Application Steps Which Improve Busbar Performance

October, 16 2014
  • Optimize Current Flow: the performance of a busbar can be increased by attaching the primary feed wire to the center of the busbar. The performance can be further increased by first attaching the primary feed wire followed by the highest load wire to the same terminal. This will allow the current to be carried by the large cables and avoid sending all of the current through the busbar. Although this will improve the performance of the busbar, it does not change the actual ampacity rating of the busbar and should not be used when comparing one busbar to another.
  • Increase Voltage Capacity: Most busbars have both an amperage and voltage rating. Higher voltage can be achieved by:
    • Increasing the creepage distance, which is the distance from a busbar mounting fastener to a grounded surface like a firewall. Creepage distance directly impacts the voltage rating of the busbar. Insulating the base and using insulating fasteners rather than conductive fasteners will significantly increase the safe operating voltage of a bus bar. The insulating system including the creepage distance has to prevent failure in the event of transients and surges in voltage.
    • Managing the buildup of corrosion will significantly improve the safety and service life of a busbar. No exposed busbar can be expected to operate safely with a live connection in a wet location. An exception would be busbars used for lightening protection and grounding systems.
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