What is a Busbar?

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What is a Busbar?

A busbar is a grounded strip of copper or aluminum that conducts electricity, which acts as a current collector or distributor. These strips can vary in thickness and length, depending on the electrical load it will be assigned to carry. Busbars are used to distribute current to different areas within switchgear.

In the home, busbars can be found at the back of circuit breakers. The busbar is where the electricity from the main source courses through, to be distributed to the different circuit breakers within the home. There would be a different circuit breaker for different areas in the house such as the living room, the bedrooms, or the kitchen, and all of the electricity that is received by these areas pass through the busbar.

Busbars can be a flat strip or a hollow tube. They can range in size from just 10 square millimeters while those that carry huge electrical loads can be as big as 50 square millimeters in diameter. Busbars can be insulated or there could be an insulation shield around it. In larger operations, busbars may be elevated way above a person’s reach to prevent accidental contact. Some will have its own metal enclosure to prevent accidents.

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