A busbar system is an electrical power distribution system that uses a series of conductors of metal bars in order to distribute electrical power from a power source to various locations where an electric load is required. Busbars are typically made of aluminum, and copper, and are able to carry electrical current with high levels.
Components of a Busbar System
The busbar system consists of different components, including the main busbar, branch busbars, and feeder busbars.
The main busbar is actually the central point that receives power from the power source and is generally a large, thick bar that can handle current with high levels.
Feeder busbars distribute power from the main busbar to various distribution points or sub-stations.
And the branch busbars distribute power from the feeder busbars to individual loads.
uses of busbar systems
Busbar systems are often used in commercial applications as well as in different types of industries where high levels of power need to be transferred or distributed to multiple loads efficiently and safely. These systems are highly reliable, have low maintenance, and can handle large amounts of current without using bulky cables and wiring. Moreover, busbars can be easily modified or expanded as the power requirements of a facility change over time.
Some common uses of busbar systems include:
- Power Distribution in Industrial and Commercial Buildings: Busbar systems are commonly used in industrial and commercial buildings to transfer and distribute power to various loads such as HVAC systems, lighting, and machinery. Busbars provide a more flexible and efficient solution for power distribution as compared to traditional power distribution methods. Busbars can handle high levels of current, which makes them ideal solutions to provide current to heavy-duty equipment in various industrial applications. They are also easier to maintain, modify, and install than traditional wiring systems.
- Power Transmission in Power Plants and Substations: Busbar systems are used in power plants and substations to transmit and distribute high levels of current from generators to transformers and other equipment. Busbars are also used to interconnect various components in power plants and other substations, such as switchgear, circuit breakers, and transformers.
Busbars are great at handling huge levels of electrical power without suffering significant power losses, which makes them an ideal solution for power transmission.
- Electrical Grounding: Busbars can also be used as an electrical grounding system to offer a low-impedance track for fault levels of currents. During a fault event, busbars can carry huge amounts of current and help protect the electrical equipment and different personnel from electrical dangers. Busbars are generally used in combination with grounding plates or rods, which drive the power into the ground to provide a low-resistance path to earth.
- Power Distribution in Data Centers: Busbar systems are used in data centers to transmit and distribute power to various electronic equipment like switches, routers, servers, and other equipment. Data centers need a high amount of current density, and busbars provide a more durable, reliable, and efficient solution for power distribution as compared to traditional wiring systems. Since maintaining and installing the busbars is easy as compared to traditional methods, it helps to reduce the cost and time linked with power transmission and distribution in data centers.
- Transportation: Busbars are also used in transportation, such as electric trains and trolleybuses, to provide different power levels to vehicles through overhead lines. Busbars provide a more reliable and efficient solution for power transmission compared to traditional cable lines. They can also handle high power levels and reduce the risk of electrical failures and interference. Busbars are a critical electrical component of the structure that is required to power the electric transportation systems.
Overall, busbar systems offer several advantages over traditional wiring lines. They have high reliability, lower maintenance, and the ability to handle higher amounts of power without the need for traditionally bulky cables and wiring systems.
Types of Busbar Systems
There are different types of busbar systems, and each of these is designed to meet specific requirements regarding power transmission and distribution. The most common types of busbar systems are 40×4mm (160 mm2), 40×5 mm (200 mm2), 50×6 mm (300mm2), 60×8 mm (480 mm2), 80×8 (640 mm2), and 100×10 mm (1000 mm2). Some common types of busbar systems include:
- Sandwich Busbar System: The sandwich busbar system is composed of multiple layers of materials conducting in nature, separated by insulating layers. Sandwich busbars are generally used in low-voltage applications and have the ability to cater high power levels. The insulating layers between these conductive layers help to protect and prevent short circuits and minimize the risk of electrical interference. This type of busbar system is customizable to meet particular power distribution needs and requirements.
- Isolated-Phase Busbar System: The isolated-phase busbar system is typically used in applications that require high power voltages, and where it is important to isolate the busbars from their surrounding situations and environment. Isolated-phase busbars generally consist of a central conductor, which is surrounded by a grounded metal enclosure. The grounded enclosure helps to protect and prevent electrical interference and minimize the risk of short circuits and electrocution. Isolated-phase busbars are commonly used in high-power voltage switchyards and substations.
- Cable Busbar System: The cable busbar system consists of a series of insulated cables that are bundled together to form a busbar. Cable busbars are designed to handle high current levels and provide a more efficient and flexible solution for power distribution compared to traditional cabling methods. Cable busbars can be customized to meet specific power distribution requirements and are typically used in various industrial and utility applications. Cable busbars are also used in outdoor applications where it is difficult to install traditional busbars.
- Plug-In Busbar System: The plug-in busbar system is commonly used in power distribution panels and switchgears. It allows for the easy accumulation or exclusion of circuit breakers or other electrical components without having to de-energize the system. The plug-in busbar system is designed in a way to handle high current levels and provides a more flexible and efficient solution for power distribution compared to traditional cabling methods.
- Segregated-Phase Busbar System: The segregated-phase busbar system is similar to the isolated-phase busbar system, however, each phase in the segregated phase is separated by a grounded barrier. These busbar systems are typically used in high-power voltage applications where it is critical to protect and prevent phase-to-phase faults. The grounded barriers help to prevent electrical interference and minimize the risk of short circuits or electrocution. Segregated-phase busbars are commonly used in high-power voltage switchyards and substations.
In Summary, the type of busbar system used depends on the specific power distribution requirements of the application, such as current capacity, voltage level, and environmental factors.