Oct. 3, 1961 P. M. cHRlsTENsl-:N
BUS DUCT Original Filed Aug. 30. 1956 M f.. ml Tl INVENTOR PAM/L M C//R/s TeA/sew v BY 5 ATTORNEY lllllrurlllnlldill- "lill I'III United States Patent "ice BUS DUCT Paul M. Christensen, West Orange, NJ., assignor to Federallacilic Electric Company, a corporation of Delaware Original application Aug. 30, 1956, Ser. No. 607,028, now
Patent'No. 2,966,540, dated Dec. 27, 1960. Divided and this-application Mar. 3, 1960, Ser..No. 15,022
- 1 7 Claims. `(Cl. 174-99) .mon supporting; means fixing their arrangementfand at .the 'Sametime' insulating the bars fromeach other so as 4to enable operation of the bars' at different voltages.
Distribution bus bars` are commonly required to be enclosed in a` protective metal. duct. Accordingly, a
furthergobject of the present invention is to provide a rnovelbus duct, including `a duct containing distribution g 'aimstozi Patented Oct. 3, 1961 connection between successive lengths of bus-duct in such'way as to enable tap-offs to be madek conveniently at the time that the bus duct is being installed, and in such way as to enable tap-offs to be made in the future without separating or removing any of the installed' bus duct. By virtue of the novel arrangement, new tapolfs are readily made, easily and directly.
n Further features of the invention and its other aspects and advantages will become clear from the following detailed disclosure of an illustrative embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings. In `those `drawings FIG. 1 is a side view of a portion of a vertical run of bus duct, with a cover plate removed to reveal a connection between two unit-lengths of bus duct;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-section along the lline 2-2 of FIG. 3, and
FIG. '3 is an enlarged cross-section of `a duet in FIG. l along the' line 3-3 therein; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged detail of FIG. 3.
Referring'nowy to thendrawings, six bus bars are shown enclosed within a metal ,duct. The bus, bars are ordilnarily of copper or; aluminum, and the enclosing ductr is `ordinarily ofr sheet ironwhich may or `may not be sembly and electrically insulated yfrom each other, by
`novel means contained in the duct, where such means does not dependl upon the enclosing duct to hold the -bus barsin the required assembly.
. C of the load and of each tap-oil.
Bus duct frequently extends horizontally from the 'input power source such as a transformer, to various distribution points ralong a horizontal run. The run may `branch from pointto point. The bus duct also may be used as a riser, as in a building having multiple stories.
In such installations, tap-offs may be made at the varilous floors. 'In vertical installations, the enclosing duct .may be'txed against ver'tical shifting by .external fasson., Bus duct `is manufactured inunit lengths, ordi- `narily'of l0`ft."each,` and theends ofthe bus bars should l.be fixed Ain position,l in relation to each other and in -relat'ion `totl'ie ends ofithe enclosing duct, whether the ,ductis installed horizontally or vertically.
Busv duct characteristically is intended for heavy currents. f Where Vvheavy currentsare carried over any substantial length of lduct,'thei'e is possibility of a serious voltage drop de- .veloping because ofthe reactance of the bus bars. In accordance with apfurthe'r feature of the invention, the lengths of bus duct are made ofV bars assembled in closely spaced pairs, wherey the 'pairs are` spaced relatively far -from each' other, and'wherethe bars of the run are interconnected at their ends in a way to form loops in 'which currents can be induced such that the usual high 'magnetic 'fields and theY reactance associated with the bars are minimized. rThe ,bars may befor `single phase; i
orltheymay be `for three-phasein which case therewould lbe two barsiper phase, or four or six bars per phase.
