Guernsey Electricity has conducted its first ever virtual testing of newly manufactured switchgear and in doing so, overcome the current restrictions during lockdown.

Switchgear is an important component of an electrical power system and the replacement equipment will be installed in a substation. Remote acceptance testing was successfully carried out using a combination of Microsoft Teams video conferencing and multiple cameras. Usually, GEL engineers would travel to test the equipment at the manufacturer, Brush, factory headquarters in Wales.

Mike Lloyd, Guernsey Electricity’s Head of Distribution, said the work undertaken showed how new ways of working can be beneficial.

“We are really pleased that the virtual testing went so well. Whilst Covid-19 has presented a challenge for all of us in different ways and prevented us from visiting the factory, this remote working has saved costs, lowered our carbon footprint and importantly not delayed an important project.”

The tests were conducted over one and a half days in late May and involved Guernsey Electricity’s project team and specialists from Brush in the UK in planning, testing and documenting. The utility was able to virtually inspect the switchboards and carry out testing prior to the equipment leaving the factory.

Mr Lloyd added, “The next step is to have the switchgear sent across to the Island and we are considering options including our own engineers to install it with remote support and guidance from our supplier.”