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How to implement remote monitoring of circuit breakers for maintenance planning

All you need to know to accurately plan circuit breaker maintenance in medium voltage switchgear - a new alternative to purely schedule-based servicing activities

When is the best time for maintenance?

Condition-based maintenance enables users and maintenance teams to continuously supervise circuit-breaker conditions and performance trends, and to constantly manage the related warnings and faults. Thanks to ABB MyRemoteCare online condition monitoring solution, our service engineers suggest the right sort of maintenance at the best time for each asset by analyzing the acquired data. Historical data makes it easier to detect typical deviations from standard behavior over the years.

Where does the monitoring data come from?

When your switchgear is not equipped with the integrated diagnostic systems, sensors or intelligent electronic devices to collect the data about circuit breaker condition, ABB provides MySiteCare: a universal circuit-breaker monitoring and diagnosis device.

How to view and interpret the data?

ABB service engineers analyze the diagnostic data of the circuit-breakers in the remote mode and ensure that events are signaled. Maintenance officers can consult the decisions and/or actions planned by ABB experts via a user-friendly interface that displays faults by means of a traffic light: red, yellow and green. This signal indicates how serious the fault is, thus the probability of failure or impaired reliability and safety of the monitored equipment.

Can any breaker be monitored?

When the circuit breaker is already operating, it is advisable to inspect and/or service the device before installing MySiteCare for the purpose of:

  • checking the state of the circuit-breaker and restoring, as far as possible, the original conditions
  • preventing failures or impaired performance of the circuit-breaker by replacing excessively worn components and by installing the specific upgrade kits for each circuit-breaker
  • assessing the real conditions of the circuit-breaker so as to configure MySiteCare in the appropriate way.

Is it easy to implement?

Installation of MySiteCare on each panel does not involve any changes to the circuit-breaker, the protection relay or switchboard.

The predictive diagnostic algorithms are configured by ABB’s qualified technicians when the monitoring system is commissioned: the parameters concern the relevant circuit-breaker and its operating status.

See figure 1 below.

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Which devices need to be added to my panel?

Central unit with digital inputs

High impedance binary inputs monitor the circuit-breaker operations: energizing of opening and closing coils, auxiliary contact (open/closed circuit-breaker status) and springs charged signal. These signals are easily derived from the existing terminal blocks in the low voltage compartment. Auxiliary voltage is monitored because it affects the performance of the coils and spring-charging geared motor.

See figure 2.

Current sensor that reads the trip current

Hall-effect current sensor clipped to the secondary circuits of the current transformer inside the auxiliary compartment, enabling trip current to be measured.

See figure 3.

 RFID identification device

Able to trace the presence and/or replacement of equipment in the switchgear. This means that circuit-breaker conditions are traced even when the breakers have been moved to other panels equipped with MySiteCare.

See figure 4.

The sensor is based on RFID wireless technology and comprises:

  • TAG RFID (passive) able to store the univocal data of the circuit-breaker and estimate remaining life
  • RFID transmitter installed in the circuit-breaker compartment, near the TAG.

The RFID reader is also used to measure the temperature inside the medium voltage compartment.

What about data security and access?

The information processed by each MySiteCare diagnostic unit is transmitted via RS485 link to a concentrator (Gateway).The concentrator has a SIM card allowing the data to be transmitted to the ABB Data Center via a cell phone network (2G/3G), through a secure private channel that is dedicated to the MyRemoteCare system only.

ABB service specialists and maintenance officers can access the MyRemoteCare portal via the Internet so as to consult diagnostic information about circuit-breakers covered by the service. Only authorized personnel are allowed access to the portal. Access credentials are supplied when the service is activated.

How often is the status updated?

The frequency with which information is transmitted depends on the event and the concentrator sends an update to the system whenever an important change occurs.

In the absence of important changes or events, the status of the installation is updated every 24 hours. In addition, MyRemoteCare has a system for frequently checking the connection to the installation, thereby ensuring a high degree of reliability and data quality.

Besides internet access to the information, it is also possible to get e-mail alerts and periodic summary reports.


The remote services implemented with MyRemoteCare and MySiteCare are included in PowerCare customer support agreements.

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