At the ends of the unit-lengths of bus duct,.where "eachlength joins another, the individual busbars are bentinto positions that do not maintain the paired-phase 'relatitmshipfbunr instead, the ends are spaced in a way Ato enable the individualbars of each length to be joined` Vto the, corresponding vbars ofthe next length of duct.
further`lfeature of the present inventionvresides in the d liberally perforated vfor improvedventilation. The six :bus bars shown'arfe designated A', B", B', C, C and A", these lettersl being representative of the three input terminals of a three-phase source, A, B and C; and the -bar designations alsorepresent three terminals A, B and It will be under- -stood that at the source, and at each tap-off or load, the bus bars are connected to each other so that bars A and A"' are joined to provide a single terminal A; bars B Vand B` present a single terminal B, and bars C' and C present `a single terminal C. Bars A and B are close to each other. Similarly bars B and C form a second pair, and C and A" form a third pair. The :pairs of 'bars may be spaced trom each other by 2 inches, with .1A inch bars 2 inches in widthbeing separated by a faceto-face distance of 1A inch within the pair, in an example. This arrangement gives a low-reactance 'characteristic vas contrasted with three heavy conductors A, Band C which might be enclosed in a duct and spaced from each other by thesatne two inches that is here provided between the pairs. "I'he end above-mentioned connections .form short-circuit loops for circulating current that tends to lmin'inaizethe magnetic fields' about the;`bars and thereby to-minimize'reactance. j Y Y A bus duct is divided into even lengths, for example,
ten feet, in order-:that the individual lengths "may be assembled where 4manufactured and may be transported in units whos'e weight is not excessive for handling. -In FIG. 1, twov such unit-lengths are shown joined to cach other by a connection which appears at the bottom of the ligure. Corresponding conductors'of vthebottom unit-,length of duct re joined to'like bars ofthe upper section.V Furthermore, the conductors B and B are joined to each other. Where conductors A and YA" of the two units are-joined, there is a lap joint 10 involving two conductors'at each joint. 'Four conductors overlap lwhere' "conductors B and B" of one unit-length of duct are joined toconductors B andBf of the other unit length of duct, and similarly a four-conductor lap joint v1,2 is formed vfor the conductors C' and C. These joints arefmade bymeans of bolts and nuts (not shown) which are inserted in the `spaces provided, between the several joints 10 and 12, and they extend so as to occupy a partof that space. g The various conductors within the length of duct illus` trated have" oifset endportions where these lap-joints are to be formed. The lower ends of the conductors in the upper unit length of duet (FIG. 1) are formed with only Y enough longitudinally extending metal to' provide this lap-joint; but the conductors of the lower unit length of `devices are used, appropriate formations are provided in the joint-forming areas of the bars for such fastening devices. The right-angled tap-off conductors 16 extend veither into the ends of branch distribution bus ducts, or to the terminals of other -forms of loads. The ends of the Vbus bars of each unit length of duct are in alignment transverse of the duct as are the overlap connections vand 12 and the tap-off connections 16. Each such connection has adequatemechanical and insulating clearance from all the other connections.
As shown in FIGURES 1 and 3, the conductors are enclosed in a sheet metal duct 18 having topV and bottom covers 20 and 22, and side members 24 and 26 formed as channels. Covers 20 and 22 have in-turned edges 2S which overlie edges 30 of side members 24 and 26. Suitable fastening devices 32 unite the enclosing duct into a rigid assembly. As seen in FIGURE 1, side members 24 and 26 are of greater length than the cover 20. This enables the unit lengths of duct to be assembled with the overlapped end portions of the conductors exposed lfor access. Where no tap-off is made, the opening left by cover 20 of the duct is-then covered by a suitable cover plate. Where conductors 16 of a tap-olf or of an input or terminal junction is formed, then a branch duct is naturally provided.
Each of the six conductors in the three-phase distribution duct illustrated actually carries current of its own unique phase'relative to the currents in the other conductors, and each is insulated from the others and from the enclosing duct. (The foregoing statement is true despite the connections 12 shown between the pair of B conductors and the pair of C conductors respectively, but the theoretical explanation of that phenomenon is omitted as unnecessary to an understanding ofthe present invention.) Means is provided for holding the bus bars in proper spaced relationship from the covers and side walls of the duct 20, 22, 2'4, and 26, and to maintain the conductors in their proper spaced arrangement, previously described, while providing-theinsulation necessary to sustain the phase relationships that are developed between the currents of the several bars. 'Ihis means includes a series of supporting frames 34, of a form such as that illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3. As seen particularly in FIGURE 2, a pair of members 36 are disposed at opposite edgesof conductor A', these members gripping that bus bar by virtue of clamping bolts 38 that extend through suitablebores in both members 36. A pair of channels 40 extend along -the respective members 36 to provide recesses for receiving the nuts and the heads of bolts 38. Advantageously, the recess which receives nut 32 should be formed complementary to that nut so as to prevent it from turning when the bolt is being tightened. Where the channel I40 is used, and therefore has a continuous longitudinal recess, the width of the channel is vmade only slightly larger than the nut.
