In electric power distribution, a busbar is a conductive material which is factory assembled to distribute electric power from a supply point to numerous output circuits, with greater ease and flexibility. For any distribution assembly, the busbar constitutes the real “backbone”.
A busbar is designed and accordingly manufactured, sufficiently rigid to efficiently support its own weight, and numerous forces imposed by mechanical vibration and also the electro mechanical forces provided during short circuit. The insulated busbars are totally enclosed in metallic enclosures of GI or Aluminum.
Used in a variety of configurations, busbars come in a multitude of shapes and sizes such as solid bars, flat strips, or rods and are commonly composed of copper, aluminum, and brass. Their cross-sectional size and material composition determine the amount of current that can be safely carried by the busbar.
Busbars are popular because of:
- Reduced Facility Costs: The installation of busbars is comparatively less expensive and there are no outside labor costs for electrical specialists. They don’t require routine maintenance and are less costly for remodeling or expansion.
- Easy and Faster Installation: Busbars are installed easily and quickly with no downtime.
- Environmentally Friendly: Depending upon the type, the busbars require only a few installation materials and plug-in outlets are reusable and re-locatable.
- Secure & Reliable: It replaces the cable distribution system which has its own complication for fire hazard.
Applications of Busbar
Some of the basic applications of Busbars include:
- Power Plants
- Data centers
- Retail facilities
- Technology settings
Types of Electrical Busbar Arrangement
Busbar is available in round, rectangular, cross-sectional and many other shapes. In the power system, the rectangular bus bar is mostly used.
Typically composed of copper, aluminum and brass, a wide range of busbar arrangement is used for power distribution. The choice of busbar arrangement completely depends on different factors including but not limited to flexibility, reliability, usage, cost, etc. The various busbar types are:
- Compact Air Insulated
- Cast Resin System
- Isolated Phase Busducts
- Segregated Phase Busducts
- Non- Segregated Phase Busducts
- Trolley Busbars
When selecting busbars, be sure to check its maximum temperature, amp rating, size and VAC rating. It is equally important to determine whether you need to purchase an enclosure or a cover for the busbar system.