Power Distribution System Characteristics: Up to 3200A

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For panel builders, getting the right electrical power distribution solution is critical. Following IEC 61439 and manufacturer specific instructions about assembly and derating is essential in achieving this, as is using the correct conductor. Doing so ensures that panels safely function now and for decades to come despite pollution, humidity, temperature rise and more. For a complete exploration of this is so, see the introductory article.

When working with distribution systems up to 3200A, panel builders have a choice. You can opt to use customized solution, such as a flat busbar. Alternatively, you can use a pre-fabricated solution.

If you go the custom route, you will have complete control over – and responsibility for – the distribution system. This means selecting a busbar, for example, after ensuring that it is the correct type and grade of conductor. Then you must make sure it is correctly sized for the current and frequency involved, per IEC 61439 or a local standard.

You also must ensure that the design meets minimum phase-to-phase clearance specifications while keeping such parameters as degree of pollution, humidity, extreme temperature rises and more in mind. Finally, you must test that all conditions of the standard are satisfied as part of certification.

The alternative is pre-fabricated busbars and components that are validated by the manufacturer and certified by a third party. Having the main tests for standard compliance already done saves time and money by eliminating any possibility of certification costs and delays.

Pre-fabricated power system solutions should include different types of components, with a wide variety of choices a key to flexibility in an installation. Busbars should come in different configurations, along with device feeders and distribution blocks of various types. Examples of this type flexible, integrated and standard compliant solution can be seen in our Linergy range of products including: comb busbars, busbars, distribution blocks, and device feeders. Advantages of each of these devices can be seen in Figure 1.

For more information, visit our low-voltage switchboard design solutions and download our free eGuide. Also, be sure to register for our dedicated panel builder resource center.

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