Aadded so as to extendf'thetotal lengthof theuneinber 36 and thereby accommodate additional pairs of conductors where this is required. A three-phase system employing three pairs of bars as illustrated might easily require an additional bus bar or two for a half-neutral or for a fullneutral; or the duct might well be extended to have twelve bars in a heavier-current installation; and this in turn might be extended to include any numberofneutrals. With each such extension, additional pieces 36b would be added.
It should be understood that the subdivision of the frame members 36, while advantageous; is not'essential, for members 36a, 36b, and 36s are contemplated to be made as an integral element, further integral with channels 40. Where members 36 and 40 are made separate, they can each be formed of an extrusion. However, unitary composite members 36-40 may readily be cast.
Members 36 and `40 are preferably of aluminum or other nonferrous material where the bolts 38 are of a magnetic material, in'order to avoid formation of closed magnetic loops about the conductors. Even though the magnetic field associated with the paired conductors is of Aa low order of magnitude, it is advantageous to avoid such closed-circuit magnetic paths about the paired conductors. Further, the aluminum is an advantage in respect of weight.
An advantageous feature of the invention is that members 36 are of metal, formed with locating recesses 46 (see FIG. 4) for receiving the insulated bus bars. As such, they eliminate the vulnerability of ceramic insulators and the like to mechanical shocks that develop upon occurrence of short-circuits.
1n FIG. 4 the bars A and B" as of copper or aluminum are seen to be wrapped with insulation 48. This insulation for example is a first layer of varnished cambric having an adherent layer of permanently tacky adhesive to maintain good thermal contact with the bus bar for effective heat transfer from the bar for dissipation; and an outer wrapping of cotton tape with like adhesive is applied over the varnished cambric. The wrapping of insulation is used particularly where the enclosing duct is of foraminous metal for eilcient ventilation, as of expanded sheet steel, for example. Small patches of insulation are placed between the formed recesses 46 in members 36 and the bus bars. Two layers are shown here, a first layer of rubberized insulation 5'0 and a further layer 52 of a vulcanized fibre. Y
Bus bars of the type here involved are ordinarily used at a voltage between 220 and 600 volts. The wrapped insulation, primarily the varnished cambric, provides suitable electrical insulation to withstand this potential. The additional wrapped and isolated insulation 50 and 52 is provided as a precaution against a possible break developing in the wrapped insulation and to absorb mechanical shocks. Such `shocks vmay be expected when momentary short circuits are imposed on the bus bars, depending on phase relationships, heavy short-circuit currents in the paired bus bars ordinarily tend -to repel one another.
The metal frame represented bythe bolts 38 and the assembled metal frame members 36-'40 is Yadmirably well suited to resist short circuit stresses developed betweenthe bus bars, in a manner superior to any molded or ceramic insulator such as has heretoforebeen used for this purpose. This frame is self-supporting and maintains the bus bars in the required arrangement without reliance in any way on the enclosing bus duct. Moreover, when 'the bolts are tightened suitably, the possibility of the bus bars sliding lengthwise relative to the frames or to each other is virtually eliminated.
