Busbars and trunking systems within switchgear
A switchgear cabinet contains the following three main parts:
- Protection, control and measurement apparatus/devices
- Copper busbars and trunking systems connecting the ingoing and outgoing cables with the devices
- The enclosure and mechanical supporting systems
The average switchgear cabinet contains 80 kilograms of copper; however, the copper content varies widely depending on the power and voltage rate.
Aurubis copper is found mainly in the busbars and trunking systems, which are discussed here, but also in fuses and circuit breakers. Small quantities of copper are also used in other devices or as part of the switchgear cabinet.
Ever higher power in ever smaller cabinets
For switchgear mounted inside buildings, space is often limited. Solutions have been developed that enable the installation of switchgear of ever higher power in increasingly smaller cabinets. Examples include the use of finned busbar profiles that ensure maximum ventilation. Such busbars keep the temperature under limit values, even when a high amount of energy is transmitted inside a small cabinet.
Restricting eddy current losses is another reason to make use of complex busbar profiles, mainly for high-rated switchgear.