Drives and Controls Magazine
Push-in busbar clamp challenges traditional connections
Published:  01 June, 2017

Rittal has invented a new method for connecting wires and cables to copper busbars which, it claims, is the fastest way of making such connections easily and securely. It adds that the technology will reduce the possibility of defects such as incorrect compression and clamp loosening, while its maintenance-free design should be more reliable and will cut maintenance costs.

Rittal argues that the traditional methods for connecting conductors to busbars – usually screw clamps or fixed conductor connection clamps – are time-consuming.

Push-in connections are already widely used in other applications, where they allow quick and easy connections. Rittal hopes that the new clamps will extend these benefits to busbar systems, making life easier for panel-builders and switchgear manufacturers.

The push-in clamps will be available in two ranges covering different cross-sectional areas – 0.5–4mm2 and 1.5–16mm2 – and for use with 5mm and 10mm thick copper busbars. The clamps accept solid, multi-wire and ultrasonic welding conductors, as well as conductors with single and twin wire-end ferrules.

Rittal's push-in busbars clamps will be available in two variants for conductors with different cross-sectional areas

In use, the stripped end of the conductor is simply pushed into the clamping space. As soon as the clamp is attached, a spring mechanism holds it in place on the busbar. The spring also optimises conductivity by removing any oxide coating that has formed on the busbar. A contact block with raised contact points applies optimum contact pressure. A second spring inside the device ensures secure clamping.

The new clamp can be used for applications such as connecting protective and neutral conductors to busbars, and creating short-circuit-resistant voltage taps on the copper bars of a main busbar system. It can also be used to make string distributors or distributor blocks with a large number of connector clamps for outgoing cables.

The new connection system has UL and IEC certifications and can be used worldwide. It is also approved for use in maritime and offshore applications.