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United States Patent 1191 [11] Patent Number: 4,804,804

Hibbert et al. [45] Date of Patent: Feb. 14, 1989

[54] THERMALLY EFFICIENT POWER BUSWAY [56] References Cited
HOUSING U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,384,856 5/1968 Fisher
37
Inventors: Harold
Anthony
Dennis
Conrad
Conn’ A.C-
F.
R.L-Zuffelato,
Larkin,
Turmelle,
Rwhards,
Plainville,
SOuth
Kensington;
Farmington;
southmgmn;
Windsor;
all of Primary
4,379,916
4,673,229
3,584,138
3,761,603
Examiner-Laramie
9/1973
4/1983
6/1987
6/1971 Jorgensen
Hays
Flowers
Pritzen,
Shannon
etE.
Jr.
a1.atet
Askin
allal.

Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Richard A. Menelly; Walter
C. Bernkopf; Fred Jacob
“.1.13
437WN5MIHE/6521874. BX0AW
[73] Assignee: General Electric Company, New
York, NY. [57] ABSTRACT
A two-piece extruded aluminum alloy housing is shaped
[21] Appl. NO.: 122,863 to provide support and ground conduction facility to
power busway conductors contained therein. The two
[22] Filed: Nov. 19, 1987 piece housing is attached together with snap-?t connec
tors along its top and bottom surfaces. The housing is
[51] Int. Cl.4 H02G 5/06; H02G 5/10 attached to the busway power conductors by means of
[52] US. 01. . .. 174/162; 138/162; insulated bolts. The bolts may be hollow so that air can
174/682 ?ow through the bolts to aid in cooling the conductors
[58] Field of Search 174/16 B, 68 B, 70 B, within the housing by convection.
174/88 B, 99 B; 361/378; 439/114, 207, 208,
210, 212, 213; 138/157, 158, 159, 162, 166, 168 10 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets

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804. 14.804 FlGl . Patent Feb.1989 Sheet 1 of 3 4.US.

804 HG Z . 1989 Sheet 2 of3 4. Patent v Feb.US.14.804.

H | | L I 3 i)C .1989 Sheet 3 of3 4..804 17 kg “D\~\-\\__Hul ‘ rs /. 14.804. Patent Feb.US.

