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Define Your Terms: A Comprehensive Guide to Busway Types

Often we get the question “Hey, can I get ahold of some bus?” Our follow-up is usually “sure, but what do you mean by bus?” When customers ask for bus they could mean many different things such as track busway, bus duct, sandwich style busway, etc. A lot of people will use terms interchangeably. Whether you are a 30-year electrician talking to a procurement agent, or if you are just coming into the industry, “bus” is used many different ways. So, we wanted to define the terms that we use at Davis Infrastructure to make sure that we communicate clearly with our customers. 

To start, bus is nothing more than a stick of conductive material like copper or occasionally aluminum. To begin, let’s discuss what a segregated bus duct is. It is a three-phase, neutral system in housing together. Basically, each bus would have its own compartment within a shared housing. This is seen only in large systems with high amperage and energy. A step down from segragated bus duct is non-segregated bus duct. Here, in a common housing you will again have your A, B, C, and neutral that will share the same space that they run through. From there, we start to step down to sandwich-style Busway. Notice it is Busway and not bus duct. So, in sandwich style Busway we will have A, B, C, and neutral sandwiched tightly together in a shared housing. This is common with a lot of the buildings that Davis deals with. It is used for carrying energy long distances with low losses. You will see it running up to 4000-5000 amps and possibly even 6000 amps or higher. Next is our favorite, Track Busway. Track Busway is an open system, able to tie in from the bottom. Lastly is what we call raceway which just has a simple single backplane and tiny wires that come through. 

To conclude, knowing your terms is critical. Any time we come to a new project, we make sure to define the terms. It doesn’t do us any good if someone asks us for bus and we think all they need is sticks of copper when they thought they were referring to a Track Busway. So, again, define your terms, always ask, and make sure you are using the same language. English to English translation.

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Davis Infrastructure is proud to represent superior manufacturers and products, and to conceptualize revolutionary electrical power distribution system for data centers and mission-critical applications, retail, higher education market, industries, and any facility where power is needed. 

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