To design an electrical panel is a complex process that requires a series of well-defined steps to ensure the panel is safe, efficient and capable of meeting the specific needs of the application.
Today we want to give you an overview of the different stages required.
The first phase involves understanding the needs of the electrical system. This includes defining the specifications requested by the user, power, voltage, current, environmental characteristics and safety requirements, and the list of electrical devices that must be controlled or protected by the panel.
Choice of components
Based on the needs of the project, the components of the electrical panel are selected: switches, contactors, relays, fuses, transformers, and protection, control and ventilation devices, as well as those for lighting and safety. The choice of components must take into account the technical specifications and applicable safety regulations, which may vary depending on the country in which you are located.
The layout design defines how the components will be positioned within the electrical panel. This phase considers the organization of components to maximize efficiency and ensure easy access for installation, maintenance and problem diagnosis.
This phase involves the design of the wiring system inside the electrical panel. This includes routing cables, sizing conductors, identifying safe cabling routes, and clearly labeling cables to facilitate maintenance and troubleshooting.
Choice of enclosure or cabinet
It’s important to select the appropriate enclosure or cabinet that will protect the electrical panel from external agents, such as dust, humidity and chemical agents. The choice of material and dimensions of the cabinet is essential to guarantee the durability and safety of the switchgear. Furthermore, it is necessary to ensure correct heat dissipation, caused by the activity of the components installed in it.
Drawing of electrical circuits
In this phase, detailed drawings of the electrical circuits inside the panel are created. These diagrams show how the components are connected to each other and allow a clear understanding of how the enclosure works.
Selection and programming of control devices
If the electrical panel is intended to control an automated process, this step includes the selection and programming of PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) or other control devices that will manage the operations.
Calculation of dimensions and currents
To ensure that the electrical panel can manage currents safely and efficiently, it is necessary to calculate the dimensions of the conductors, the values of the fuses and switches, and size any thermal protection devices.
Verification of regulations in all design phases
Throughout the design process, it is essential to verify that the electrical panel complies with local and international electrical safety regulations. This is a critical step to ensure operator safety and legal compliance.
Construction and installation
Once the design is complete, the electrical panel can be built and installed on site. It is important to ensure that the installation is carried out by qualified personnel and complies with all safety criteria.
Testing and commissioning
After installation, the electrical panel must be tested to ensure that it works properly. This includes checking circuit continuity, functionally testing all components, and monitoring performance.
Finally, it is essential to maintain accurate project documentation that includes all drawings, schematics, manuals, test reports and certifications of compliance. This documentation is important for future maintenance and to demonstrate regulatory compliance.
Electrical panels in cloud
Thanks to the most modern data management technologies, the measurement of data on the operation of the equipment is now also introduced into the project, following the installation of the panel.
They range from the measurement of very specific drivers, such as trends in climatic conditions or vibrations caused by wear of the actuators to the actions performed by users. All data constitutes a valuable asset in future design, to create products in less time, better, more efficient and capable of satisfying customer needs more accurately.
In summary, designing an electrical panel requires careful planning and careful consideration of multiple technical factors, regulatory and safety to ensure that the final result is safe, efficient and suitable for the needs of the application.