Electrical Panel Testing Solutions

The electric panels, widely used in all kind of substations and industrial applications, contain all the secondary devices, such as the measurement elements, control switches, signalling and secondary protection (overcurrent, differential, voltage relays, etc) The manufacturers and panel builders/assemblers must secure proper operation once energized, ensuring the safety of operators and facilities in which they are located.

As they concentrate the protective and control devices, the suitable panel testing is carried out to ensure continuity of operation. The panel testing in factory, commissioning  or during maintenance programs goes through many quality, inspection and test procedures regarding the electrical operation, which usually cover wiring and polarity continuity, dielectric resistance, functional testing of the protective scheme, relay testing, breakers testing, and other operational checks.

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Additional Information about electrical panel testing solutions

Ensure effectiveness of the secondary protections in panel testing

During the panel testing is essential performing operational tests of the protection relays so that reliability deficiencies are discovered before any malfunction arises. The type of the relay to be tested and the complexity level of the checking determine the type of equipment used to provide the secondary injection currents and voltages during the panel testing. Single phase test sets are a must-have tool for simple and quick check of some relay settings in panel testing, while the complete verification of the tripping scheme, and the need of greater precision waveforms simulation may require the use of secondary injection test sets with at least 3-phase functionality and more complex programmable testing functions.

SMC offers the widest range of single and 3-phase secondary injection solutions to cover the diversity of applications and requirements in electrical panel testing:

  • PTE-100-C:  a world leader reference in single phase secondary injection testing. Since portability is important in panel testing, the PTE-100-C is the smallest and lightest by far. With IP-65 rated case, outstanding 1000 VA output power, large set of functions and upgrading options, accurate and unbeatable fast testing at competitive price. A must-have instrument for the wide diversity of panel testing works.
  • PTE range: a wide offer of digital, non-variac based, secondary injection test sets, single and 3-phase, with the required high accuracy and stability for panel testing, reversible current/voltage channels, fault dynamic testing, and interconnection capability.
  • MENTOR 12: Universal secondary injection test set for all types of panel testing, PC independent, with easy and intuitive touch-screen, modular concept up to 12 channels, advanced built-in test tools, independent amplifiers and lower maintenance.

Ensure effectiveness of all wiring and signals of the protection system in panel testing

The electrical panel testing also involves checking all the wiring and incoming/outgoing signals to the relays for the proper operation of the protection logic. The continuity of the protection circuit during the panel testing is a key factor in the security. Point-to-point checks of wiring diagram is usual in the panel testing, and any of the mentioned secondary injection units are used as current/voltage sources to perform verification of the different control and signalling circuits, through generation of nominal and fault values, and simulate and check execution of protection sequences.

The MENTOR 12 is perfectly suited for this panel testing, with a big sized screen that allows continuous graphic and visual monitoring of the test process, and the quicker and most complete manual control. The Mentor integrates many useful test functions for electrical panel testing, without the need of external PC, such as State Sequencer, Fault, Ramping, Pulse Ramps, Binary Search, COMTRADE playback, and on screen direct regulation of complex magnitudes (Impedance, Power -P,Q,S, Power Factor-, Symmetrical components, Homopolar Voltage, etc).

The digital phase angle meter PME-20-PH is a useful tool in panel testing for checking any phase deviation, and in combination with any of the secondary injection sets can also be used for polarity testing of all the secondary wiring. The Raptor Polarity Tester makes this panel testing more straightforward and more efficient, saving time and connection errors. The Raptor injects a special test waveform in the circuit, and the operator just need to move downstream checking the polarity of all connected devices with the small PT unit.

Apart from using the Raptor as high current source for panel testing, for the whole panel or for testing breakers for example, now the optional HV unit provides also the capacity to perform dielectric strength checkings  up to 2000 V, to those elements that must keep insulation integrity in panel testing.

The loose and dirty connections provide a high resistance path that is directly responsible for many electrical failures. Other typical task in panel testing is to perform contact resistance test in all bus joints and critical connections. SMC offers different microhmeters for this panel testing, but we highlight our new PRIME 600, that provides pure DC, which becomes important when checking a whole bus bar and the resistance measurement could be affected by the nature of the DC injected.

Other SMC accessory for panel testing is the portable digital timer PTE-30-CH, which can be used for measuring trip time in protection relays and any pulse or time between two electrical events.

For IEC 61850 based networks, the GOOSEMeter One performs as a classic multimeter, for monitoring the correct GOOSE traffic and continuity of all the broadcast messages. With small size, no configuration and read-only design, it is the bridge between the code and power world for electrical panel testing.

For more information, please check the related SMC panel testing products or contact us.

For additional Information about electrical panel testing solutions, see the following contents

  • Panel Test :Solutions for ensuring the effectiveness of the secondary protections and the whole protection system wiring and signals in any electrical panel test.