular articles we create to offer insight into the work done by our experienced building services design consultants and M&E engineers. Today, we take a brief look at low-voltage switchgear, explaining what it is and what it's used for.

Low-voltage switchgear is used within a building's electrical system, and it distributes power and protects equipment. Power is distributed via low-voltage air circuit breakers and moulded case circuit breakers which both sense faults within the system. When a fault is discovered, it opens the required circuit breakers in order to remove the electrical current where the fault has occurred.

Where Is Low-Voltage Switchgear Used?

Typically speaking, low-voltage switchgear (LVS) is employed in industrial and critical power applications, with integrated switchboards (IS) being used in commercial settings. LVS, however, features circuit breakers that feed more severe duty loads than IS and provides power to motor control centres, switchboards or large motors found in a facility. 

The benefits of LVS include:

  • LVS circuit breaks offer more metering & circuit protection than loads found on switchboards. 

  • Through remote racking, remote monitoring & real-time alarms & diagnostics, it minimises arc flash hazards. 

While maintaining operator safety is one of the key roles played by low-voltage switchgear, it also exists to perform a broader range of functions. 

  • Control - Managing the operation of electrical circuits, allowing for the turning on and off of power in different parts of the system.

  • System Protection - Preventing overloads or short circuits, thereby preventing damage to the system and equipment contained within. 

  • Isolation -  Providing a means to safely disconnect parts of the electrical system, which is vital for maintenance and repair activities.

  • Monitoring and Diagnostics -  Modern switchgear often includes features for monitoring system performance and diagnosing issues. 

An example of the Varming M & E engineers team using low-voltage switchgear can be found in their recent involvement in the €29,000,000 Ballyshannon Community Nursing Unit project for the Health Services Executive. 

Here to Meet All of Your Building Design Needs 

Low-voltage switchgear represents one example of a broad range of technologies that are used by the Varming building design team to achieve positive client outcomes. If you'd like to find out more about the work we've been involved with in creating safer, more efficient buildings over the years, take a moment to browse our website, www.varming.ie

Alternatively, if you'd like to speak to a member of our expert team about your next project, simply call our Dublin HQ on 01 4872300 today.



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