Research Lab Power Distribution

I work in a large research lab with many individual lab spaces. For the last 50 years, we have used GE DH bus duct rated at 3 phase, 208 volt, 100 amps. That product is no longer available and parts are getting harder to find, so I was wondering what others might be doing for bringing similar power capacity into their labs.


We have hundreds of feet of 3-phase 208/120V Starline in the shop where I work, and it’s very reliable. It is similar in concept to track lighting connections, but MUCH more robust. It’s designed for industrial use. Correct procedure is indeed to power down the run before adding or removing a tap box (which normally contains the necessary OCPD for the cord drop in the form of a DIN rail -mount QO breaker and enclosure). However, many people rather foolishly leave the power on when moving taps - really dumb.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the Starline. It works well, and we’ve rarely experienced issues. The only real issue is when the forklift drivers don’t pay attention, and snag the cable drops.

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