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Benefits of Open Channel Busbar In Mission Critical Facilities

Posted by E-I Engineering on May 15, 2017 3:33:00 PM

A power outage in a business can cause major inconvenience and a loss of profit. In a hospital, however, a loss of power can be truly disastrous, potentially resulting in tragedy. Facility managers in healthcare facilities are tasked with ensuring a 100% reliable power source that can deliver on current power demands as well as offer long term functionality.

Power distribution methods of the past were made up of Power Distribution Units (PDUs) and Remote Power Panel (RPPs) that supplied power to racks via underfloor cabling. Open channel busbar trunking systems provide a safer and more reliable alternative to the more traditional methods of power distribution.  

Here are some of the key benefits of open channel busbar trunking in mission critical power distribution:


Overhead, not underfloor

Open channel busbar trunking systems are typically installed overhead. There is therefore no clutter of wires under the floor, facilitating better air flow and saving energy. Installation of new circuits is much easier with an open channel busbar installation. There is no need for an electrician to carry out wiring work. Instead a tap-off box can be inserted at any point along the open channel, allowing power to be dropped down wherever needed.



Open channel busway systems are modular, allowing for easy expansion or reconfiguration of the system. With continuous power access slots and straight forward set up, overhead busbar trunking can be quickly installed wherever the power is required. The adjustable nature also makes it easy to add on an extra room or building and busbar relocation can be carried out with very little cost.


Lower costs

Installation of an open channel busbar system is competitive with older approaches to power distribution, and over the lifetime of the product, open channel busbar provides a much greater cost effective solution. These lower costs are a result of reduced installation and maintenance time due to the removal of panel boards and lengthy wires. Busbar systems require much less maintenance once they are installed. Due to their modular nature, racks can be added, removed or relocated without having to shut the system down. Furthermore, there is low initial expenditure required as the modular system can be added to when required.


Easy to estimate

Due to the simplicity and modularity of the open channel busway system, the cost can be easily gauged from the design phase right through to installation on site. There is no need for added technical tools to support busbar installation as the joints and accessories are easily fitted together



The compact design of open channel busbar trunking is especially advantageous when transmitting large amps of electricity. They also require minimal space, and eliminate the need for remote power panels which makes their compact design particularly beneficial.


Cooling efforts are also improved with better design and overhead installation. The shorter distance between conductors improves the resistance of overhead busbar trunking systems.



Open Channel Busbar Trunking vs Cables



Open channel busbar trunking


Space required

Low space requirements due to compact design and directional changes

Greater space necessary for bending radiuses and between parallel cables


Low-cost and very straightforward to make changes or expand the system.

Tap-off boxes can be added/removed/relocated while the system is live.

Changes or expansion require high costs and disruption to operations.


High cost of calculations and consumer locations must be fixed.

Consumer locations are flexible. The only mandatory calculation is the total load.



Security and flexibility are high priorities for mission critical healthcare facilities in 2017. Open channel busbar systems offer an approach to power distribution that ensures safety, flexibility, cost savings and improved efficiency in all aspects of operations.


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