[Cu0201] Copper for Busbars - Guidance for Design and Installation

Author: David Chapman & Professor Toby Norris

Publication date: February 2014

© European Copper Institute

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Busbars are used within electrical installations for distributing power from a supply point to a number of output circuits. They may be used in a variety of configurations ranging from vertical risers, carrying current to each floor of a multi-storey building, to bars used entirely within a distribution panel or within an industrial process. The issues that need to be addressed in the design of busbar systems are:

  • Temperature rise due to energy losses
  • Energy efficiency and lifetime cost
  •  Short-circuit current stresses and protection
  • Jointing methods and performance
  • Maintenance.
    This publication provides the information needed to design efficient, economic and reliable busbar systems.

First issued in 1936, in this edition the calculation of current-carrying capacity has been greatly simplified by the provision of exact formulae for some common busbar configurations and graphical methods for others.  Other sections have been updated and modified to reflect current practice.