Panelboards: The protection’s protection.
If circuit breakers protect circuits from overloads and faults, consider panelboards the protectors of the protectors. Also referred to as distribution boards, breaker panels, or electrical panels, panelboards control the distribution of power while providing protection for circuit breakers and fuses. Panelboards are essential in all commercial, industrial and residential establishments, and are always contained within an enclosure.
The National Electric Code (NEC) defines a panelboard as follows:
- A panelboard is used to control lighting, heat, or power circuits.
- It must be placed in a cabinet or cut-out box.
- It must be wall-mounted.
- It must be accessible only from the front.
Choosing the right electrical panelboard.
While there are a few different types of panelboards, they are commonly split into two categories: lighting panelboards and power distribution panelboards. Lighting panelboards are most commonly found in residential applications, with a majority of its overcurrent protection devices protecting lighting and application circuits. Power distribution circuits are used in heavier applications, with a minority (10% to be exact) of its overcurrent protection devices protecting lighting circuits.
Make sure you know your electrical panelboard’s specifications and requirements before purchasing your panelboard.
Welcome to the only panelboard shop you’ll ever need.
Bay Power boasts a vast inventory of lighting panelboards, power distribution panelboards, as well as branch circuit monitoring devices. We carry a wide variety of panelboards in many standard panelboard sizes to meet your exact specifications. Choose from Eaton panelboards, Square D panelboards, Siemens panelboards, GE panelboards, and more.
Power Distribution Panelboards
Power distribution panelboards are typically used in commercial and industrial applications, and are defined as a panelboard in which 10% or less of the overcurrent protection devices (like breakers and fuses) protect lighting and appliance branch circuits. These are circuits that have overcurrent protection of 30A in at least one conductor.
Lighting panelboards are commonly found in residential dwellings. These panelboards have at least 10% of the overcurrent protection devices protecting lighting and appliance branch circuits. However, lighting panelboards can only handle up to 42 circuits. Since the limit is 42 circuits (or poles), and not 42 devices, auxiliary accessories like switches and shunts are not included.
Branch Circuit Monitoring Panelboards
A branch circuit monitor, otherwise known as a BCM, is a device that helps track information like amperes, volts, and watts. A branch circuit monitoring device also alerts you of any overloads, potential overloads, or whether a breaker is approaching its limit. Branch circuit monitors are used across all sectors and applications, so whether you’re looking for something residential or commercial, Bay Power will have your perfect fit.
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