Electrical switchboard
Electrical switchboard

Electrical switchboard, what is it for?

To deploy the electricity received from the outside, it is necessary to get it through a device called the "electrical switchboard", which dispenses the right amount of current to each device. One of the characteristics of the electrical switchboard is to avoid power surges that may damage the circuit boards and the devices receiving it.

The electrical switchboard is composed of a number of panels connected to each other, having switches which make it possible to control the energy flow; by these switches one can adjust the current passing through them and being delivered to the devices connected to them, so as to keep it lower than the level which is dangerous to the circuits, thus ensuring absolute safety in handling the electrical power to operate the appliances, machinery and any other electrical devices.

The job of an electrical switchboard is to deliver power in the right amount needed by the devices; first of all it receives an energy flow from a generator, then it re-directs it in small amounts on a line. When a device is not used, the power flow is reduced to a minimum, so as to avoid an overload in circuits.

To configure it correctly, one needs to regulate the right amount of current flowing through it by setting the energy flow at a consumption rate which is based on the specific requirements, which will be different depending on its specific use: an apartment will need much less power than an industrial warehouse.

An electrical switchboard is part of a system which makes it possible to directly control the devices, transformers, electrical grid and all the current-fed appliances; for simplicity it can be likened to a switchboard receiving many incoming calls on a single line, which directs them to the correct party, with a suitable volume which does not disturb or shut up completely the person on the other end of the line.

Usually an electrical switchboard is a rectangular structure containing the switches which relay the power, or it can be a little sized frame attached to the wall (as you can probably see it in your house).

To ensure a high level of safety, regulations require an electrical connection called "grounding", which consists of a circuit connected to the ground via a cable, with the purpose of life-saving so that if an electrical equipment or appliances is in some way defective, it will discharge the current to the ground rather than on people. Once the current is discharged to earth, the circuit breaker will do its work, by putting the electric circuit in a secure state, usually blocking the power supply.
Special precautions must be taken when working with electricity; it is not an item you can see and you have to treat as dangerous any electrical device or switchboard element which is even slightly damaged. Avoid in any way to get close to electrical devices with hands or other parts of the body wet, promptly fix any damaged cable and fixture, and test the circuit breakers at least once a month to make sure they work properly.