An electrical panel is a distribution board comprising different types of equipment associated with one or more electrical starting circuits fed by one or more electrical circuits of arrival, as well as terminals for neutral and protective conductors.
The distribution board ensures safe distribution of the strong currents of all electrical points of the house, lighting, outlets, appliances, radiators, It is eventually supplemented by a communication board broadcasting weak currents,
A distribution board can contain from 4 to 52 modules placed on metallic supports ranging from one to four rows. The choice is made according to the number of circuits, the type of equipment to feed and the size of the devices to integrate.
For example, for a dwelling between 35 and 100 m², the electrical panel comprises three rows. When purchasing, it is better to choose a table 20 to 30% larger in the event of a subsequent extension of the installation. The electrical panel is placed at height of man in order to be able to reach quickly the orders in case of necessity.
The key and obligatory part of the distribution board, the differential switch detects current leaks due to insulation faults. It prevents any risk of electrocution by immediately cutting the power supply of its row. It controls the division circuit breakers, which protect the equipment against short circuits and overheating.
Install an electrical panel
The common rules for composing the rows of the electrical panel are as follows:
● One row per differential switch (unless you have a switchboard with only one
row of 26 modules).
● A differential switch cannot be followed by more than 8 circuit breakers
● You must have at least 20% free space at the end of the creation of the table.
Thus, it is the number of circuit breakers installed that determines the size of the electrical panel,
since it has a direct impact on the number of RCDs.
The easiest way to calculate the minimum size of an array is to:
1. Divide the number of divisional circuit breakers by 8 and take the integer value
immediately higher: This value will give the number of switches to
installer (with a minimum of 2 in all cases)
2. The number of differential switch will determine the number of rows in the table.
3. Finally, it will be necessary to check that the space remaining in the end in the electrical panel will be
20% compared to the occupied space
Power the different devices
The installation of this switchboard serving a studio, will make it possible to supply, despite the smallness of the premises: a 2 kW water heater, a 1.5 kW convector, a 1 kW hob, a TV, a fridge, and two light points. Following a change in the location of the meter, installed and left on standby a box containing the electronic meter, followed by the 500 mA sensitivity branch circuit breaker. This refurbishment made it possible to start on a sound basis.
In view of the circuits to be protected, the choice of the switchboard fell on a horizontal model with a capacity of ten modules. The routing of the lines towards the ceiling encourages placing the table in a high position. The disadvantage is that the frame cannot be applied directly to the wall here because of the presence of the central duct bringing the power cables. To compensate for this discrepancy, wooden strips 12 mm thick were screwed and pegged under the lugs of the sole.
The 40 A differential switch, 30 mA sensitivity, is positioned at the head of the rail. It is clipped on by pulling the locking tab with a screwdriver blade. Also clip on the six branch circuit breakers. Their inputs are differentiated: L or nothing for the phase, N for the neutral.
Prepare two combs: black couples all phase inputs, blue all neutral inputs. The teeth of each comb engage in the six terminal blocks where they are firmly screwed
Then connect two wires with a cross section of 10 mm2 to the input terminals of the differential switch. Pass them behind the board to leave them on hold. Join the output of the differential switch to the two combs with two other 10 mm2 strands. The red wire (phase) ends at the black comb, the blue wire (neutral) at the blue comb. Connections are made to the nearest divisional input terminal block, clamping the stripped wire and one tooth of the comb together. In some larger boxes, special terminals are used.
Each divisional supplies and protects an independent circuit. The four 20A circuit breakers are dedicated to the water heater, heating, cooking, all five outlets; the 16 A protects an isolated outlet and the 10 A is for lighting. Connect the housing earth to the special terminal block as well as the yellow-green conductors from each point of use. Finally, connect the two wires previously left on hold to the output terminals of the circuit breaker. Install the module support Install the module support
Place the module support near the box. After drilling the wall and anchoring, screw the frame at two points by placing wooden compensating wedges under the legs.
Clip the differential switch
On the rail, clip the 30 mA sensitivity differential switch by actuating its tab with the screwdriver. It is intended to protect people and trips in the event of a leakage current.
Clip the divisionaries
Clip the divisionals in turn on the rail. With 10mm2 wire, connect the input of the differential and leave it on standby at the rear. Connect at the output two strands of the same section.
Connect the wires
Connect these two wires to the combs: the red to the black comb which brings together all the phase inputs of the divisionals, the blue to the blue comb which couples all their N (neutral) inputs.
Connect the phase and neutral wires of each user circuit to the divisional outputs. Group the different earth conductors on the special terminal block. Tighten the screws securely.
Wiring of the modular switchboard
The wiring of the modular panel is complete. Departures to uses have been grouped together in the lower part. The earth of the housing and those of the circuits are united on the side terminal block.
Connect the circuit breaker output
With the current still off, connect the two 10 mm2 wires left on standby to the output of the service circuit breaker, coming from the RCD input. Pay attention to the polarity!
Refit and lock the circuit breaker covers
Refit and lock the covers of the general circuit breaker and of the switchboard. Modular elements fit into the window and covers are provided for unoccupied spaces.