The Electrical Panel is like a highway interchange for your house, delivering electricity to the outlets and appliances that run your home. It also performs two vital safety functions: preventing power overloads that can cause fires and helping you switch off circuits if there’s an emergency.
An electric panel is a metal box with breakers that you can turn on and off. It’s similar to a fuse box, but instead of round, screw-in fuses, it has circuit breakers that you can flip to turn devices on and off. There’s usually a double-pole circuit breaker at the top called the “Main” that controls the current to the other breakers in the panel. It has a number that indicates its ampere capacity, usually 100 or 150 amps.
When a circuit breaker has been turned off, it won’t allow any electricity to flow through that branch of your house’s wiring. In addition to the main breaker, there are two columns of other breakers with their respective red and black wires leading off of them. Each circuit should have a label that identifies which appliance it powers. Be sure to use labels that are easy to understand for someone who doesn’t live in your house, such as “upstairs west bedroom.” It’s a good idea to label each row of breakers individually as well.
If you’re having trouble turning on certain appliances, it could mean that your panel isn’t up to the job and needs to be upgraded. You’ll need to have an electrician come out and do a load calculation to find out how much current your house can handle, then upgrade the service panel to match.
Another sign that your service panel needs an upgrade is if the breaker slots are completely filled. This can be solved by adding a sub-panel with smaller breakers that can feed into the main panel and serve more circuits. Alternatively, an electrician can add tandem circuit breakers that fit in the same space as regular breakers but provide twice the amount of power.
In factories, industrial control panels are used for managing complex electric systems and making them safe for operations. These panels are insulated against shock and are fire resistant. They work on logical inputs given by sensors and proximity switches. A PLC (programmable logic controller) operates the entire system based on these logical signals. The control panels are available with different kinds of outputs, which vary based on the kind of operation being performed. These outputs are transmitted to other components via wires that connect to the control panels and the machines connected to them. If any outputs are faulty, it can lead to accidents and put lives at risk. For this reason, these outputs are closely monitored. If they become faulty, they are immediately shut down. This prevents any accidental mishaps in production that could result in fatal accidents.