What is the function of a switchboard?

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What is the function of a switchboard?
Electric switchboards contain switches that direct current between sources. (switch image by Clark Duffy from Fotolia.com)

Switchboards consist of various electronic apparatus used to operate electric circuits. The function of a switchboard is to transmit electricity from one source to another.

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Circuits

Switchboards typically contain electrical panels, which in turn hold switches -- devices that interrupt or switch the flow of a circuit -- enabling the circuits to be controlled, or properly directed. Switchboards may also contain circuit indicators that detect the strength of circuits. For a switchboard to function, the amount of power transmitted by the switchboard must equal the power it receives.

Controls

Devices such as single or multiple generators typically control the electricity supplied to the switchboard. It may also use frequency gauges and synchroscopes, which measure the synchronisation between systems of power networks and generators.

Busbars

Switchboards contain a set of busbars, or strips comprised of aluminium or copper, used to transmit high electrical current in a switchboard. Busbars connect to a relay or switchgear -- a combination of electrical disconnects, breakers and/or fuses used to clear faults and de-energise equipment.

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