Isolating switches are also termed as disconnectors. Isolating switches or disconnectors together constitutes the properties of disconnectors and the load switch. They are primarily involved in providing safety isolation functions to make or break nominal electric currents. The main purpose of isolating switches are to isolate one portion of an electric circuit from the other.
The isolating switches market is segmented based on types and application. Isolating switches market is categorized mainly in terms of dependent electric system requirements and positioning of power systems. Types of isolating switches are dependent on systems requirement such as double-break isolating switch, single-break isolating switch, and pantograph isolating switch. The double-break isolating switch opens connected circuits at two ends. Single break isolating switch opens the connected circuit from one side.
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Pantograph isolating switch works on the principles of parallelogram. The isolating switch market are also categorized based on power systems such as bus side isolator, line side isolator, and transfer bus side isolator. The isolating switches which are directly connected to the main bus is bus side isolating switches. Line side isolator is located at the side line of feeder. The isolating switches which are directly assembled to the transfer bus is termed as transfer bus isolator.
Isolating switches are used depending upon the line of electric current voltages such as low-voltage electric current (upto 11 kV), medium-voltage electric current that ranges between11 kV and 66 kV, high-voltage electric current that ranges from 66 kV to 330 kV, and extra-high voltage electric current that ranges above 330 kV. Isolating switch are used primarily for the purpose of safety isolation, rather than utilization of the normal flow of electricity.
Isolating switches could be operated manually as well as automatically. When in the process of making or breaking any nominal electric current, isolating switches are combined with the load switches to provide safety isolation. Isolating switches requires low-cost maintenance as compared to integrated disconnected switch. New advancements are emerging in order to minimize the cost of isolating switches and bring in significant performance improvement.
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One of the major restraints of the isolating switches market is the lack of mechanism for suppressing electric arcs as compared with load switches and circuit breakers. It is not intended to open electric circuit when an electric current is flowing in the line, which would lead to electrical mishaps. Safety measures of the isolating switches must be taken into consideration in order to prevent any attempt to open the disconnectors when it supplies a circuit.