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What Is A Busbar Used For

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  • 02-11-2021
What Is A Busbar Used For

If you manage electrical systems in your business, you may need to know: what is a busbar used for? We look at what a busbar is and how it is used by various industries in the UK.

Using a Busbar

Busbars are a piece of technology used in electrical systems which make power distribution not only much easier but cheaper and more flexible too. Below we will describe how busbars work and explain many of the common queries engineers will have about busbars when choosing an electrical solution.

Where Are Busbars Used?

Busbar systems are made for safely implementing three-phase distribution systems for power, usually in large industrial environments. Busbars can be found in:

  • Factories
  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Facilities For Retail
  • Data Centres
  • Laboratories
  • Technology Centres

What is a Busbar?

Sometimes called busbar trunking systems, busbars are a piece of technology used for sharing electricity. They do this with far greater ease than other common types of distribution and installation. Busbars are also much more flexible than these other installation types. 

Busbars usually come in the form of a metallic strip which could be constructed out of aluminium, brass or copper: these both ground and conduct electricity.

Depending on the coating material chosen for your busbars, they will offer different conductivity limits. There will also be a huge amount of variation in the product's lifespan. 

Not only that, but busbars also come in an array of different sizes and shapes. This can affect the busbar's ampacity. This means depending on the shape and size of the device, the maximum amount of current the conductor can carry before beginning to deteriorate will change.

What is a Busbar?

When purchasing and installing busbars, you have a choice of either fully enclosed units or busbars with a continuous access open-channel. 

If you decide to go with a fully enclosed busbar set-up, then you will have the benefit of reduced installation, as well as the ability to facilitate increased performance even while at higher ampacities.

Other reasons why you may want to consider installing busbars are:

Environmentally friendly

Busbars require fewer materials for installation than other options. Busbar plug-in outlets are also reusable and re-locatable.

Faster installation

With busbars, building works are in working order faster than any other option. Also, busbars have the added ability to change, add, remove or relocate power with ease and no downtime.

Reduced facility costs

Less labour needed during construction means that installation becomes so much cheaper for you. When it comes to electrical specialists, there are no pricey changes or outside labour costs.

Flexibility for the future

Some busbar plug-in units can be easily disconnected and reconnected at any time. No de-energising is needed. This means no routine maintenance and far quicker when the time comes for expansion or remodelling.

Applications Of Busbars

Busbars can be produced in a number of different varieties. For example, busbars can be manufactured as rods, solid bars or flat strips. They can also be made from all kinds of different materials such as aluminium, brass and copper. 

Busbars are also available as hollow or solid tubes. Busbars are perfect for when space is in short supply or an alternative solution to electrical distribution is needed then busbars are the number one answer for numerous industries.

Below is a look at two different types of busbar. One is laminated, and the other is flexible. They are both used widely but in completely different sectors and for completely different situations.

    Laminated Busbars

    Laminated busbars are used commonly for the following applications:

    Base stations

    Telephone exchange systems

    Hybrid and power traction

    Cellular communication systems

    Power generation systems

    Military equipment systems

    Major network equipment

    Power switch systems

    Flexible Busbars

    Whereas flexible busbars are used in the following scenarios:

    Used in hybrid, electric, and fuel cell vehicles

    As electrical connections in switching cabinets

    Power links in generators

    Charging stations and transformers

    Why Copper Busbars?

    Why Copper Busbars?

    Copper is commonly used as a conductive metal in all kinds of electrical systems and devices this includes busbars. The reason copper is commonly used is that it has tremendous resilience to high temperatures. This can give systems additional security in the event of a short circuit. 

    Some other benefits gained from using copper are:

    Reduced coefficient of linear expansion

    Greater performance in clamped joints

    Resistant to deterioration

    High conductivity

    Greater modulus of elasticity

    Large recovery value

    Lengthy lifespan

    Why Are U-shaped Busbars Popular?

    The most popular form of busbar units are the u-shaped busbar systems. These are used to achieve continuous and stable connections to power while also boosting the potential for tappable locations. 

    The famous U-shape of the busbars creates a completely even weight distribution, which will soften any distortion that comes as a result of extreme force.

    U-shaped busbar systems also allow for incredibly easy expansion as well as easy relocation and reconfiguration operations. The shape of the U-shaped busbar systems applies repeated pressure to every point of the unit, which creates a sturdy connection. This method completely eliminates the need for routine maintenance.

    Do Busbars Promote Energy Efficiency?

    Busbars can be used for conducting any kind of electrical current from all types of power grids. 

    In 2009, a study was done to test the energy efficiency of busbars. In the study, McKinsey & Co stated that, on average, businesses and homes will pay $130 billion each year on energy to power appliances on standby. 

    That's money which can be saved by using busbars.

    Integrating renewable energy systems can be difficult if your location is currently using below-the-ground electrical wiring. Above-ground or overhead electric systems are far more straightforward when it comes to reconfiguration and restructuring for the most efficient system possible.

    Do Busbars Promote Energy Efficiency?

    Benefits Of Using Busbars

    There are numerous benefits to busbars, which is why they are used commonly around the globe, and many find them to be crucial in electric distribution systems. 

    For example, busbars can simplify the process of electrical power distribution while also reducing the overall cost massively this allows for greater flexibility. Below is a brief summary of the main benefits gained from using busbars:

    Long Term Savings

    Though busbars may initially be more expensive than other options such as wiring harnesses, they will definitely last substantially longer and will also not need replacements or fixes regularly. 

    When new power points are necessary, due to the flexibility of the busbar units, there will be no need for pricey building or construction costs. 

    So in the long-term, you will be saving. 

    Reduces energy consumption

    As well as saving you from plenty of stressful headache-inducing time-consuming complications. 

    Busbars also distribute their power in a more efficient way than other models this is another fantastic way to reduce costs as energy consumption will have a big reduction. 

    Most businesses find this to be the busbar's most advantageous feature.

    Adaptability

    Busbars are also effortlessly versatile for renewable energy integration. They offer exceptional adaptability for painless customisation for whatever your needs may be. 

    Busbars also have fantastic resistance in the face of extreme weather conditions. 

    Whether it's rain, hail, snow or winds, your busbars will not flinch. This makes them a great option for switchyards or substations.

    Reduces Wiring errors

    Replacing your standard wiring harness with a busbar system will also eliminate the possibility of miswiring or wiring errors taking place. 

    The common wiring harness has a very high rate of wiring errors in comparison to busbar units, where errors are extremely rare. 

    Miswiring can be very expensive to repair, so using busbars is great protection against this issue.


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