What are the types and types of electrical panels

Each of us is well acquainted with electricity and perfectly understands all its significance for the modern world. However, the knowledge of an ordinary consumer only comes down to kilowatt hours, for which you must pay the electricity supplier. Only specialists in this field possess more detailed information. They know the decoding of the abbreviation, which we often see on the shields in the entrance, at work, in public buildings, on the street. Few people think about the designation and their purpose. Therefore, the description of the shields presented in this article will be useful not only to novice electricians, but also to ordinary people. So, let's figure out what types and types of switchboards are, and where they are used.

Common abbreviations

According to PUE and GOST for shields use generally accepted marking, which accurately indicates their type and purpose. Common types of cabinets:

  • ЩС - power shield;
  • ABP - automatic inclusion of a reserve (or automatic input of a reserve);
  • ЩР - switchboard;
  • Main switchboard - main switchboard;
  • ASU - input distribution device;
  • ShchO - a lighting board;
  • SCHUR - accounting and distribution board.


In an apartment or office design, the panels serve to protect the wiring and the distribution of electricity to consumers. Sockets, switches, household and lighting devices are connected to it. However, at industrial enterprises and in institutions where equipment that is sensitive to voltage surges is used, the installation of electrical panels with a complex system of load distribution and automation is required. They have greater capabilities than electrical panels for the home, and large enterprises have their own network of electrical substations. Let us consider in more detail what are electrical panels.

The main shield for energy distribution

The main switchboard has an industrial purpose and is installed at transformer substations, production enterprises. This type of cabinets serves for accounting and redistribution of electrical loads between different types of objects.

Main switchboard

In emergency situations, the automation installed in the switchboard disconnects the voltage, which helps to avoid damage to cable lines and equipment during short circuits and voltage surges. In the hierarchy of distribution cabinets, it is in the very first place, since all power networks start from it.

Introductory Switchgear

These types of electrical panels (ASUs) are installed directly on the objects of consumption of electric energy. Through them, redistribution to other types of shields of the next level occurs. They supply food for apartments, offices, workshops.At the input devices, total energy consumption meters are installed as an element of additional accounting. These types of switchboards are equipped with modern automation, which allows protecting the common power network from overloads and short circuit. Also in emergency situations, they help to quickly de-energize objects, for example, in case of threats of electric shock to maintenance personnel or ordinary people.

Introductory Switchgear

Emergency backup power input device

ATS or automatic reserve input is a type of electrical switchboard designed to connect a backup line to replace the main line in case of emergency on the main line. This is necessary to ensure uninterrupted power supply of facilities or any specific equipment. They are often used in production, in medical institutions, where power outages are not permissible, and in recent years they are increasingly being installed for private houses.

ATS for 3 inputs

Floor electrical panels

Such types of shields (SHE) are more common for the average consumer, as it is located on flights of stairs. They have several compartments for the placement of metering devices, input circuit breakers, previously, package switches were installed instead of them. Also, other types of subscriber lines are conducted through them, for example, Internet and television. From them, the distribution of the network load across the apartments of one floor is made. The location on the landing of electrical panels of this type is due to the ease of access for specialists of controlling organizations.

Apartment electrical panels

This type of electrical panels is installed directly in the apartments. They are designed to distribute electrical energy in individual rooms. Often they are installed next to the front door in the hallway. They are divided into types: internal and external (or consignment notes). The first type of shields are mounted inside the wall in a niche, while the latter are hung on the walls. They are also distinguished by type of application:

  • wiring of electrical wiring in rooms (ЩК);
  • metering of consumed kilowatt hours (SHCHU).

Often, a meter and group machines are placed in the same electrical panel, combining the distribution and metering functions, then they are called SchUR (at the end there may be a letter B - built-in and H - mounted). They allow you to save space in the room and the family budget for installation and maintenance.

The shield is room

Lighting shield

This type of shields is installed more often in administrative, industrial, office, medical and commercial buildings, where frequent switching on and off of electric power is not required and there are many light sources. Similarly, they are divided by type of installation: internal and external. The main purpose of such cabinets is to protect the lines supplying lighting devices and sockets from overload and short circuit. Their use is due to the convenience of servicing individual rooms without a general blackout of the entire building. They are placed in a public place according to the PUE and fire safety requirements.

Lighting shield

Control and automation panels

Another type of control equipment for electrical equipment. They are designed to control automatic elements of systems and monitor the processes of mechanical installations like ventilation, heating system, fire safety modules. The necessary parameters are set manually by the operator. For this, a display with a console is displayed on the external panel.

Control and automation cabinet

So we examined what types and types of switchboards are. If you have questions, ask them in the comments under the article!

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