MINI CASE STUDY
SPACE SAVINGS IN CONTROL PANEL DESIGN
Busbar In Place of Wire Can Offer More Compact Design
Real estate is expensive. Not only in terms of a home, but in terms of panel space. Often times a modest investment in the development of custom busbars can yield large returns not only by decreasing the size- and therefore material cost of a power distribution assembly, but also in the labor required to assemble it.
UL requirements for bending space are more rigid than a 500MCM THHN cable. Bending space for larger amperage circuit breakers can result in having 12” or more of “dead space” in an assembly. AMtec Engineers combat this issue by developing custom busbar assemblies. In addition to the aforementioned material and labor costs, these greatly increase quality and consistency and remove potential failure points. New technologies in dielectric epoxies allow “touch safe” copper bars that can be laminated together- creating a single part for multiple phase assembles.
Before Solar Balance of Systems products became a commodity, AMtec was designing and manufacturing its own product line of combiner and recombiner boxes. Due to the bending radius required for wire, the enclosures had to be oversized. While these were outdoor applications where space wasn't usually a limitation, the cost of the enclosure, packaging and transportation all increase with enclosure size. AMtec engineers discovered that using custom busbars in place of 500MCM flex wire could reduce enclosure foot prints by 50% and AMtec re-engineered the traditional layout to make extensive use of busbars as a replacement for wire wherever practical.
AMtec later applied this newfound knowledge to the design and manufacturing of power distribution boxes for our semiconductor clients. In doing so, more advantages of using busbars strategically were discovered, and new, proprietary design capabilities were developed. One main benefit is that we are now routinely able to squeeze more product and added functionality into a given enclosure footprint. A second key benefit is that the busbar, as opposed to wire, does not need to be resized when the ampacity of the power box increases. Because the ampacity of the busbar exceeds the load requirements, configuration changes can be as simple as swapping out circuit breakers.
If you've got a product or project where you could use new thinking that can save money, time, and space, while delivering amazing quality and reliability, let's talk.