What are Commonly used Electrical Components in the Distribution Cabinet?

When operating numerous electronic devices and machinery that rely on numerous power lines, circuit protection devices, switches, and other components, having a distribution cabinet is highly recommended. Distribution cabinets are assemblies that manage the various electronic devices of a facility for the means of supplying and redistributing electrical energy, protecting power lines from overload conditions and faults, and may even measure energy consumption as well. As a common feature of many facilities and buildings, having an understanding of the basic components found within a typical distribution cabinet can be useful.

As distribution cabinets contain and manage many electrical devices, it is paramount that they are fitted with proper protection from electrical faults. With circuit breakers, the flow of current can be stopped automatically for the means of preventing a short-circuit or fault. Generally, distribution cabinets will feature high voltage and low voltage circuit breakers, both being useful for specific loads. As compared to other circuit protection devices such as fuses, circuit breakers may be used multiple times without replacement.

Contactors are also common to distribution cabinets, and they are electrically-controlled switches that are employed for switching electrical power circuits. While often compared to relay parts, contactors are directly connected to high-current devices and are most often normally open in design to maintain current flow. For their applications, contactors are regularly used for the control of electric motors, capacitor banks, lighting, thermal evaporators, and other electrical devices.

Relays may come in multiple forms when present in the distribution cabinet, and two common types are thermal relays and intermediate relay parts. Thermal relays in particular operate through the heat that is generated as current flows into their heating element, and increased temperatures cause the deformation of bimetallic strips within the assembly. As the bimetallic strip deforms, it will reach a point where it pushes the connecting rod to break the flow of current. As such, thermal relay parts are often used for circuit protection. Intermediate relays, on the other hand, are commonly used for the means of translating an input signal into numerous output signals or to amplify a signal. Despite acting similar to a voltage relay, intermediate relays differ in the fact that they have an increased amount of contact pairs and each contact features a higher capacity.

Switches may come in numerous forms, and the push button switch is a type that is regularly found in distribution cabinets. The push button switch features a simplistic and low-voltage construction, and they are designed to be manually or automatically reset. For their uses, such switches often serve to relay start and stop commands to a circuit for the means of managing starters, contactors, and relays. Beyond such types, limit switches, cam switches, and other various switch components may also be present within the distribution cabinet for the means of controlling circuits and processes.

Indicator lights are very useful for conveying the status of various devices and machinery, though they can also provide warnings and other information as needed. When choosing between indicator lights, it can be useful to take advantage of common symbolic colors that are recognizable by most. For instance, a green light may be used to convey that operations are normal, while a red light can indicate an issue or warning.

Beyond the aforementioned components, there are many electronics and parts present within the distribution cabinet that assist in various operations. At NSN Orbit, customers can find a plethora of new, used, and obsolete parts that have come from top global manufacturers that we trust. With our purchasing power and market expertise, we leverage competitive pricing and rapid lead-times for our customers. Send us a completed RFQ form as provided on our website today and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less to provide a personalized quote for your comparisons.


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