Types of Electrical Panel and Switchgear used in Industry

Hey, in this article, we are going to discuss a very interesting and knowledgeable topic which is the different types of switchgear and electrical panel used in industry.  Before in our 'Industrial Knowledge' category, we have discussed about the HVAC System, today we are going to discuss the types of electrical panels and types of distribution boxes used in industry, company, or factory.

Types of Electrical Panel and Switchgear used in Industry

What is Electrical Panel & SwitchGear?

Switchgear is nothing but a system or circuit consisting of operating, protective, and controlling devices such as circuit breakers, contactors, relays, CT, PT, etc. An Electrical Panel is a compact place or center where all switchgear, busbar, and feeders are housed. From an electrical panel, we can easily control, measure, and operate electrical power and devices.

Electrical panels are designed by considering easily electrical power transmission, distribution, and control with proper electrical safety. 

Main Parts of an Electrical Panel

Although an electrical panel consists of so many parts but here the main six parts of an electrical panel are described below which cover all the important devices and equipment of an electrical panel.

Incoming Feeder

The feeder is nothing but an electrical conductor which is the shape of a plate or rod or path made with copper or aluminum metal. It is an arrangement used to connect multiple electrical sources or loads in parallel.
In an electrical panel, the Incoming Feeder is that where all incoming power sources for that panel are connected. Generally, in an electrical panel, only one incoming source is provided and only one incoming feeder is available.

Incoming Breaker

It is a switching or protective device where the main power incoming of a panel is connected to it through the incoming feeder. Generally, for a very high-voltage panel, VCB(Vacuum Circuit Breaker) is used as an incoming breaker. And medium, low voltage panel uses ACB, and MCCB(Molded Case Circuit Breaker) respectively as an incoming breaker.

incoming breaker in electrical panel

The main function of the incoming breaker is to disconnect the whole electrical panel from the incoming power supply during any fault or maintenance. When it is turned off the whole electrical panel will disconnect from the electricity.


It is a metallic conductor or strip or junction where all incoming and outgoing lines are connected. A busbar is designed to carry the whole or maximum current of the whole electrical panel. It is the main part of an electrical panel and used in every panel. The size of the busbar depends upon the maximum current is to be carried.

Outgoing Breaker

It is the switching or protective device which is used to control the load. In an electrical panel number of outgoing breakers may be available, all are connected to the busbar. Generally, MCCB, MCB, MPCB, Isolator, and Contactor, are used as outgoing breakers.

Outgoing Feeder

The outgoing feeder is that where all loads are connected. In an electrical panel, there are a number of outgoing feeders available. Each outgoing feeder has their own circuit breaker or isolator or switch(known as outgoing breaker) to turn on or turn off the power flow.

Indication and Measurement Equipment

Every electrical panel is assembled with some important indication and measurement equipment such as Wattmeters, Energy meters, Ammeters, voltmeters, NO, NC, Indication bulbs(red for ON, yellow for TRIP, green for OFF), CT, PT, etc. Some modern electrical panel also uses Earth Leakage Relay, Master Trip Relay, etc. A core-balanced current transformer(CBCT) is mainly used to sense the earth leakage current.

Different Types of Electrical Panels Used in Industry

There are various types of electrical panels used in the industry according to application requirements. Those electrical panels used different circuit breakers, control systems, feeders, and busbars according to their capacity and use.

Different types of electrical panel are,

  • Main LT Panel
  • Transfer Switch Panel
  • Power Factor Panel
  • PCC Panel
  • HVAC Panel
  • MCC Panel
  • Lighting Panel
  • Control Panel
  • PHE Panel
  • Hydrant Panel

Main LT Panel

LT panel means Low Tension Panel which works with 3 phase 440V. It is the main panel of a company or building. All incoming power source(EB & Generator) for that building is fed to this panel. LT panel carries the whole load of a building. It consists of high capacity Circuit Breakers, Isolators, Bus-couplers, etc. LT panel is the incoming source for the main power control panel, HVAC Panel, etc.

When both EB and DG power supplies are used, the LT panel consists also DG control circuits and systems.

Transfer Switch Panel

It may be a part of the LT panel or separately installed. It consists of transfer switches, circuit breakers, etc. The main function of this panel is to switch the building load from EB to DG or DG to EB. When the main utility power supply is available it takes power supply from utility power but when the utility power supply is not available it connects the load circuit to the DG.

Power Factor Panel

It is a load itself. The power factor panel is a capacitive load used to improve the power factor to avoid penalty. It is directly connected to the LT panel to improve the power factor of the whole company or building.

PCC Panel

PCC means Power Control Center. It is the main panel to controls all loads or machines, and lights of a company. The incoming power supply for this panel was taken from the LT Panel. All machines or devices of a company are directly or indirectly connected to this panel. PCC panels also fed power to other sub-panels such as MCC Panels, lighting panels, Control Panel, etc.

HVAC Panel

It is also a high-power delivering panel like the PCC panel. All HVAC devices, machines, and equipment such as Exhausts, Air conditioners, Chillers, Cooling Towers, and Pumps are connected to the HVAC Panel. Its incoming is also taken from the Main LT Panel.

MCC Panel

MCC means Motor Control Center. It feeds power to all the motors of a company. MCC panel consists of circuit breakers, Contactor, VFD(Variable Frequency Drive), Motor Starters, Capacitor Banks, etc.

Lighting Panel

It is definitely a sub-panel which is used to control all lights of a building or company. It consists of low-rating MCBs, Switches, etc.

Control Panel

The Control panel is the practical implementation of the control circuit. Obviously, it is a low-voltage panel, even some of them operate with DC voltage. It consists of Relays, PLCs, NO, NC, alarm circuits, buzzer circuits, etc.

PHE Panel

PHE means Plumbing, Heating, and Electrical. It is a low-capacity sub-panel where small water pumps, heaters, water filters, motors, and other electrical devices are connected. The low voltage protection devices such as MCBs, and DOL starters are used in these panels.

Hydrant Panel

The hydrant panel is also a sub-panel, where all fire hydrant devices, and pumps such as Hydrant pumps, sprinkler pumps, and jockey pumps are connected.

Here, you can see the power flow block diagram between different types of electrical panels in an industry,

Electrical Panel block diagram

Types of Distribution Boards Used in Industry

Distribution boards are used for low-power distribution purposes. It consists of MCCB, RCCB as an incoming breaker, and MCB as an outgoing breaker.

Different types of Distribution Board are,

  • LDB - Lighting Distribution Box
  • ELDB
  • RPDB - Raw Power Distribution Box
  • TPN DB - Tripple Pole Neutral Box
  • SPN DB - Single Pole Distribution Box
  • DPDB - Double Pole Distribution Box

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Types of Electrical Panel and Switchgear used in Industry Types of Electrical Panel and Switchgear used in Industry Reviewed by Author on December 26, 2020 Rating: 5
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