An innovative Climatic Test Chamber in Brno, Czech Republic, will be used to test all ABB energized indoor MV switchgear panels, to ensure they keep the power on 24/7 in the harshest of operating environments.

ABB invested 700,000 euros to create the state-of-the-art test facility, which is the first of its type in Europe. The chamber will simulate harsh climatic site conditions, from lows of minus 50 °C to highs of up to 80 °C as well as pollution conditions. It will also test for 0% to 100% humidity and water condensation, all of which can cause switchgear to age faster.  

The enhanced testing, which can take from four to eight weeks to complete for each component, will take ABB’s switchgear beyond current standards to comply with the new (IEC/TS 62271-304 from Class 1 to Class 4) regulation. It will improve the quality and reliability of ABB’s energized MV indoor switchgear solutions when operating in the most extreme climatic site conditions and polluted environments, to reduce failures and unplanned downtime at customer sites.

“Our new Climatic Test Chamber will help us to understand the limits of our switchgear beyond the requirements of current standards,” said Martin Stefanka, global technology manager for distribution solutions at ABB. “By simulating the harshest of conditions, from the coldest Arctic temperatures to the stifling heat of the Sahara, we will enhance product reliability and grid resilience to help our customers to keep the power supply on 24/7”.