PPI Corporate Exam Prep Programs

Switchgear Committee Report

IEEE Power and Energy Society Entity Annual Report – 2015

Entity: Switchgear Committee

Chair: T. W. Olsen
Vice-Chair: Paul Sullivan
Secretary: Todd Irwin
Registrar: Ken Edwards
Past Chair Ken Edwards

Chair: Paul Sullivan
Vice-Chair: Todd Irwin
Secretary: Keith Flowers
Registrar: Ken Edward
Past Chair: T. W. Olsen

1. Significant Accomplishments:
The Switchgear Committee has six technical subcommittees (HV Circuit Breakers, HV
Fuses, HV Switches, LV Switchgear Devices, RODE [Reclosers and Other Distribution
Equipment], and Switchgear Assemblies), with approximately 35 active working groups
or task forces preliminary to formation of working group. The Switchgear Committee has
approximately 60 standards. The list of active working groups fluctuates, with working
groups disbanded as their projects are completed, and with new working groups forming
on a continuing basis.


An active plan is in place to revise any and all relevant standards that are due for
administrative withdrawal at the end of 2018, to comply with the changes enacted by
IEEE-SA in 2008 that ended reaffirmations and imposed a requirement to revise or
withdraw standards that were not revised within ten years of approval. While significant
work remains, all of the documents due to expire at the end of 2018 will be revised before
they expire.

The Switchgear Committee actively works to harmonize requirements in various
standards with the requirements of the relevant IEC standards. At present, requirements
for HV circuit breakers are fundamentally harmonized. Requirements for other portions
of the Switchgear Committee standards are harmonized with IEC to varying degrees,
determined primarily by differences in the user practices between the IEC and
ANSI/IEEE markets.

The Switchgear Committee P&P for standards development were accepted by IEEE-SA
in December, 2012. The Working Group P&P were created using the PES TechCouncil
template in September, 2013, and found to be without issue by AudCom and the IEEESA
Standards Board in December, 2013. The operating procedures for the committee
were approved by the committee at its April 2015 meeting and were approved by the PES
TechCouncil in August, 2015.

In 2015, eight standards, guides, or recommended practices updated or created by the
Switchgear Committee, or co-sponsored by the Switchgear Committee, have been
published, and four more were approved by the Standards Board in December, 2015.
These include:

  • C37.20.1 IEEE Standard for Metal-Enclosed Low-Voltage Power Circuit Breaker
    Switchgear (published July 2015)
  • C37.20.2 IEEE Standard for Metal-Clad Switchgear (published September 2015)
    62271-37-013, Standard for High-Voltage Switchgear and Controlgear – Part 37-013:
    Alternating current generator circuit-breakers (published October 2015)
  • C37.11 Standard Requirements for Electrical Control for AC High-Voltage (>
    1000 V) Circuit Breakers (published February, 2015)
  • C37.74 IEEE Standard Requirements for Subsurface, Vault, and Pad-mounted Load-
    Interrupter Switchgear and Fused Load-Interrupter Switchgear for Alternating
    Current Systems up to 38 kV (published March, 2015)
  • C37.14 IEEE Standard for DC (3200 V and below) Power Circuit Breakers Used in
    Enclosures (published June 2015)
  • C37.20.6 IEEE Standard for 4.76 kV to 38 kV Rated Ground and Test Devices Used
    in Enclosures (published April 2015)
  • C37.30.2 IEEE Guide for Wind Loading Evaluation of High Voltage (>1000 V) Air
    Break Switches (published December 2015)
  • C37.13 IEEE Standard for Low-Voltage AC Power Circuit Breakers Used in
    Enclosures (approved by Standards Board December 2015)
  • C37.23 IEEE Standard for Metal-Enclosed Bus (approved by Standards Board
    December 2015)
  • C37.27 IEEE Guide for Low-Voltage AC Power Circuit Breakers Applied with
    Separately-Mounted Current-Limiting Fuses (approved by Standards Board
    December 2015)
  • C37.302 IEEE Guide for Fault Current Limiter (FCL) Testing FCLs rated above 1000
    V ac (approved by Standards Board December 2015)

We expect a comparable level of published standards documents in 2016.

