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A distributed system, which supports circuit breaker maintenance and asset management, is described. It uses a client/server architecture for propagating expert knowledge from switchgear maintenance experts directly to maintenance operatives for on-site circuit breaker condition assessment and diagnosis. Prior research in the field of distribution level circuit breaker condition monitoring has shown the trip coil of a circuit breaker yields a current profile that, when tripped, can subsequently be interpreted as an indicator of plant health. Exploiting existing circuit breaker test equipment, a centralised archive of asset condition is built from routine tests permitting experts to examine trends in the data and pass their definition of the operating conditions to personnel in the field. This provides diagnostic support to engineers in the field. The system is currently in use as the subject of a pilot study conducted by SP PowerSystems intended to improve its ongoing maintenance and asset management activities.
Date of Publication: January 2007