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Tag Archives: fixed female contacts

  • Oil Circuit Breaker Contact Refurbishing

    Did you know Alcomet offer a 48 hour turn around for Switchgear Contact refurbishments?

    We were asked by a customer if we could help get their Metropolitan Vickers 11kv Switchgear back online. Upon inspection the Switchgear Contacts were not completely irreparable, we collected them from site and within 48 hours got this super critical part back to site.

    At Alcomet we pride ourselves on going that extra mile to help our customers.

    For more information please get in contact with us!
    Telephone 01384 404488 or email

  • Addition of the English Electric OKM4 33kV Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts

    We were approached by a customer to help get an English Electric 33kv Oil Circuit Breaker back up and running.  Upon inspection the contacts were damaged beyond repair from heavy fault current switching over the years. Due to the age of the oil circuit breaker, replacement parts from stores were unavailable. We took the OKM4 contacts and started our process of back engineering them to produce new high quality Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts.

    Within four weeks Alcomet had back engineered the fixed female and moving male OKM4 oil circuit breaker contacts and got these super critical components back to the customer.

    For more information please contact us.

  • Oil Circuit Breakers - A Brief History

    From the turn of the 20th century Oil Circuit Breakers have been used as an efficient and successful way of detecting and interrupting fault current.  The Oil Circuit Breaker still retains its place amongst commonly used Circuit Breakers especially in the 11-33kV range where they have been in use for 50 years or more.

    South Wales Swtichgear Oil Circuit Breakers

    Within the 11-33kV range of Oil Circuit Breakers there were many manufacturers.   As transportation of heavy equipment was challenging in the early 1900’s, Oil Circuit Breaker manufacturers were more inclined to supply in to their local areas.  For example, in the West Midlands there is an abundance of South Wales Switchgear and GEC/AEI.

    Over time many of the switchgear manufacturers were acquired or merged with other companies.  GEC acquired AEI (Associated Electrical Industries), Metropolitan Vickers, British Thompson Houston (BTH) and English Electric throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.  Another prominent switchgear manufacturer that has featured many of the iconic British switchgear names is Hawker Siddley Switchgear.   Again throughout the latter part of the 1960s and onwards they bought out or merged with South Wales Switchgear, Brush Switchgear and Whipp and Bourne.

    As Oil Circuit Breakers were such an effective and reliable method of arcing control, many of the Oil Circuit Breakers have been in service for 50 years or more.  Due to the critical nature of Oil Circuit Breakers,  DNO’s (Distribution Network Operators) and private owners of this equipment still have to keep a tight schedule on maintenance to ensure everything is running efficiently and safely.  With Oil Circuit Breakers, once the fault current has been interrupted, the severity of the current can be judged and then post fault maintenance can be performed.  Otherwise maintenance is at a scheduled time.

    As part of an Oil Circuit Breaker, the Moving Male and Fixed Female Contacts are used to carry load current and with the addition of oil and an arc control pot, the contacts can effectively break the arc generated under fault conditions.  These contacts get damaged and therefore become inefficient or unable to carry load current.  Although contacts can extinguish lots of minor faults, severe fault currents can damage the contacts rendering them ineffective.

    Alcomet has a range of original Fixed Female and Moving Male Oil Circuit Breaker Contacts to assist with the maintenance of Oil Circuit Breakers.  These have been engineered to the highest standards within the UK.  Alcomet stock an extensive range of products from manufacturers such as

    British Thompson Houston
    Crompton Parkinson
    English Electric
    Metropolitan Vickers
    South Wales Switchgear

    Other Manufacturers of Switchgear are as follows

    Ferguson Pailin
    Switchgear & Cowans
    Johnson & Phillips
    Whipp & Bourne
    Hawker Siddley Switchgear
    William White Switchgear ltd
    Ottermill Switchgear

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