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Switchgear Technology and Short Circuit Testing

Switchgear development requires experimental test programs, together with theoretical evaluations.

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SINTEF has access to NTNU's medium voltage, directly powered switchgear laboratory, and primarily addresses issues related to load current interruption. We combine our experimental research with use of simulation tools within fluid dynamics, electrostatic field theory, black box arc modelling and circuit analysis.

Our services:
SINTEF performs short circuit and high current testing of power components like power cables, switchgears, switchgear, transformers, etc. We have a wide experience from projects addressing mechanical stresses, electric contact behaviour and thermal issues. 

We also carry out switchgear failure analyses and assist with technical evaluations, often related to insurance issues or power system operation.

  Adjustment of circuit components during current interruption experiment
Photo: NTNU/Geir Moen

Main tasks and specifications:

  • Experimental current interruption testing in a direct power medium voltage laboratory
  • Short circuit testing up to 150 kA and 5 sec
  • Parameter studies of medium voltage switchgear designs
  • Synchronised circuit control for repetitive interruption conditions
  • High speed imaging of arcs
  • Cold gas flow simulations
  • Black box arc modelling
  • Electrostatic field strength calculations
  • Ablation assisted interruption tests
  • Damage analyses

SINTEF, in collaboration with NTNU, are running three major research projects with Norwegian industrial partners. The team in Trondheim has published 5 IEEE journal articles and several conference papers on the topic over the last years, and intends to expand the research activities in the future.

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Electrotechnical laboratories

Electrotechnical laboratories

SINTEF Energy Research operates laboratories for high voltage, high power and climatic testing. Customers are manufacturers, suppliers and users of electric power equipment.