Ryan Kavanagh, Development Engineer at Crestchic and Keith Lennon, Sales Manager at ABB

Ryan Kavanagh, Development Engineer at Crestchic and Keith Lennon, Sales Manager at ABB

Cutting-edge technology allowing for safer and more reliable high-voltage grid applications is playing a key role in the development of smart grids around the world. Two companies collaborating with a vision to help radically change the way power is transmitted, distributed and managed are global power and automation specialist, ABB and British transformer and loadbank manufacturer, Crestchic.


For 15 years, Crestchic has been using ABB switchgear in its containerised transformer and loadbank packages as it provides compact protection. Most recently, the two companies have been working together to further develop the loadbank and transformers’ fault detection and prevention systems to ultimately offer customers state-of-the-art diagnostic and control solutions while self-guarding the equipment. This has been achieved by replacing “dip switch” numeric relays with new digital relays and integrated control systems. ABB has now supplied Crestchic with the latest digital Relion® relay technology and SafePlus switchgear.

Safety is at the core of Crestchic’s design and manufacturing remit. Recently, the ABB Safeplus Switchgear has been introduced which is SF6 gas insulated for applications where a non-flammable product is required. This type of switchgear is also typically used in high-voltage substations connected to the electricity grid.

The switchgear is used to connect and disconnect both loadbank and transformer high-voltage circuits (up to 24kV) and provide fault protection to components connected to those circuits. SF6 gas provides an insulating medium between high-voltage parts internal to the switchgear. This is an ideal application for Crestchic as the SF6 insulating gas technology allows the switchgear to be produced compactly which in turn provides added safety benefits.

Similar to ABB SafePlus, the ABB REF615 digital protection relay, part of the ABB Relion Feeder Protection range of products, is typically used for high-voltage grid applications where safety and reliability are the number one priority. Keith Lennon, Sales Manager at ABB has been working with Ryan Kavanagh, Development Engineer at Crestchic, to use the digital relay to provide comprehensive protection in transformers which includes, overcurrent protection, over/under voltage protection, frequency protection and earth fall protection.

Ryan Kavanagh said: “Bespoke units account for a large portion of our business and the modular design of ABB products offers greater flexibility in tailored solutions. The REF615 also adds versatility in Crestchic’s offering through its suitability for grid-connected applications while remaining fully compliant with the IEC 61850 standard. This covers substation communications and will allow seamless integration with existing customer systems.

“We have a strong and professional working relationship with ABB. They have helped us achieve our goals of integrating new technology by understanding our requirements and continually reviewing our needs and feedback. ABB have provided us with a fast response on the rare occasions when we have had technical issues and have dispatched engineers to our factory on the same day they have been requested.”

Keith Lennon from ABB added: “ABB switchgear is a global premium offering due to its compact design, reliability and safety features. With Crestchic being a respected company in the industry we are proud to have our products associated within such a high quality British-manufactured power range.”