Introduction to MacLean Power Systems’ Inertia Line of Switches

Dive into the world of electric utilities and the crucial role of air break switches in the distribution and transmission lines. Learn about the reliable and efficient working principles of these switches, their ability to maintain stability, and the critical importance of well-designed switches in ensuring seamless operations for electric utilities

March 12, 2024

2:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM CT / 11:00 AM PT / 7:00 PM GMT

Duration: 1 hour

Already registered? Click here to log in.


Electric utilities have been using overhead air break switches for many years. They are efficient switching and isolation purposes. They are generally installed in the distribution network as a switching point or a break connection between cables, transformers, and other voltage devices. Air break switches are also used in the transmission lines. An air break switch can be defined as using air like die-electric, arc quenching medium and vacuum to open under load.  The switch is reliable and very effective as compared to other switches. It is operated by hand using a down rod with an operating handle, a hook stick operator or motor switch operation local or remote from a control house.

The air break switch working principle is that the switch normally opens a circuit in the load. So, during the switching operation process, the arc gets generated is quenched in several ways by interrupting the supply. This is done by using an interrupter.

Air break switches are very efficient, with high consistency. They are capable of switching and fast break operations. The switches do not cause explosions and fire hazards. By using these switches, the stability of the operation can be maintained.

Various issues can arise over time, with switches not operating due to design issues. This can cause problems for the electric utility, not able to open or close a switch when required. This can create problems for the line crews and overall performance of the utility. The design of the switch is critical to mitigate issues associated with switching.


DeWayne Ginn
Vice President of Sales- Stockton
MacLean Power Systems

Having worked for Inertia Engineering for the past 10 years as a Vice President of Sales, DeWayne brings a vast knowledge base of switching application. DeWayne has worked on domestic and international projects from 16kV to 800kV.

Caitlyn Terry
Director of Business Development - Stockton
MacLean Power Systems

Caitlyn has worked over 15 years in the electric utility sector. She works extensively in sales, customer service and new product development opportunities in the 15 kV – 72kV switchgear and specialty equipment market. She works with customers and utilities domestically and internationally, conveying industry and customer knowledge to the switchgear.

Sponsored by:

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!