Copper for Busbars – Guidance for Design and Installation (CDA Publication 22)

About this Publication

First issued in 1936, in this new edition of our long-standing publication offering guidance on busbar design – Copper for Busbars – the calculation of current-carrying capacity has been greatly simplified by the provision of exact formulae for some common busbar configurations and graphical methods for others.

Other sections have been updated and modified to reflect current practice.

Whilst this publication has been prepared with care, we can give no warranty regarding the contents and shall not be liable for any direct, incidental or consequential damage arising out of its use.


Busbars are used within electrical installations for distributing power from a supply point to a number of output circuits. They may be used in a variety of configurations ranging from vertical risers, carrying current to each floor of a multi-storey building, to bars used entirely within a distribution panel or within an industrial process.

The issues that need to be addressed in the design of busbar systems are:

  • Temperature rise due to energy losses
  • Energy efficiency and lifetime cost
  • Short-circuit current stresses and protection
  • Jointing methods and performance
  • Maintenance.

This book, written by David Chapman and Professor Toby Norris, provides the information needed to design efficient, economic and reliable busbar systems.

Download the Individual Sections here

Section 1.0 Introduction
Section 2.0 Current-carrying Capacity of Busbars
Section 3.0 Life Cycle Costing
Section 4.0 Short-circuit Effects
Section 5.0 Busbar Profiles
Section 6.0  Jointing of Copper Busbars
Annex Coatings
Tables and Figures