So many years ago, the only way to distribute electrical power over a large area was to use a copper-based cable that transferred power from the power station to where it was needed. This is obviously unsafe and this led to the birth and invention of an electrical Busway.
According to NEMA, a Busway is a “prefabricated electrical distribution system consisting of busbars in a protective enclosure.” Basically, it consists of an insulating material, bus bars, and an enclosure. The role of the insulating material is to prevent electrocution and other electrical hazards.
This does not mean you should neglect safety rules. In fact, the National Electric Code has clearly warned against installing Busways were they are susceptible to corrosive vapors and physical damage. A busbar is a conducting component. The choice of bus bar usually depends on the type of Busway you purchase. A busbar can either be a copper type or aluminum type.
This method of distributing energy offers so much while saving you so much money. The materials required are not as expensive as plain old wire. They are not heavy too. Hence, your shipping cost is greatly reduced. Another great advantage of a Busway is its ease of installation. The connection and installation do not take so much time. Uninstalling it is also fairly easy in case you need to switch locations. This explains why frequently expanding companies use them.
On the other hand, the traditional method of assembling cable and conduit is a bit challenging. The materials required are not inexpensive. Also, installation is more difficult and it is even harder to uninstall components.
Busways are used for a few more applications. For instance, they are used in heavy equipment and air conditioning units. It is not uncommon to find them in high-rises buildings. This type of Busway is known as a vertical Busway. It does not require too much maintenance.
We also have horizontal Busways and they are mostly found in buildings with medium and low heights. They are also used for lighting and air conditioning applications. Unlike vertical Busways, they require consistent maintenance.
Two other types of Busway that are commonly used are plug-in Busways and feeder Busway. With a feeder Busway, you can transport electric power to a far distance. However, if you need to distribute power over a large area, a plug-in Busway is most suitable.