What is a Distribution Panel and How Does it Work?
If you are providing power for a variety of different components at the same time, using a distribution panel is probably the best option to consider. You have probably seen these before – typically they are represented by a metal panel that opens to a variety of on and off switches. This is the control panel where you can control the power for different components and locations throughout your business, or wherever the panel is installed.
To understand what a distribution panel is, there are certain features that you need to know.
What is a Distribution Panel?
A distribution panel is found in just about any home or professional office building around the world. To put it simply, a distribution panel is where the main source of electricity is controlled for a large area such as a live event, warehouse, or office building.
Distribution panels can either be large or small. The number of circuits depends on the needs of the location that is being powered. Below, we will cover what distribution panels are and how they work in greater detail.
Basic Functions of a Distribution Panel
Power Source for A Whole Set of Gear
As briefly mentioned, a distribution panel is the main source of a large set of electrical circuits. Distribution panels work by combining circuits from many different locations into one central hub. This allows you to access the entire electrical grid for your home from one spot.
Breaks Power off into Separate Sources
A distribution panel works by providing one main power switch that controls the power for all circuits. When turned off, the main power switch can temporarily shut down the entire grid. However, there are also times when you might need to control the power for separate components or locations in your home.
For this reason, a distribution panel will separate each of the circuits into their own switches. This way, if you needed to shut off the power in just one location of your home you can do so without turning off the power for other areas that do need power at that time.
Safe and Reliable Means to Power Up Large Buildings & Homes
Without a distribution panel, powering up your office building or warehouse would be quite dangerous. Imagine running hundreds of different electrical cords from different locations to your local municipality’s electrical grid. Without distribution panels, powering up large complexes with a complicated electrical system would be a total nightmare.
How a Distribution Panel Works ?
Electricity is typically created at a local power plant in your locality. Once created, it is sent off into the central power grid which connects to your entire city. Your building has the privilege to connect to the central grid, of course, so long as you are responsible and pay your electricity bills.
Your building also needs to have its own power grid, much how the city does. Otherwise, you would never be able to organize the use of your electricity. This is where having a distribution panel comes into play. By using one main circuit that separates into several smaller circuits, you can easily control the flow of electricity for an entire home.
When you need to shut off all the power for your home or office building for whatever reason, simply turn the main switch off. If you need to turn off the power in one room or for one major appliance, a distribution panel will typically have a separate switch for things like these. It all depends on how you wire the panel.