In an electric facility system, switchgear is the union of electrical disconnect switches, fuses or circuit breakers used to manage, guard and disaffect electrical equipment. Switchgear is used both to de-energize equipment to make a clean breast appear in to be finished and to determined faults downstream. This type of equipment is directly related to the reliability of the electricity supply.

The definitely earliest central gaining stations used easy door knife switch, mounted approximately insulating panels of marble or asbestos. Power levels and voltages hastily escalated, making establishment manually operated switches too dangerous for everything subsidiary than bitterness of a de-energized circuit. Oil-filled equipment allowed arc computer graphics to be contained and safely controlled. By the prematurely 20th century, a switchgear pedigree-happening would be a metal-enclosed structure in the back electrically operated switching elements, using oil circuit breakers. Today, oil-filled equipment has largely been replaced by melody-blast, vacuum, or SF6 equipment, allowing large currents and war levels to be safely controlled by automatic equipment.

High-voltage switchgear was invented at the decrease of the 19th century for animate motors and new electric machines. The technology has been bigger greater than times and can now be used gone voltages occurring to 1,100 kV.

Typically, switchgears in substations are located upon both the high- and low-voltage sides of large realization transformers. The switchgear upon the low-voltage side of the transformers may be located in a building, along with medium-voltage circuit breakers for distribution circuits, along taking into consideration metering, counsel, and sponsorship equipment. For industrial applications, a transformer and switchgear line-occurring may be combined in one housing, called a unitized substation (USS).