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Siemens offers first generator switchgear with vacuum circuit-breaker technology for high operating currents


Siemens is developing the world's first air-insulated generator switchgear with vacuum circuit-breaker technology equipped with short-circuit breaking capacity of up to 100 kiloamperes (kA) at 24 kilovolts (kV).

The switchgear type HB3-100 protects operating equipment such as electrical generators and transformers against overvoltage and short-circuit conditions and serves to support automated and demand-controlled operational management of power plants.

Siemens' model HB3-100 switchgear is the world's first air-insulated generator switchgear with vacuum circuit-breaker technology equipped with short-circuit breaking capacity of up to 100 kiloamperes (kA) at 24 kilovolts (kV).

These switchgear can be used in hydroelectric power plants, coal-fired units and combined cycle power plants as well as solar-thermal and geothermal power plants with electrical generating capacities of up to 400 megawatts (MW). Thanks to their low-maintenance vacuum circuit-breaker technology and resource-optimized development, the lifecycle costs of HB3-100 switchgear is up to 70 percent less than existing solutions.

"With our new type-tested HB3-100 generator switchgear we are now expanding our product range for power plant operators, municipal utility companies and EPC projects, and offering this proven vacuum circuit-breaker technology also for high operating current applications," explains Stephan May, CEO of Siemens' Medium Voltage and Systems Business Unit. The products of Siemens HB3 series cover 80 percent of all market requirements for this type of switchgear in new power plant units and retrofit projects.

The HB3-100 consists of a generator circuit-breaker in vacuum technology, disconnectors, grounding system and integrated startup disconnect switches. Unlike gas-insulated circuit-breakers, vacuum circuit-breakers interrupt the arc in a high-vacuum interrupter tube.

The single-phase encapsulated unit can handle rated currents of up to 12,500 amperes (A) without forced cooling. It is maintenance-free up to 10,000 electrical switching events and 30 short-circuit interruptions at 100 kA. The hermetically sealed vacuum interrupters require no maintenance as a general rule and are resistant to any environmental influences.

A further important consideration is that no oxidation takes place in the vacuum, so that the metallic surfaces remain permanently clean and ensure a consistently low contact resistance. The lifecycle costs of the HB3-100 switchgear – costing of which covers everything from procurement to final disposal – are between 25 and 70 percent lower than for a generator switchgear with gaseous switching medium (e.g. SF6), depending on the power plant type.

For more information on Siemens' Energy Management Division, go to:

Further informationen on Siemens' generator switchgear systems can be found at

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2014, which ended on September 30, 2014, Siemens generated revenue from continuing operations of €71.9 billion and net income of €5.5 billion. At the end of September 2014, the company had around 343,000 employees worldwide on a continuing basis.

Further information is available on the Internet at

Reference Number: PR2015100042EMEN

Mr. Heiko Jahr
Energy Management Division
Siemens AG

Freyeslebenstr. 1

91058 Erlangen


Tel: +49 (9131) 7-29575


Heiko Jahr | Siemens Energy Management

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