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4 Reasons to Apply a Busbar to Your Switchgear Solution

Busbar is a non flexible alternative to cables in terms of its movement but holds many other advantages as we will discuss below.

Essentially when power distribution reaches a certain size there will be multiple cables needed to meet the capacity, this increase in diameter and number or cores will increase the time to install, it will lead to a reduction in available space (if there is enough space) and when compared to a busbar solution will likely increase the cost to procure and install.

A busbar is a simple bar used for distributing power and it makes an excellent alternative to cabling. Busbars are especially good for use in switchgear systems as they offer several significant benefits. They are simple to install, you can reduce excess cables, and they can be easily maintained. Busbars are adaptable and customisable, so they will work in any switchgear system.

We offer a range of busbars designed for use in commercial and industrial applications. These are the key benefits of using busbars for switchgear.

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1. Busbars can be advantageous over cabling

One of the main reasons to use a busbar is that it is usually much better than cabling. Complex systems with lots of cables take up a lot of space and look very messy. A busbar is far more compact than cabling, so your switchgear won’t take up anywhere near as much space. A busbar is also contained in a metal casing, so it is less prone to damage than a traditional cable. 

You will get less resistance with a busbar too. The extruded profile of the IP55 busbar distributes the current more efficiently and reduces resistance when compared with cables, so you experience less loss of voltage.

If you want a neater, more efficient, and safer alternative to cabling, busbars are perfect.

2. They are adaptable for different switchgear systems

The construction of busbars makes them very adaptable for different switchgear systems. They have a modular design with different elements joined by monoblocks so they can be modified to fit into any space. If you update your switchgear, it is quick and easy to adjust your busbar at the same time. The tap-off boxes can be replaced or moved easily without having to do extensive work and add more cables. Cables, on the other hand, can be very time-consuming and expensive to alter, so busbars are a lot more flexible.

3. The components are easy to understand

Busbars are made using very simple components that are easy to understand. Aluminium or copper conductors are encased in a resin to protect against oxidisation and maintain conductivity. 

The simplicity of the components means that our busbars are very easy to install and maintain, so you can ensure that your switchgear systems are always running efficiently.

4. You can arrange regular maintenance for busbars

Busbars require a lot less upkeep than cabling, but regular switchgear maintenance is still beneficial if you want to improve efficiency and avoid any problems with your switchgear system. Busbars are very easy to maintain because the components are very basic and the modular design means that they are easily dismantled and replaced, if necessary.

There are a number of potential problems that will be picked up during a routine switchgear survey. These include water ingression, contamination of busbars with foreign objects, exterior damage, and incorrectly functioning joints. A switchgear service does not take very long and it can help you avoid any major faults in the future, so you save money and your switchgear continues running as it should without interruption.

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How To Install A Busbar

The installation process for your busbar system is relatively simple. First, you must check all of the components to ensure that they are in good condition and have not been damaged in transit. If they are all intact, take the following steps to install your busbar.

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Connect the busbar elements

Begin by taking the protective foil from the end of the busbar elements and place them in position, making sure that the spacing between them is 30mm. It is important to make sure that all of the components are clear at this point. You can use a hair dryer to remove any dust. 

Next, place a joint block between the elements to connect the conductors to one another. Tighten the nut until the head shears off.

Casting the junctions

Once all of the elements are in place and secured, you need to cast the junctions using the moulds supplied. Start by applying neoprene seals to the mould and then spray demoulding agent inside and let it dry.

When ready, place the mould over the two busbar elements that you want to connect. There needs to be at least 2cm overlap on each side. Now, prepare the resin mix to pour into the mould. Make sure that the resin is completely clear and if it is cloudy, do not use it.

Pour the resin slowly to fill the moulds. When you are finished, tap them gently with a rubber hammer to get rid of any air bubbles. Finally, level the surface with a putty knife and leave the resin to set.

The hardening time varies depending on the temperature. It will take between 5 and 14 hours for it to fully cure. In a warmer climate, the resin will dry much faster. Once dry, you can use a grinding stone to remove any rough spots and make sure that the joint is even.

Test the busbar

Now that the busbar is installed, you can operate the switchgear system to ensure that everything is working correctly. You can also run resistance tests to check the efficiency of your new busbars.

Looking For A Busbar Solution?

If you are still using cables for power distribution in your switchgear, you are missing an opportunity to improve safety, keep things compact and tidy, and boost efficiency. By making the switch to busbars instead of cables, you can drastically improve the performance of your switchgear. They are also future-proof because they’re simple to change whenever you need to.

At AF Switchgear, we can help you find the perfect busbar solution. We have IP55 and IP68 models available, which are perfect for all kinds of commercial and industrial uses. If you have limited experience with busbars, our team can advise you and help you determine what kind of busbar is right for your switchgear. We also offer maintenance services for existing systems too.

Get in touch today to learn more about our products and services and how they can help you.

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