Two of our members are valued contributors to the IEEE Standards Association
governance process, Ted Burse and Ted Olsen. Both are members of the 2015 Standards
Board and Ted Burse is Chair of the 2015 Standards Review Committee (RevCom).

The Switchgear Committee holds two meetings each year, one in the Spring and one in
the Fall. Attendance at these meetings is on an upward trend, rising from around 110
participants in 2003 to 252 participants in Spring, 2015 at the meeting in St. Pete Beach,
FL, and 231 in the Fall, 2015 meeting in San Diego. Fall meeting attendance is normally
lower than the Spring meeting. The Switchgear Committee is in sound financial
condition. Contracts have been signed for the seven of the next eight meetings, as shown

The Switchgear Committee website has been updated to a more interesting format and
continues to include access to minutes of past meetings (from 1990 to date), and many
technical presentations.

2. Benefits to Industry and PES Members from the Committee Work:
The Switchgear Committee creates and maintains standards that benefit the stakeholders
in many ways, including these:

  • Users, producers, testing firms, and third-party certification bodies benefit by having
    performance requirements that are consistent and that give confidence that products
    carrying equal ratings exhibit equal performance.
  • Users and producers benefit by having known performance-oriented requirements
    rather than rote construction mandated (but not necessarily performance-oriented)
    requirements. This allows producers to introduce new technologies that produce equal
    performance without conflicting with arbitrary standards-mandated construction
  • Users, producers, testing firms, and third-party certification bodies benefit from
    having relatively stable standards for products, as revisions of standards are generally
    made except at intervals of seven to ten years.
  • Users, producers, testing firms, and third-party certification bodies benefit from the
    creation of new standards covering areas previously not addressed in standards, such
    as testing of equipment under conditions of internal arcing faults, special interrupting
    applications such as transformer-limited faults, and conversions of existing equipment
    to accommodate newer technologies. The guide for internal arcing tests is particularly
    significant as the document (C37.20.7) has been expanded over the years to cover
    significantly more equipment varieties, providing a consistent set of testing
    requirements over a range of product types.

3. Benefits to Volunteer Participants from the Committee Work:

  • Participation in standards activities provides a solid basis for education of new
    participants, while providing a forum to capture the knowledge of experienced
  • The Switchgear Committee has participation by a significant number of persons who
    have formally retired from the business world, yet continue to participate, in several
    cases without financial support from their former employer or some other firm. It is
    reasonable to surmise that such individuals would not do so except that participation
    provides them some measure of satisfaction.
  • Participants in the standards process benefit from recognition within their employer
    organizations as “experts” in their technical field, and particularly if they participate
    in some officer capacity in working groups or in the committee structure.
  • The Switchgear Committee provides recognition to working group members and
    committee officers, typically with a plaque. When standards are published, the
    participants are also recognized in the front matter of the document.

4. Recognition of Outstanding Performance:
Education, Recognition, and Publication (ERP) Subcommittee oversees all the activities
related to nominations, recognitions, awards, prizes, and certificates of appreciation for
exceptional individuals and groups. Annually ERP considers nominations for the
following awards:

  • PES Prize Paper award
  • PES Outstanding WG award
  • PES Award for outstanding Standard or Guide
  • TC award for prize paper
  • TC award for outstanding service to the Committee
  • TC award for outstanding Working Group.

In 2015 we presented the following awards:

  • Mietek Glinkowski for TC award for distinguished service to the Switchgear
    Committee (award presented April 2015)
  • C37.20.3 [Metal-Enclosed Interrupter Switchgear (1 kV – 38 kV) / C37.20.4 (Indoor
    AC Switches 1 kV to 38 kV) for Use in Metal-Enclosed Switchgear), both chaired by
    C. Ball, for TC outstanding WG award (award presented April 2015).

The Switchgear Committee has had a very high level of quality nominations. For
example, in the nine years of PES Prize Papers the Committee’s nominations were
awarded six out of eight years (6/8= 75% success rate).

In addition all outgoing officers, including subcommittee chairs, are presented with
certificates of appreciation.

