Cooper Power Systems has announced the new Smart VFI underground distribution switchgear, providing an efficient, robust integrated solution for the smarter grid and critical power requirements. Smart VFI switchgear combines advanced tap-and-loop protection with metering, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) functionality and highly flexible and powerful automation capabilities in a single, integrated package.
The Cooper Power Systems Smart VFI switchgear helps users reduce downtime and boost overall reliability when integrated into existing distribution automation systems or customized to fit the needs of many applications. Those applications may include feeder reconfiguration for the self-healing grid, solar and distributed generation grid-ties, data centers and critical power requirements.
Smart VFI switchgear uses resettable vacuum interrupters for immediate service restoration, eliminating the added expense and downtime associated with stocking and replacing fuses. In addition, the switchgear is filled with biodegradable E200 dielectric fluid that eliminates the need for Sulfur Hexafluoride gas, identified as one of the most potent greenhouse gases by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Additional safety features include vacuum switching that never contaminates the insulating medium; 100 percent dead-front construction; visible break option for internal isolation and grounding of cables; and the ability to operate switches and interrupters with hotsticks, side operated handles, or motor operators for maximum flexibility in addressing arc flash concerns.
All Smart VFI controls use ProView application software, the same powerful, easy-to-use platform designed by Cooper Power Systems and used by the company’s Form 6 recloser control. The program’s IDEA Workbench, a graphical software programming environment, permits the user to add additional protection and control functionality to any Smart VFI control by means of downloadable custom software modules. This ability provides a continuous upgrade path that not only protects the initial investment in Smart VFI, but also provides a means to increase functionality in response to changing regulatory, power quality and reliability concerns.