This conference will provide the fundamentals of the operation of circuit breakers and switchgear. It will help to understand the reasons of circuit breaker failures and to select appropriate risk mitigation techniques to avoid these failures. It will provide tools and guidance to assist in the specification and selection of circuit breakers. It is not the aim to discuss in detail the applicable standards for circuit breakers but to explain the concepts which are the base of the standards.
Finally it will discuss the testing and condition monitoring of switchgear to check that the switch gear will have the capability to handle network stresses, insulation levels, mechanical forces and ambient conditions. The main tests contemplated in the standards are described. The needs for condition monitoring to guarantee the long-term behavior of the switchgear are discussed and an overview of the monitoring tools currently available is given.