Reyrolle Switchgear

I was wondering if anyone had any experience or examples of failing Reyrolle HH Switchgear?

We have a large number of this switchgear on our site, dating back to the early 1950's, and have recently been informed that this type of switchgear is prone to "catastrophic failure" and have been advised that no Live switching should be undertaken on this type of switchgear (even the On-Load rated Switches and not just the Off-Load isolators).

We have now placed a restriction on Live switching our Reyrolle HH Frames and I am looking for any examples of these failures and what the causes have been

Any case studies / reports / information anyone has would be greatly appreciated



  • Have you tried speaking direct to Reyrolle (Siemens).  I'm not familiar with the HH gear but there is plenty of C still in service and I think Siemens still offer a refurb service.  You could also try the ENA.  

  • I have spoken with Siemens previously about some of the Reyrolle SA switchgear from the same era and they had nothing available for it so it is unlikely but I will try them again just incase. We still have some of the HV C-Gear in service that was retrofitted by Siemens in the early 2000's and thankfully we have still been able to procure spares from them for this switchgear.

  • This may not relate - I am not sure which particular set of  switch gear you have, but about ten years ago, there was a scare with some of the older oil-fill Reyrolle gear, where some under specified bolts could fail inside under certain conditions leading to an explosive oil vapour and fire type accident.
    I'm not sure if perhaps similar things have perhaps now been reported  in other models.
    That particular warning notice is here

  • I think that's the best course of action.  there is a lot of C gear around but I think the HH could well be much less common.  If you cant get anywhere with Siemens then the ENA may be able to help - defects are quite widely shared - but if HH gear is uncommon or absent from UK DNO systems then the ENA may not be much help.  Meanwhile you might want to consider excluding personnel from switch rooms with live gear if you haven't already done so until you can establish the position accurately.

  • Hi Mike thanks for the information, I remember reading up on a similar issue with the HV Reyrolle LM oil filled Switchgear also. The HH Switchgear we have is all Low Voltage and is air insulated so thankfully there is no risk of an oil vapour fire occurring.