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Equipment Size Reduction for Environmental and Operational Sustainability

Good things come in smaller packages, as the saying goes. When it comes to low and medium-voltage switchgear, equipment size reduction offers a variety of benefits that improve environmental and operational sustainability.

As electrical facilities make the transition to more compact and modular equipment to reduce cost, increase flexibility, and manage construction constraints, new medium voltage metal clad switchgear from Schneider Electric offers a 25 to 33 percent footprint reduction compared to standard metal clad gear.

For both fully assembled and EOEM applications, medium voltage switchgear from Schneider Electric can help facilities save space and reduce installation time. With this change comes a decrease in the material used, including copper, steel, and lengths of wire. Additionally, the space savings often translate to space savings in other areas, such as electrical control rooms, outdoor equipment houses, and concrete storage structures. All of these add up to fewer materials being used to accomplish the same result.

The future of medium voltage, metal-clad switchgear features a compact, compartmentalized design.

The future of medium voltage, metal-clad switchgear features a compact, compartmentalized design. Powered by the resilient Square D EvoPacTTM digital circuit breaker, SureSeT™ enables users to do more with less, enhancing personnel and equipment operational safety with ease.

Square D EvoPacTTM digital circuit breaker

SureSeT comes in a smaller package. The 26-inch-wide design with stackable breakers results in a 25 percent smaller footprint compared to conventional metal-clad switchgear. In E-house applications, up to up to 20 percent cost savings can be realized with SureSeT’ s smaller footprint.

“Going from 36 inches down to 26 inches is a real space saver, which can be significant in industries like oil and gas or data centers where space is at a premium,” says Tyler Morris, an EOEM product owner with Schneider Electric. 

Representing the new generation of medium voltage switchgear, Premset™ delivers a compact architecture that is both modular and flexible. It allows for front-only accessibility (bottom incoming cables) and the smallest 15 kV vacuum circuit breaker footprint on the market. Based on its 26-inch width, the new Premset offering is 33 percent smaller than traditional switchgear. This, coupled with its unique Solidly Shielded Insulation System (SSIS/2SIS) creates switchgear positioned for even the toughest of applications.

The FlexSeT™ low voltage switchboard is the first modular switchboard in Schneider Electric’s new SeT series. The series features a modern, consistent design with digital integrations for simplified installation, assembly, and maintenance, saving time and costs for contractors, distributors, panel builders, and consulting engineers. Bottom-fed main up to 1600A reduces footprint and improves installation and wiring time with an all-in-one section; 1600A 100% rated solution is an industry exclusive.

Ideal for retrofitting

For those who need to replace old switchgear, the new compact versions are easier to retrofit when replacing old gear due to their more compact footprint, Morris says.

“What often happens is your electrical room gets really small once everything is installed,” Morris says. “Once the building is already complete, it can be extremely difficult to get an exact replica of the existing switchgear back in there. So smaller switchgear not only saves space, but it saves on install time.”

By reducing the size, it also reduces the cost of material needed for switchgear and square footage required in electrical rooms.

Electrical rooms within facilities are always pressed to have adequate space. For data centers, power rooms take up a large amount of square footage, and anything that can be done to reduce the size of the building or create more room is a benefit that can ultimately reduce costs.

“A lot of companies will pour pads for the equipment to be set on, and it can’t exceed the pad size,” Morris says. “So, by transitioning to the new smaller footprint gear, it negates the need to create new infrastructure—EOEMs can make it work within the existing infrastructure.”

For new construction, the significant increase in building costs per square foot mandates the need to economize space.

“It becomes a matter of paying up front to get the savings later,” Morris says. “You’re going to have a little bit more of an upfront cost, but you’re going to save space. You will also save on maintenance.”

EvoPacT’s longevity is further enhanced by the latest innovative sensors that continuously monitor health and self-detect abnormal conditions, which send real-time alerts. These digital features not only reduce unplanned downtime but extend the overall maintenance cycle as well—every two to three years under normal operating conditions, compared to four to five years.

Reduced carbon footprint

Another benefit of the new compact design is that it results in a smaller carbon footprint for the customer, which can help them meet their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Capex is lower based on the need for less lighting and air conditioning.  Material costs are also lower, as less copper and sheet metal are needed to build a new E-house.

FlexSet includes reduced copper content by 40 percent and comes in sustainable packaging. Hexacomb cardboard replaces foam packaging, and cloth bags replace plastic. Energy losses are reduced by 29 percent, saving 1.4 tons of CO2 under normal operating conditions.

It is important to note that more than 75 percent of Schneider Electric product sales, including EvoPacT circuit breakers, are Green Premium™ certified, a label achieved by providing industry-leading sustainable value. All Green Premium offers:

  • Provide superior transparency in material content, regulatory information, and environmental impact.
  • Improve resource efficiency throughout the asset’s lifecycle, including energy and natural resources, as well as the minimization of CO2 emissions.
  • Retrofit to legacy equipment easily, allowing for the adoption of digital, IoT-driven practices and maintenance.
  • Go beyond RoHS and REACH compliance, with step-by-step substitution of harmful materials and substances.

Sustainable facilities help ensure a greener future. EvoPacT circuit breakers are:

  • Tested for long-lasting performance and durability, up to 30,000 operations, so you replace your circuit breaker less often, lowering environmental impact, reducing overall maintenance, and improving costs.
  • Built using vacuum technology to retain familiar operation and avoid environmental pollutants.

To learn more about the new compact switchgear options from Schneider Electric, contact our customer care team, or visit the URLs below.

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