​Powell Proven

Powell Proven  Powell People  Powell Delivers  Powell Safe

Since our founding in 1947, Powell has been put to the test. We have always had a customer-first philosophy. That core value has been demonstrated in many ways throughout the last six decades.

We were the first original equipment manufacturer to purchase the circuit breaker and cell assembly from a major manufacturer and package it into our own metal-clad switchgear offering. When going head-to-head in the marketplace against competitors that are much larger in size and have much bigger reputations, you have to be willing to go the extra mile and prove yourself worthy of consideration.

The ability to deliver custom-engineered solutions that were exactly what the customer needed, paved the way for our success. Powell was the first to develop the packaging concept. Today, the Power Control Room (PCR®) is virtually a standard approach. Working to solve job site issues and make the integration and installation of the electrical distribution system more predictable, less error prone, and less costly, came about because Powell recognized the difficulties and developed a superior solution.
This photo, circa 1947, is one of the first Powell manufacturing facilities in Houston, Texas. Early products were primarily sheet metal work such as wire ways, but they soon began making panelboards and switchboards for the rapidly growing oil industry.
Powell was the first assembler in the United States to supply medium voltage metal-clad switchgear by purchasing the circuit breaker and cell assembly as an OEM component. The first switchgear utilized ITE circuit breakers followed quickly by GE.
One of the first Powell Power Control Rooms on-site, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, approximately 1965. The first units were site erected and had concrete floors, but soon the complete integrated package was being constructed in Houston and shipped world-wide.
With the development of vacuum technology, Powell became a full line manufacturer with the introduction of PowlVac® metal-clad switchgear in 1983.
Powell was the first to design, test and offer to the market arc-resistant metal-clad switchgear. This development, introduced in 1994, improved operator safety and reduced downtime in the event of an arc fault.

Once again, we proved our ability to think from the perspective of the customer and make the end result one of higher quality and greater reliability.

​​In the early 1980s, we designed, tested and produced our own metal-clad circuit breaker and switchgear system, PowlVac®. It was more robust, better suited to harsh environments, and able to withstand the difficult duty cycle required on oil and gas industry projects. Our approach from the outset was to have the most tested and broadest range of ratings of any ANSI offering. PowlVac was marketed under the slogan "By Test There is No Equal". That fact remains true today. We have pushed the limits of ratings higher in terms of both continuous current carry capability and interrupting rating, but have also built in superior features that make this product the work horse of the ANSI switchgear industry; including front connected control umbilical for great reliability and ease of access, closed-door racking capability for improved operator safety, one-high and two-high designs for maximum space utilization, the ability to roll the circuit breaker in and out of the bottom cell at grade level eliminating the need for lifting devices, and much more. We achieved our goal and proved our point. In side-by-side comparisons, we win hands down.

The middle 1990s brought an increase in safety awareness by many of our customers and once again Powell was ready for the challenge. We were able to engineer and demonstrate through design testing that an arc-resistant design for metal-clad switchgear was not only possible, but highly desirable. Today, Powell is recognized as the leader in arc-resistant technology and offers the widest range of ratings, designs, and products with arc-resistant capability. Not satisfied with this, we went on to introduce a full line of metal-clad switchgear rated for 38kV in both standard and arc-resistant constructions.

Powell has proven that when things are "on the line" we are the go-to provider. We delight in working with our customers and solving their toughest problems.