Electrifying Designs Take the Boredom Out of Switch Boards
Many of us don’t think beyond the outer form factors of our home switchboards when having to do up a home. We pick out the outer shell that pleases us the most and leave the innards to the shopkeeper and our electrical contractor.
This short walk-through will help you appreciate the inner working of a switchboard and serve as a ready-reckoner when you need to speak next to your contractor about their fitment and purchase.
Distribution Board Basics
A distribution board consists of a meter, to measure power-consumption, and protective and switching devices, to start and stop the power-flow. It connects, controls, and protects the wiring in a building for easy and safe handling of incoming power supply. It also protects the electrical distribution system, and connected electrical equipment, from being damaged due to various faults, such as short circuits, over-loading, earth leakages, etc.
A distribution board is made of:
- A control panel for mounting the incoming supply circuit breaker, and other control auxiliaries
- A distribution panel for rows of Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCBs) or fuse units, etc.
- Installation accessories for fixing the components
- Service cable ducts, either surface-mounted or in-wall chases (encasements cut into the wall surface to hold wiring).
The term used to describe this type of distribution box is “way”. The number of “Ways” denote the number of single-phase/single-pole distribution. Circuit and Neutral are used.
- A single Pole and Neutral (SPN) distribution Board is mainly used for small, single-phase loads in house wiring or industrial-lighting wiring. It starts at 4-way (row), comprising 4 single-pole MCBs, and goes up to 12-way, with as many single-pole MCBs, as there are outgoing feeders.
- A triple-Pole and Neutral (TPN) Distribution Board is mainly used where there are dual sources of incoming power-supply (e.g. the utility source and emergency- generator source). This too, starts at 4-way (i.e. 4 nos. of 3-pole MCBs as outgoing feeders) and goes up to 12-way (i.e. 12 nos. of 3-pole MCBs as outgoing feeders)
Havells range of Metallica distribution boards come with a magnetic door lock, and easy-to-open door handles, in a range of outer finishes and colours – including a sparkling gold-coloured, scratch-resistant glossy-doored option for those going for an opulent decor. Havells range of designer distribution boards, include spring-loaded outer covers that can be opened by pressing a lock, in either transparent or translucent finishes with a tint of colour.
The next time you’re having a chat with an electrical shop assistant or a contractor, remember Beauty (and functionality) is more than skin deep. Know what lies beneath your distribution board’s outer door and ensure the safety and longevity of your home’s appliances by making an informed choice.