A series of channels 54 are united as by welding to the top and bottom covers 20 and 22 ofthe duct for receiving and locating the bar-gripping frames 36--38- 40-42- By this means, the bus bar assemblies areprevented from endwise 'shifting'within ithe 'duct so as to press-rvs theinitiatassembly Aoff the unit lengths of duct t forinstallation despite normal hazards of handling, and
further to resist vthe heavy weight of the bars in the case of vertical riser applications of the bus duct. y
'I'he foregoing illustrative description of the invention as applied to the particular embodiment shown in the drawings `is naturally susceptible of variation and varied substitution and application by those skilled in the art and, accordingly, the appended claims should be broadly construedin a manner consistent with the full spirit and transverse members which contain said groovesl being relatively wide compared to the bus bar thickness so that the pressure against said layers of insulation is distributed along the respective edges of said bus bars and along said layers of insulation. f
Y 2. An electrical bus duct including multiple bus bars, a covering of high dielectric-strength insulation on each of said bars, an enclosing duct about said bars, and a number of orienting frame structures fixing the bus bars in relation to each other and to the duct, each of said structures including a pair of transverse members of metal at opposite sides of the bus bars having individual grooves for receiving the respective bus bars, and tension- 6 wide compared to the busbar thickness so that the pressure against Ysaid layers of^ insulation is distributed along the respective edges of the bus bars.
4; Bus duct including plural pairs of wide and bus bars having the wide faces thereofin successive parallel planes and having the edges thereof in substantial alignment, said bus bars being arranged in pairs, said pairs being relatively widely spaced and the bus bars of each pair having their opposed faces spaced approximately by the thickness of the bars and means for holding Y Y said bus bars in said spaced relationship including a pair;
of parallel metal bars disposed opposite each other across opposite edges of said bus bars, said members having respective grooves for said bars individually, layers of flexible insulation separating the bus bars from said grooved metal bars, and tensioning bolts between said grooved bars, said bolts being disposed at opposite sid of each of said pairs of bus bars, the respectivesurfaces of said parallel metal bars which contain said grooves being relatively wide compared to the bus bar thickness so that the pressure against `said layers of insulation is ing elements pulling said members into gripping relationship with saidbus bars, and further elements of flexible insulation confined in said groovesl the respective surfaces of said transverse metal members which contain said grooves being relatively wide compared to the bus bar thickness so that the pressure against said covering and said confined elements of insulation is distributed along the edges of the bus bars, respectively.
3. An electrical bus duct including multiple pairs of thin, wide, flat bus bars arranged with their wide faces in successive planes and'with their edges aligned, the pairs being widely spaced from each other and the conductors of each pair having about the same face-.to-face separation as the bar thickness, an enclosing duct about saidl bars, wand a number of orienting frame structures xing the bus bars in relation to each other and to the e duct, each of said structures including a pair of transverse distributed along the edges'of the bus bars,i respectively.
5. Bus duct in accordance with claim 4 wherein said` frame members are of non-ferrous metal.
6. Aunit length of bus duct in accordance with claim 4 including channels secured to opposite walls of the bus duct for receiving and locating said metal bars and thereby locating said bus bars against endwise shifting within the duct.
7. An electrical bus duct including multiple bus bars, a covering of high'dielectric-strength insulation on each of said bars, an enclosing metal duct `about said bars, and 'a number of orienting frame structures fixing the bus bars in relation to each otherand to the enclosing duct, each of said 'framer structures including a pair of transverse metal members across Vthe edges of the bus bars,
said transverse metal members embodying opposedpairs of complementary grooves conforming individually to the respective edges of the several -bus bars, a layer of ilexible insulation received in each groove and separating the transverse metal members and the covering of insulation on the bus bars, and tensioning elements pulling said members into gripping relation with the bus bars, the respective surfaces of said transverse metalr members which contain said ygrooves being relatively wide compared to the bus bar thickness so that the pressure against said layer and said wrapping of insulationjisrdistributed along the edges of the busbars, respectively.
members of metal at opposite sides Vof the bus bars having individual grooves for receiving the edges'of said bus bars, tensioning elements pulling said members into gripping relationship with said bus bars, and layers of flexible insulation interposed between said bars and said members, the respective surfaces of said transverse metal members which contain said grooves being relatively References Cited in the file of this patent n UNITED STATES PATENTS j Stieglitz Jan. 20, 1959 thinv