ERP stimulates and encourages nominations for Senior Membership of IEEE and IEEE

In addition, ERP oversees the paper review process for all papers that relate to
Switchgear Committee technical areas, whether for conferences such as the IEEE PES
T&D, the PES General Meeting, for Transactions, or other publications.

5. Coordination with Other Entities (PES Committees, CIGRE, standards, etc.):
Switchgear Committee keeps a close liaison with CIGRE Study Committee A3 (High
Voltage Equipment). Nenad Uzelac is an official US Representative to CIGRE SC A3 as
well as the liaison between IEEE Switchgear Committee and CIGRE A3.

A number of projects and standards are in process or published that are joint efforts with
other IEEE PES sponsors or with the IEC. Among these are:

  • IEEE/IEC 62271-37-013, dual logo, IEEE/IEC, High-Voltage Switchgear and
    Controlgear – Part 37-013: Alternating-current generator circuit-breakers. (published
    October 2015)
  • IEC 62271-111 / IEEE C37.60, dual logo IEEE/IEC, High voltage switchgear and
    controlgear – Part 111: Overhead, pad-mounted, dry vault, and submersible automatic
    circuit reclosers and fault interrupters for alternating current systems up to 38 kV.
    (revision in process)
  • PC37.20.9, Metal Enclosed Switchgear Rated 1kV to 52 kV Incorporating Gas
    Insulation Systems, co-sponsored by IEEE PES Substations Committee (project in
  • C37.122, High Voltage Gas-Insulated Substations Rated Above 52kV, sponsored by
    IEEE PES Substations Committee, co-sponsored by IEEE PES Switchgear
  • IEC 62271-37-082, dual logo, IEEE/IEC, High-voltage switchgear and controlgear –
    Part 37-082: Measurement of sound pressure levels on alternating current circuitbreakers.

6. New Technologies of Interest to the Committee:
The committee has several projects or task forces involved in new technologies:

  • IEEE Std 37.302, Guide for Fault Current Limiter (FCL) Testing. This document
    describes the testing of fault current limiters operating on condition based impedance
    increase for AC systems 1000 Vac and above. It does not cover such devices as series
    reactors or current-limiting fuses. This guide was approved by the IEEE-SA
    Standards Board in December, 2015.
  • The solid dielectric task force (SDTF) is exploring materials, application and
    environmental conditions, and tests for new insulation systems in which insulation is
    molded as an integral element of an assembly that includes the interrupting or
    switching device, e.g., such as for an outdoor distribution recloser. The task force
    anticipates issuing their final report in the near future.
  • Task force for controls for distribution equipment is developing a technical report
    with recommendations for microprocessor-based controls for equipment over
    1000 Vac up to 38 kVac for overhead and underground distribution lines, including
    test and application information. Such controls typically would include the protection
    associated with the switching device, as well as the controls devices (open, close,
    etc.) with communications capability. The control device would serve in place of
    traditional relays and control devices that are appropriate for high voltage circuit
    breakers but not suitable for distribution equipment mounted on power poles or below
    grade. Completion of the report is anticipated in the Spring of 2016.

7. Significant Plans for the Next Period:

  • P&P for standards development and for working groups, will be revised after IEEESA
    Standards Board releases new baselines (approved by the Standards Board
    December 2015) and after PES TechCouncil issues new template. We expect to
    contribute significantly to the creation of the new PES baselines templates.
  • Continue to monitor standards scheduled for withdrawal in 2018 to assure that
    ongoing projects are completed before withdrawal.
  • Work with selected subcommittees having a heavy workload of standards to be
    revised to assure that the workload can be handled within the available resources and
    time. This requires that projects need to be completed within the four year validity of
    a PAR. Long duration projects, six, eight, or more years in duration, can no longer be

At the end of 2015, officers will rotate according to normal practice. 2016 officers will
Chair: Paul Sullivan
Vice-Chair: Todd Irwin
Secretary/Treasurer: Keith Flowers
Registrar Ken Edwards
Past Chair: T. W. Olsen

Submitted by: T. W. Olsen
Chair, IEEE PES Switchgear Committee
Date: 11-December-2015