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  • Load Centers 




    enclosure interior with service elements

    Load center is an industry term that applies to the types of panel boards used in residential or light commercial applications. The National Electrical Code® makes no distinction between a panel board and a load center. Rules and definitions that apply to panel boards also apply to load centers. The National Electrical Code® defines a panel board as a single panel or group of panel units designed for assembly in the form of a single panel, including buses and automatic over current devices, and equipped with or without switches for the control of light, heat, or power circuits; designed to be placed in a cabinet or cutout box placed in or against a wall, partition, or other support; and accessible only from the front (Article 1 00-Definitions).

    Load centers are affected by following regulatory bodies here in US like: National Electrical Code (NEC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

     Load centers are constructed of the following three parts: enclosure, interior, and trim.

    The enclosure is typically constructed of cold rolled steel (for indoor use) or galvanized steel (for outdoor use). Together with the trim, the enclosure is designed to provide component and personnel protection. Knockouts are stamped into the enclosure to provide a convenient means of creating holes for use in routing electrical wiring. Approved cable clamps or conduit hubs are used in the holes to secure and protect the cable and conductors.

     The load center interior mounts inside the enclosure and includes bus bars and related hardware.

    The trim assembly, sometimes called a dead front, attaches to the front of the load center and covers the interior. The trim assembly includes an access door and an adjustable upper pan. The trim assembly provides access to the circuit breakers while sealing off live parts and internal wiring. A circuit directory on the door, similar to one shown adjacent, provides space for listing the services protected by each branch circuit breaker.

    circuit directory

    The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA®) has established standards for electrical equipment enclosures. NEMA type 1 enclosure is intended for indoor use. NEMA type 3R enclosures are intended for outdoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against rain, sleet and damage from external ice formation. Load center enclosures typically conform to one of these NEMA enclosure types.

    [Tech Support]  Knowledge Base Information for:   Load Centers  
    Read from Knowledge Base and download a pdf file @  Article:   101 RENEWABLE - LOAD CENTER BASICSS 
    Fold | Unfold [ click ]  Read more...  

    Load center installation requires careful planning to ensure a safe environment for personnel and equipment. Article 110.26 of the National Electrical Code® covers spaces about electrical equipment. The intent of Article 11 110.26 is to provide enough working space for personnel to examine, adjust, service, and maintain energized equipment.

    NEC code paragraphs, articles, associated to “Load Centers” a.k.a. “Panel Boards”:

     NEC® Article 408,

    offers a broad requirements for load centers from all electrical and mechanical aspects of this issue.

     NEC® Article 408.36,

    requires that a panel board have an over current protective device with a rating that does not exceed the panel board’s rating. This over current protective device can be located in the panel board or on the supply side of the panel board.

     NEC® Article 110.9,

    states: equipment intended to interrupt current at fault levels shall have an interrupting rating sufficient for the nominal circuit voltage and the current that is available at the line terminals of the equipment. Equipment intended to interrupt current at other than fault levels shall have an interrupting rating at nominal circuit voltage sufficient for the current that must be interrupted.

     NEC® Article 210.12,

    is about requirements for arc fault circuit interrupter protection are covered inside this article.

     NEC® Article 210.8,

    describes the requirements for ground fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel in a variety of locations which affects the equipment mounted inside the panel boards.

     NEC®Article 110.26,

    of the National Electrical Code® covers spaces about electrical equipment. The intent of Article 11 110.26 is to provide enough working space for personnel to examine, adjust, service, and maintain energized equipment.

     NEC® Article 110.22,

    requires the series ratings to be marked on the enclosure. Series-rated circuit breaker combinations must be tested in series in order to be UL recognized.

     NEC® Entrance Equipment Article 230.71,

    specifies that for each set of service entrance conductors no more than six switches or circuit breakers shall be used to disconnect and isolate the service from all other equipment.

     NEC® Article 230,

    covers the installation requirements for service conductors and equipment. Service equipment is the necessary equipment, usually consisting of circuit breakers or switches and fuses and their accessories, connected to the load end of service conductors to a building or other structure, or an otherwise designated area, and intended to constitute the main control and cutoff of the supply. Service equipment does not include the metering equipment, such as the meter and/or meter enclosures In the same time article 230 covers the service conductors. This is the conductors from the service point to the service disconnecting means (service equipment, not meter). Service conductors would include service-entrance conductors for both overhead (service drop) and underground (service lateral).

     NEC® Article 250,

    it is all about grounding. Article 250 covers general grounding and bonding requirements for all electrical installations not specifically mentioned in other articles such as Article 680: Swimming Pools. NEC Article 250 covers general requirements for grounding and bonding of electrical installations. For example, which systems are permitted to be grounded and ungrounded, which conductors are to be grounded, the location of grounding connections, the types and sizes of equipment grounding and bonding conductors, and methods of grounding and bonding.

    The information posted herein has been compiled by Clean Energy Brands from OEM product data and reputable publications. All rights reserved!



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