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# Electrical Design Considerations Delivering Voltage and Current The starting point for bus bar design is identification

of the voltage(s) and current(s) that the bus bar will be required to distribute. Then, a candidate cross sectional area can be selectred and an initial conductor layout can be designed. The electrical properties of the conductor(s) must then be evaluated to determine if the voltage and current requirements will be met. The most important electrical property is resistance, which applies to all types of voltages and currents. If the bus bar is carrying AC current or DC switching currents, two additional electrical properties need to be considered: capacitance and inductance. Each of these causes its own type of reactance (opposition to electrical change). Those reactances contribute to the impedance of the bus bar, which is resistance (to steady current) plus the total reactance. Resistance Conductor resistance is calculated from the resistivity of the conductor material and the cross-sectional area of the conductor: Formula (2.1) R = p / A ohms/foot Where, p = resistivity in ohms x sq mils per foot (from table 3) A = cross sectional area in sq mils calculated from formula (2.7) Current through the conductor will generate heat, and the resistance of the conductor will then increase proportaionlly to the heat. This sounds like an out-of-control spiral, but the system will eventually come to an equilibrium determined by the amount of heat dissipated by the surroundings of the bus bar. An allowable temperature rise will need to be determined (see ampacity table), then the resistance recalculated at that temperature to check the impact on bus bar performance. Formula (2.2) R2 = R1 [1 + (T2-T1)] ohms/foot Where, R2 = resistance at new temperature in ohms/foot R1 = resistance at 20 C in ohms/foot T1 = 20 C T2 = new operating temperature in C = temperature coefficient of resistivity of the material (from table 4) Voltage Drop Calculation The voltage drop can be calculated using Ohm's Law Formula (2.3) V=Rxlxl Where, V = voltage drop in volts in the entire conductor length R = resistance in ohms/foot as calculated from formula (2.1) or (2.2)

## l = conductor length in feet

l = current in amperes given by the amperage requirements of the pplication If the voltage drop does not meet the application requirements, consider increasing the cross sectional area to lower the conductor resistance. Capacitance The capacitance is directly proportional to the conductor area and the dielectric constant, and inversely proportional to the insulation thickenss, as shown by this formla: Formula (2.4) C = 0.224 (k) (w) (l) / d picofards Where, k = dielectric constant of the insulation used w = conductor width in inches

## l = conductor length in inches

d = thickness of dielectric in inches Inductance Low inductance is a critical element for controlled and efficient operation of the bus bar as it prevents excessive transient overshoots. The inductance of a two layer bus bar can be calculated by using this formula: Formula 2.5) L = 31.9 (l ) d / w nano Henrys Where,

## l = length of conductor in inches d = dielectric thickness in inches w = conductor width in inches

Characteristic Impedance Low characteristic impedance improves the bus bar performance for AC loads, or during the transition when load currents are switching. Formula (2.6) = (L/C) Ohms Where, L = inductance C = capacitance Assumption: Effective loss less conductors and dielectric

Physical Design Considerations Cross Sectional Area Considerations and Determination The required cross sectional area of a copper conductor for a given amperage requirement and a temperature rise of 30

C max from ambient can be determined by the following formula: Formula (2.7) A = 300 x l x [1 + .075 (N - 1)] Sq. Mils Where, l = curent in amperes N = number of conductors For multiple layer bus bars, the cross sectional area calculated for each conductor should be increased by approximately 7% to account for the decrease in heat dissipation between conductors. This is already accounted for in formula (2.7) above. Conductor Thickness and Width Calculations The width calculation for a given cross sectional area can be determined by selecting an appropriate standard thickness and using the following formula: Formula (2.8) 6 w = A / (1 x 10 ) / t conductor width in inches Where, A = cross sectional area as calculated from formula (2.7) t = conductor thickness in inches selected from the list below Available Standard Alloy 110 Thickness copper conductor: 0.020", 0.032", 0.040", 0.062", 0.093", 0.125", 0.187", 0.250", 0.375", 0.500", 0.750" For a given cross sectional area and taking into consideration the space and structural application requirements, the combination of a very thin and wide conductor, or having a maximum w/t ratio, has the following benefits: Inductance is minimized; formula (2.5) Capacitance is maximized; formula (2.4) Low characteristic impedance The ampacity table gives the width, per formula (2.8) for a given current, a given conductor thickness and a temperature rise of 30 C max from ambient. A series of widths is calculated for the same current using all the available standard widths. The corresponding resistivity and inductance / length are calculated for each thickness and calculated width.

