Low-Voltage Distribution Switchboards

The distribution switchboards, including the main low-voltage switchboard are essential to the reliability of an electrical system. However, in order to ensure that their optimum function is utilized, they must conform to precise specifications regulating the design and creation low-voltage switchboard assemblies.

Low-Voltage Distribution switchboards Definition

The distribution switchboard is the point in which all-incoming power supplies divide into separate circuits, each of which is managed and safeguarded by the fuses or switchgears of the switchboard. The distribution switchboard is further divided into a number of functional units, each encompassing the electrical and mechanical constituents that wholly contribute to the completion of a certain utility. The distribution switchboard represents a vital component in the dependability of the electrical system.

Low-Voltage Distribution switchboards Main Function: Protection

It is essential that the type of distribution switchboard be wholly modified for its purpose. Therefore, its design and construction must conform to the applicable electrical and work place guidelines. Ultimately, the distribution switchboard enclosure provides two forms of protection:

    -The protection of components, such as switchgear, indicating instruments, relays, and fusegear, from mechanical impacts, vibrations, and other external influences likely to interfere with operational integrity (i.e. EMI, dust, moisture, vermin, etc.).

    -The protection of human life against the possibility direct and indirect electric shock.

Types of Low-Voltage Distribution switchboards

Ultimately, the load requirements of the system determine the type of distribution switchboard installed. Additionally, distribution switchboards differ according to the type of application and the design necessary to perform the appropriate function. The primary distribution switchboards are:

Finally, distribution switchboards for exclusive purposes (i.e. heating, lifts, industrial processes) can be located either adjacent to the main low-voltage switchboard or near the application concerned. Sub-distribution and final distribution switchboards are commonly dispersed throughout the work environment.

Two Technologies of Distribution switchboards

Distribution switchboards are generally separated into two categories:

    -Traditional distribution switchboards: Normal located on a chassis at the rear of the enclosure. Indication and control devices are mounted on the front face of the switchboard.

    -Functional distribution switchboards: More commonly dedicated to specific applications, these types of switchboards are made up of functional modules that include switchgear devices together with standardized accessories for mounting and connections, ensuring a high level of reliability and a great capacity for last minute and future changes.

Low-Voltage Distribution Switchboard Standards

Compliance with appropriate industry standards is vital in order to ensure an adequate degree of reliability. However, certain types of distribution switchboards, specifically functional distribution switchboards, must comply with explicit standards according to the application and/or environment they exist in.

Standard IEC 61439-1: Three elements of IEC 61439-1 contribute significantly to dependability:

    -Clear definition of functional units

    -Forms of separation between adjacent functional units in accordance with user requirements

    -Clearly defined routine tests and type tests

Standard IEC 61439-1 discriminates between two categories of assemblies:

    -Type-tested low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies, which do not diverge significantly from an established type of system for which conformity is ensured by the type tests provided in the standard.

    -Partially type-tested low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies, which may contain non-type tested arrangements provided that the latter are derived from type-tested arrangements.