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Europe's first Climatic Test Chamber for testing energised medium voltage (MV) switchgear can simulate harsh environments and pollution in temperatures as high as 80°C, ensuring ABB switchgear keeps the power on under more extreme weather

MV voltage part equipped with voltage source for energising test object inside the Climatic ChamberThe testing chamber ensures reliability of ABB switchgear as more extreme weather puts the grid under greater pressure. (Image Source: ABB)

The innovative testing chamber in Brno, Czech Republic, will be used to test all ABB energised indoor MV switchgear panels, ensuring they keep the power on 24/7 in the harshest of environments, spanning -50°C to 80°C, emulating temperatures found in the Sahara and the hottest parts of the African continent. 

An investment has created the state-of-the-art testing facility, which can also test for up to 100% humidity and water condensation; conditions that typically cause switchgear technology to age faster.

Testing can take from four to eight weeks for each component, taking ABB's switchgear beyond current standards to comply with the new IEC/TS 62271-304 from Class 1 to 4 regulations. 

Reliability is the end goal with the extreme climatic site testing, reducing failures and unplanned downtime on customer sites. 

Martin Stefanka, ABB’s global technology manager for distribution solutions, said, “Our new Climatic Test Chamber will help us to understand the limits of our switchgear beyond the requirements of current standards. 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.”