AskDefine | Define busbar

Dictionary Definition

busbar n : an electrical conductor that makes a common connection between several circuits; "the busbar in this computer can transmit data either way between any two components of the system" [syn: bus]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Alternative spellings

Noun

  1. An electrical connector that carries a large current, especially one that is part of a power distribution system.

Extensive Definition

A busbar in electrical power distribution refers to thick strips of copper or aluminium that conduct electricity within a switchboard, distribution board, substation, or other electrical apparatus.
The size of the busbar is important in determining the maximum amount of current that can be safely carried. Busbars can have a cross-sectional area of as little as 10 mm² but electrical substations may use metal tubes of 50 mm in diameter (1,000 mm²) or more as busbars.
Busbars are typically either flat strips or hollow tubes as these shapes allow heat to dissipate more efficiently due to their high surface area to cross-sectional area ratio. The skin effect makes 50-60 Hz AC busbars more than about 8 mm (1/3 in) thick inefficient, so hollow or flat shapes are prevalent in higher current applications. A hollow section has higher stiffness than a solid rod, which allows a greater span between busbar supports in outdoor switchyards.
A busbar may either be supported on insulators, or else insulation may completely surround it. Busbars are protected from accidental contact either by a metal enclosure or by elevation out of normal reach. Neutral busbars may also be insulated. Earth busbars are typically bolted directly onto any metal chassis of their enclosure. Busbars may be enclosed in a metal housing, in the form of bus duct or busway, segregated-phase bus, or isolated-phase bus.
Busbars may be connected to each other and to electrical apparatus by bolted or clamp connections. Often joints between high-current bus sections have matching surfaces that are silver-plated to reduce the contact resistance. At extra-high voltages (more than 300 kV) in outdoor buses, corona around the connections becomes a source of radio-frequency interference and power loss, so connection fittings designed for these voltages are used.

Protection

Busbars are vital parts of a power system and so a fault should be cleared as fast as possible. A busbar must have its own protection although their high degrees of reliability bearing in mind the risk of unnecessary trips, so the protection should be dependable, selective and should be stable for external faults, called through faults.
The most common fault is phase to ground, which usually results from human error.
There are many types of relaying principles used in busbar
A special attention should be made to current transformer selection since measuring errors need to be considered.

References

Protective Relaying Theory and Applications
busbar in German: Sammelschiene
busbar in French: Jeu de barres
busbar in Hungarian: Gyűjtősín
busbar in Dutch: Busbar
busbar in Serbian: Сабирнице
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