Tuesday 6 October 2015

Precision automated system removes field technicians from hazardous locations.

Remote Solutions is a leading provider of innovative solutions for remote racking of utility, industrial and commercial circuit breakers. The company has introduced the Rotary Hot Stick Operator (RHSO) for use by field technicians in remotely opening or closing electrical load break switches.

The RHSO is the first solution of its kind (along with linear LHSO version) to remove workers from hazardous locations when performing switch service. The system can be configured for both rotary and linear switch operators and will work with all switch types—Air, Oil, Vacuum and SF6. An optional multi-axis configuration allows for either vertical or horizontal orientation.

The RHSO is suitable for use with equipment like Load Break Oil Rotary (LBOR) switches, which provide making or breaking of specified currents. These switches are typically installed in manholes and underground or sidewalk vaults where they are subject to moisture, particulates, corrosive materials, and a wide range of temperatures.

Designed for standalone local operation, and powered by readily available AA alkaline batteries, the RHSO automates the process of opening and closing rotary vault switches with an insulating hot stick – eliminating the need for personnel to manually perform this procedure while straddling the vault opening. Workers in this environment are exposed to critical safety hazards, especially when dealing with older underground infrastructure and vintage equipment. The RHSO employs a rugged fiberglass tripod to center a rotary apparatus over the vault; a precision, motorized clamp assembly is then used to rotate the hot stick, which is attached to an eyelet to open or close the switch contacts. The system provides light-emitting diode (LED) indication of motor direction and status, and utilises fail-safe torque and travel limits.

"Electric underground distribution systems demand high performance in the form of greater reliability, reduced operational and maintenance costs, and improved safety," Remote Solutions President Bob Stevenson said. "We developed a practical, purpose-built system that utilizes the existing hot stick found on most electrical service trucks. It provides an automated solution enabling the technician to set a timer to start the switch operation and then move away to a safe location. An optional universal handheld controller can be used to change program parameters and provide remote control up to a minimum of 50 feet away, with optional cords for up to 150-foot total distance."

The compact and lightweight (under 3 pounds) RHSO and LHSO systems accept various diameters and shapes of hot sticks. They feature a weatherised design with non-conductive construction, and include a storage case. A rechargeable battery system is an optional accessory.

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