Material Options Conductor Copper alloy 110 is the conductor material typically used in bus bar designs. It has lower resistivity than brass and aluminum, which are also used. The tables below list some relevant physical and electrical properties of the most commonly used conductor materials in bus bar fabrication. Table 2 - Relevant physical properties of conductor materials used in bus bar construction Density @ CTE @ 20C Thermal Conductivity Metal Specification 20 C (lb/in) (x10-6m/mC) @ 20C (W/mK) ASTM B-152 Copper 110 .323 17 388 QQ-C-576 Copper 101 Brass 260 Aluminum .323 .308 .098 17 19.9 23.6 383 - 391 120 154 ASTM B-152 QQ-C-576 ASTM B-152 QQ-B-613 ASTM-B236

6061-T651 Table 3 - Relevant electrical properties of conductor materials used in bus bar construction Metal Copper 110 Copper 101 Brass Alloy 260 Aluminum 6061-T651 Resistivity () @ 20C sqmil/ft 8.1 8.1 29.06 13.35 Conductivity % IACS @ 20C 101 101 28 62 Thermal Coefficient of Resistivity () @20C (10-2/C) .393 .393 .098 .423

Insulation A variety of materials can be used for insulation between conductors and for the outer covers. If the bus bar is to be edge-filled, a rigid material is recommended for top and bottom insulators. If the outer insulation is sealed by pinch bonding, we recommend the use of a flexible dielectric film. The table below shows some relevant specifications for the materials typically used. The data presented in the table is for the base material without adhesive. Table 4 - Insulation material general specifications Dielectric Maximum Dielectric CTE 30 Strength Thickness Constant Continuous to 100C UL CTI @23C, Range @23C, Use (x1050%RH, Rating (volts) Temperature 6 (inches) 50%RH, m/mC) 60Hz (C) 60Hz (volts/mil) .010-.125 .003 .005 .010 .001 .002 .003 .005 4.3 3.3 1250 7,500 6000 5000 4500 3000 430-840 2860 140 120 12-16 17 94V-0 388

Material

## 94VTM- 4002 600 100175 175250 n/a

Kapton

(1)

3.9

(3)

200

17

94V-0

Nomex(1) Mylar/Tedlar(1,2)
1 2

## .002-.030 1.6-3.7 .005 8.5

220 105

16 NA

94V-0 94HB

Mylar, Nomex and Tedlar are registered trademarks of Dupont. Mylar (.003") bonded to Telar (.002") 3 Measured @ 23C, 50%RH, 1kHz Plating The plating material used is dependent on environmental requirements as well as electrical requirements. If required, products can be processed with RoHS compliant plating. Metal Conductivity % Table 5 - Plating materials Thermal Coefficient of Specification

IACS @ 20C Tin Nickel Silver Solder Alloy 60/40 13.6 11.8 105.8 10.0

Resistivity () @ 20C (102 /C) .42 .48 .38 .40 ASTM B545, MIL-T10727 AMS 2403, AMS-QQN-290, QQ-N-290 ASTM B700 AMS-P-81728, MIL-P81728

Potting There are a variety of different electrical grade epoxy resins that can be used to edge fill bus bars. These materials are specifically chosen by the bus bar manufacturer to meet the physical, electrical and environmental requirements of the application and the limitations imposed during the manufacture of the bus bar. Each manufacturer may standardize on a potting compound that is suited to its own processing capabilities, therefore not all manufacturers use the same material.