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Busbars are used within electrical installations for distributing power from a supply point to a number of output circuits. They may be used in a variety of configurations ranging from vertical risers – carrying current to each floor of a multi-storey building – to bars used entirely within a distribution panel or within an industrial process.
This publication describes the main issues that need to be addressed in the design of busbar systems, such as temperature rise due to energy losses; energy efficiency and lifetime cost; short-circuit current stresses and protection; jointing methods and performance; and maintenance.
Copper Development Association first published the popular Copper Busbars: Guidance for Design and Installation in 1936. The current edition adds significant content on busbar profiles and simplified formulae for busbar configurations. It is of particular benefit to design engineers of electrical distribution systems seeking to design efficient, economic and reliable busbar systems.
"Copper Busbars" is divided into six chapters. The introductory chapter focuses on materials for busbars, detailing the properties of a conductor material that are essential to achieve a long and reliable service life at the lowest lifetime cost. It reviews conductor materials for busbars and concludes that the required combination of properties is a very good match for copper.
The book includes a completely-revised chapter on current-carrying capacity. Original work performed for the book allowed to greatly simplify the calculation of current-carrying capacity of busbars by providing exact formulae for some common busbar configurations, and graphical methods for others. This should be of great help to designers in calculating ratings for their busbar systems.
The book also features a brand new chapter on profiles. This content was added because busbar profiles are seeing increasingly use in distribution panels and switchboards, but the design considerations for this application are significantly different from long vertical and horizontal busbars. It is a growing market since busbar profiles offer distinct advantages, such as material savings, lower assembly time, lower complexity and reduced scrap.
Other chapters cover lifecycle costing, short-circuit effects and jointing techniques for busbars. An annex provides valuable information on busbar coatings, focusing on the reasons for coating them, methods of coating, inspection and maintenance.