3. each representing a separate phase of a copper has heretofore been shunned because of the three-phase power distribution system are attached to relatively poor structural support properties inherent the busway housing unit 10 by aligning the thru-holes within such metals.S. 15 as indicated. and exhibits conductors. An epoxy-containing insulative bus conductors within the busway system which in coating is applied directly to the surface of the aper clude so-called “feeder” and “plug-in” systems. The electromagnetic properties induce thermal properties. The . I ‘ increases the tensile strength of the aluminum without rolled steel for example. 20 each other as well as to the interior surfaces of the To maintain electrical integrity between the separate housing side frames. has both thermal and weight substantially deterring from the good electrical and disadvantages. 1 is a top perspective view in isometric projec cal integrity while the pressure applied by means of the tion of the busway housing according to the invention connective bolt ensures good heat conductivity be prior to connecting with power bus conductors de tween the bus bars as well as between the bus bars and picted in phantom. The insulative coating BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS on the individual bus con'ductors maintains the electri FIG.555. bus conductors with the bolt or bolts that support the DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED busway housing since the busway housing is generally EMBODIMENT at ground potential.804 1 2 properties to support copper or aluminum bus conduc THERMALLY EFFICIENT POWER BUSWAY tors. 16 in erty of the ferrous metal further increases the thermal turn extend perpendicular from the respective top and load on the busway system when ground currents are bottom ?anges 13. 1 attached to the bus power plates that are bolted together on opposite sides of the enclosed bus conductors. One purpose of each individual bar electrically insulated to maintain the instant invention is to describe a structurally suffi electrical isolation between the individual phases as cient busway power distribution system which includes well as between the phase conductors and the neutral a support structure that is light weight. the metal support structure. in extruded form. The use of separate insulation strips 19 formed within the respective side pieces 11. No. No. 12 with between the individual bus bar conductors has hereto thru-holes 28 formed along the extent of the bus bars. such as silicone rubber. is next inserted within the holes through the insulation strips with the holes 65 the thru holes 19. while tured bus conductors to prevent electrical conduction providing intimate thermal transfer between the bus between the bus conductors themselves as well as be conductors and the heat radiating support structure. a ground conductor must be associated SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION within the busway power distribution system. with washer 21 is inserted through the insulative sleeve. 4.293 FIG. Corresponding rails 14. US. It has since been determined that aluminum-mag The aluminum alloy bolt is fastened to the busway hous nesium alloys. 25 tween the bus conductors and the housing side frames. 45. housing is dissipated to the surrounding atmosphere‘. have sufficient strength ing unit by means of a washer 22 and a nut 23. The side necessary electrical insulating properties therebetween. fore discouraged bolting the bus conductors directly to An insulative sleeve 24 made of a pliable elastomeric the support housing because of the difficulty in aligning material. The application of an insulative coating directly to the surface of the bus BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION conductors provides sufficient electrical insulation to Power busway used within multi-phase electric holes punched through the bus conductors without power distribution systems generally consist of long. 35 conductors. such as cold. Pat. pieces are formed from an aluminum alloy that greatly The use of a ferrous metal housing. allowing electrical conduction to occur between the rectangular bars of copper or aluminum material with individual bus conductors themselves. one or more bolts are used to tightly support the bus conductors within the housing. 28 and a solid aluminum alloy bolt 20 through the bus conductors and the support housing. Other known busway systems use the conductive housing side frames are apertured to receive an insula property of the steel busway enclosure to provide the tive bolt which tightly clasps the bus conductors to required ground conductor.804. U. 2. 2 is a cut-away top perspective view of the entitled “Bus Duct” describes the use of a pair of side busway housing of FIG. The use of an epoxy resin as an insulative coating for The busway housing unit 10 according to the inven bus conductors has bene?cially resulted in buswaysys tion is shown in FIGS. The relatively low ther provide added structural support to the busway housing mal conductivity of the ferrous metal housing reduces unit 10 and increased surface area to the side pieces for the rate at which the heat load generated within the improved thermal radiation to the surrounding air. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line It has heretofore been the practice in the art of bus way construction to avoid contacting any part of the 3—3 of the assembled busway system of FIG. hereafter The use of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and “bus bars”. and FIG. 4. Pat.673. Both side pieces are provided with a eddy currents within the busway housing when the bus top flange 13 and a bottom flange 15 which extend conductors are carrying currents in excess of several perpendicular to a ?at plate 8 on side piece 11 and a ?at hundred amperes. The bus conductors and the ing. The ?anges and rails carried by the busway housing.229 entitled “Electrical Distribution System 15 The invention comprises a power bus support hous With an Improved Housing” describes a busway system ing formed from extruded side frames made from a high that incorporates a ground bus within the busway hous strength aluminum alloy. cal codes. In accordance with state and local electri excellent thermal and electrical conductive properties. The poor electrical conductive prop plate 9 on side piece 12. when the bus conductors are directly bolted to HOUSING their respective support housing. Three or four bus bar power conductors 27. 1 and 2 to consist of an extruded terns having good thermal transport from the bus con side plate or side piece 11 positioned opposite a comple ductors to the busway housing while maintaining the mentary extruded side plate or side piece 12.

