In electric power arrangement, a busbar is a metallic piece or bar, typically housed inside panel boards, switchgear, and busway enclosures for local high current power distribution. These busbars usually made up of aluminum or copper, and they are capable of conducting electricity to transmit power from the source of electric power to the load.
Insulators support them and conduct electricity within switchboards, substations or other electronic apparatus. Some common applications of these devices can be to form the interconnectedness of the incoming and outgoing electrical transmission lines and transformers at an electrical substation; providing huge amounts of amperes to the electrolytic process in an aluminum smelter by using large busbars and also interconnecting generators to the main transformers in a power plant.
The size of the busbar defines its purpose and the amount of current that it can carry carefully. They can be tubular, solid or flat depending on the purpose and to serve various needs. A tubular busbar is hollow, and this shape enables it to disperse heat more efficiently as it has a high surface area.
Empty or flat shaped bus bars are prevalent in high current applications. Also, the hollow part of a busbar is usually stiffer as compared to a solid rod. Thus this allows a larger span between busbar support in outdoor switchyards.
The smallest cross-sectional area of a busbar can be as little as 10mm2, but electrical substations would make the performance of busbars with a diameter of more than 50 mm as they carry significant amounts of amperes. Aluminum smelters would make utilize of these large busbars to carry tens of thousands of amperes to the electrochemical cells that create aluminum from molten salts.
Different Types Of Bus Bars:
The most popular kinds of copper busbar present in the industry today are rigid busbars, strain busbars, and insulated phase busbars. Each of these various types of busbars has different applications and uses.
The rigid busbars utilized in low, medium or high voltage applications, constructed with aluminum or copper bars, and they make application of enamelware to insulate them. As for the strain busbars, they are mostly utilized in high voltage applications and usually strung between the metal structures of a substation.
They are tied in place by suspension-type insulators. Lastly, as for the insulated-phase bus bars, they are managed at the medium voltage and similar to the rigid bus bars, they are rigid bars that are sustained by insulators. These busbars can reduce short circuits between adjacent phases.
Importance Of Bus Bar:
When you want to use a huge amount of electricity, it is essential to support the busbars with insulation to stop any accidents from happening whereby someone may accidentally touch the bus bar. Insulation can either help the busbar or surround it.
They can prevent from accidental touch by placing the bus bars at an elevated height so it would not be easily available or by a metal earth enclosure. Some bus bars such as the earth bus bar can be bolted directly into the housing chassis of their enclosure. This restricts unwanted touch and also saves the bus bar from any harm it may incur when left exposed.
There are many other ways that busbars can connector the electrical apparatus with which they would handle with such as by bolting, clamping or welding connections. Panelboards, switchgear, or busways usually contain the busbars, and the distribution boards split the electrical supply into various circuits.
Busways are a type of busbars that have a protective cover and are long in shape. Also included to as bus ducts, these devices allow the electricity to branch out to different circuits at any point along its surface; unlike regular busbars that provide branching off the main supply only at one location. In a flat plate solar collector, there is a thin strip of copper or aluminum between cells that conducts electricity called a busbar.