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Circuit Breaker Retrofit by AEAMC


Advanced Electrical & Motor Controls Inc. (AEAMC) was recently asked by a client in the electrical infrastructure industry to do a breaker retrofit at a data center belonging to a large tech company. The tech company, which was using bolt-in Power Break I circuit breakers at its data center, was concerned about both safety and time elements when diagnostics and maintenance were being performed on their breakers.
The client called AEAMC sales lead Roland Munguia, who had worked with this client previously. After consulting with AEAMC technicians, Munguia’s proposed solution for the client was to replace the bolt-in Power Break I circuit breakers with draw-out Power Break II breakers.

While bolt-in breakers are usually used for industrial installations where vibration may be a concern and a continuously tight contact is needed, a draw-out breaker allows for removal and interchange without dismantling the switchgear. A draw-out breaker could work for the data center, but there wasn’t enough space behind the Power Break I breakers to accommodate a Power Break II.

AEAMC and the client discussed some options. One was to rebus the switchboard, which would require a lot of work and downtime. The other was to fabricate a door that would push out of the front of the cabinet, allowing AEAMC to deliver a turnkey solution that the client could install directly without any customization.

Circuit Breaker Retrofit by AEAMCThe client chose the latter option, and AEAMC began working on a design. Chris Comire, vice president technical support, and engineer Mike Sweet developed a solution that required a custom-fabricated door, custom primary disconnects, and modifications to the cradle that would allow it to connect directly to the existing hardware once the Power Break I was removed.

Development and assembly was all done at AEAMC’s facility in Irving, TX, over a four-week period. The data center now has new breakers that offer a modern electronic trip unit, modular secondaries for accessories, and, of course, the draw-out feature.