S. in turn. as described earlier. 12 are ex angulated slots. and second rails on an opposite end of another of said The convection cooling properties exhibited by the hollow steel bolt 25 is best seen by referring now to ?anges. A power bus support housing comprising: the top ?ange on the opposing side piece 12.804 3 4. 22 and nut 23. said interlocking busway housing unit in combination with the aluminum means comprising an angulated projection or an alloy bolt 20 and washer 21 described earlier. 3. The power busway system of claim 9 including conductors. of this invention to use a hollow steel bolt 25 which 4. Besides being easier to install and less expen insulative sleeve comprises an elastomer. It is noted that the alumi angulated projections and a pair of complementary num alloy from which the side pieces 11. aluminum alloy bolt 20 carries the heat generated those mounted within state of the art steel housings. is a linear additional means at said ends of said ?anges for connec function of the temperature of the busway which. The imity. generated within the busway housing unit due to the A light weight thermally and electrically conductive PR losses within the bus bars 27 becomes rapidly ex busway housing unit has herein been described. The pelled out through the opposite ends of the passage unique fastening arrangement between the bus bars and because of the pressure differential caused by the the housing bene?cially promotes high current transfer heavier cooler air surrounding the busway housing unit. case of the instant invention. is substantially lower than Ill Ill * * Ill . means. The power busway system of claim 4 including ent air displacing the hotter air existing within-the hol 50 fastening means on said side plates comprising a pair of low bolt. Pat. The arrows indicate the an insulative sleeve intermediate said attachment convection path drawn through the passage 26 within means and said bus conductors. The power busway system of claim 4 wherein said steel side pieces while exhibiting four times the thermal insulative means comprises an epoxy coating. insulative sleeve 24 serves to insulate the bus bar 27 insulative means on each of said bus conductors to from the hollow steel bolt 25 while the hollow steel bolt 45 electrically isolate said bus conductors from each serves to thermally and electrically interconnect the other and from said side plates. it is antici 8. The alloy. 9 on the side pieces 11 and 12. said second rails providing ground stab connection means. of a pair of ground stabs 30 attached to ground conduc 3. An angulated slot 17 extends along one edge of the top Having thus described our invention. the hollow steel bolt 25 by the heavier and cooler ambi 5. bars 27 are depicted in phantom in order to show the ?rst rails on an opposite end of one of said ?anges. The snap ?anges joined by a plate. The heated air mg. 40 hollow bolt attachment means extending through said It is noted that the insulative coatings 32 completely side plates and said bus conductors and holding insulate the bus bars 27 from each other as well as from said side plates and bus conductors in thermal prox the ?at plates 8. reduce the voltage drop that occurs over large linear 60 9. The electrical resistances. The bus angulated slot. and opposing side pieces 11 and 12. sive than standard busway housing units.916 can be bene?cially used as the insulative coat includes a passage 26 as shown in FIG. 12 due to the The epoxy resin insulative coating is applied to the bus good thermal conductive properties of the aluminum bars by electrostatic or ?uidized bed techniques. The support housing of claim 1 wherein said non tors 31 also depicted in phantom. within the bus bars to the side plates 11. truded is two and one-half times lighter than standard 6. No. FIG. in the 65 tion with ground stab connectors. what we claim ?ange 13 on side piece 11 to receive a complementary as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is: angulated projection 18 which extends linearly along 15 1. washers 21. a preinsulated addition of polyvinyl acetal and phenolaldehyde resins bolt could also be employed. interconnection between the angulated slots and projec 25 said ?rst rails providing hanger support connection tions on the top and bottom of the busway housing unit 10. 18 conductors. The top and bottom ends a pair of apertured non-ferrous metal side plates ar of the bus bars are tightly held by the snap-fit relation ranged on either side of a plurality of apertured bus between the top angulated slots and projections 17. tightly held together by means of the hollow steel bolt 4. A power busway system comprising: 25.U.804. The power busway system of claim 8 including extents of standard steel supported busway units since means at ends of said flanges for connection with the electrical resistance of the busway depends to a hanger supports. The power busway system of claim 4 wherein said pated that the thermal and electrical properties of the side plates each comprise a pair of ?anges joined by a instant busway housing unit design will substantially plate. large extent upon the electrical resistance of the bus 10. In operation. conductivity of steel and ?ve times the electrical con 7.379. each of said plates having a U-shaped con piece 12 to receive a similar angulated projection 18’ ?guration consisting of a pair of top and bottom formed on the bottom ?ange of side piece 11. and bottom angulated slots and projections 17' and 18'. the bus ferrous metal is selected from the group consisting of bars 27 with their intimate insulative coatings 32 are 35 aluminum and copper. 3 where the busway housing unit 10 is depicted in its operating position held by a pair of hangers 29 de 2. A similar a pair of opposing non-ferrous metal apertured side angulated slot 17’ is formed on the bottom ?ange of side plates. It is also within the scope with the epoxy such as described in . ?t relationship between the angulated slots and angu 20 means on one end of each of said ?anges for inter lated projections provides increased strength to the locking said side plates together. The power busway system of claim 4 wherein said ductivity. 4. through the bus bars with no appreciable voltage drop. In lieu of the insulative sleeve 24. The support housing of claim 1 wherein said side picted in phantom and connected with ground by means plates are extruded.