Brian A. Rener, P.E., Vice President and Chief Electrical Engineer, A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc., Chicago

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Codes and Standards March 1, 2006

Switchboard or Switchgear?

Engineers, architects, contractors and facility owners often use the terms "switchboard" and "switchgear" interchangeably when referring to 480-volt (600-volt class) circuit breaker distribution equipment. But there are notable differences in configurations, components, standards, applications, reliability and selection criteria between these two types of power distribution equipment. What follows is an overview of these differences—and suggestions for selecting the right type for the project. A major difference between switchboards and switchgear is the type of breakers used.

By Brian A. Rener, P.E., Vice President and Chief Electrical Engineer, A. Epstein and Sons International, Inc., Chicago
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