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Define Your Terms – Davis Infrastructure

Define Your Terms: Busway

Busway is a term that is often heard in the world of electrical engineering. Busways are used to distribute power throughout buildings, factories, and other large structures. Busways can be made up of many different components, including conduits, cables, insulation materials, terminations, and more.

Busway components come in various types to suit specific applications or needs. Busways are also designed with certain features for safety purposes which will be discussed later in this article.

Understanding busway terminology can help you better understand how these systems work as well as assist you when making decisions about purchasing the proper equipment for your projects.

Defined with Davis

Busway Terminology

These are some terms that we use at Davis Infrastructure to make sure that we communicate clearly with our customers.

Bus:  The term “Bus” is simply a stick of conductive material. It is a sheet metal duct used for conducting electricity to power cables or cable bus. They are typically copper or aluminum. Note that they are sometimes called bus bars.

Bus ducts:  Bus ducts are often used to enclose and protect busbars (otherwise known as bus). Bus ducts can be made out of many different types of materials, such as steel or aluminum.

Bus ducts provide a safe place for cables to enter and exit the system while protecting them from potential hazards like water damage, dust exposure, physical contact with individuals who may not know the dangers of the busway, etc.

Bus ducts are also used to seal off different sections within a system so that current cannot flow through it if an individual were to touch two separate points on both sides of the duct. Bus ducts can be equipped with locking mechanisms for security purposes as well.

Bus Ducts: Segregated and Non-segregated

  • Segregated bus ducts have a dedicated channel for each cable type (power, data, and communication). This prevents cables from coming into contact with one another and creating an electrical hazard.
  • Non-segregated bus ducts do not have any channels dedicated to specific types of cables and instead allow all types of cables to run through the same duct. This can be a problem because it increases the chances of cables coming into contact with each other and creating an electrical hazard.

But Wait there’s More!

Sandwich style busway:  From there, we step down a little bit further into what we call the Sandwich style busway. Note that this is a tagged busway and not bus duct. The three-phase system is sandwiched together tightly in a sandwich-style busway, just as the name implies.

They share a housing that typically has ear-like mounts on both sides and runs to the bottom. This is common in a lot of buildings we deal with at Davis Infrastructure. It is used for carrying energy or electricity over long distances with low losses. It runs up to 4,000 or 5,000 amps. It can be 6,000 amps or higher, depending on where you are.

Track busway:  This type of busway uses a single housing to contain all three phases of power. The track Busway can carry more current than a sandwich-style busway and is typically used in applications where higher currents are required.

Raceway:  A raceway is a type of enclosure that is used to protect electrical cables and wires. It protects wires and cables from potentially damaging conditions such as heat, humidity, corrosion, or water intrusion.

Raceways come in many different shapes and sizes and can be made out of various materials, such as steel, aluminum, or plastic. They are often used in conjunction with bus ducts to provide an extra level of protection for the cables running through them. Bus ducts can be either non-metallic or metallic, while raceways are only available in a metallic type of enclosure.

Revolutionary Electrical Power Distribution System

At Davis Instructure, we represent superior manufacturers and products such as Starline Track Busway and Plug-in Railway, the revolutionary electrical power distribution system for data center and mission-critical applications, retail, industrial, and higher education markets, or for any facility where power is needed.