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Multi-Section Panels

Monday, July 6th, 2020

Q: In Electrical for AutoCAD, how do I model a panel or other piece of distribution equipment that has multiple sections?

A: There are two ways to model multi-section distribution equipment:

  • Define a single distribution equipment that represents all sections.
  • Define each section separately and circuit them together using feedthrough connections.

Single Device Method

  1. Run the Panels (or appropriate distribution equipment) command and press the New button to create a panel.
  2. Set the Number of Poles to the total number of circuits across all sections. For example, to model a two-section panel with 42 circuits each, enter 84 for the value.
  3. Define the rest of the panel as normal.

This method is the fastest and simplest, but you must remember where the section boundary is and not circuit devices across it. Using the example panel from Step 2, do not circuit a 2-pole device on circuits 41 and 43.

Multiple Device Method

  1. Run the Panels (or appropriate distribution equipment) command and press the New button to create a new panel.
  2. Set the New Panel Callout to a unique callout, such as P1A.
  3. Set the Lugs to FEEDTHRU.
  4. Define the rest of the panel as normal and save your changes.
  5. Create another panel with a similar callout, such as P1B.
  6. Set the Starting Circuit to 1 higher than the Number of Poles of the previous panel. For example, if P1A has 42 circuits, the Starting Circuit of P1B should be set to 43.
  7. If the panel has three or more sections, repeat Steps 3-6 for each additional section. Otherwise, define the rest of the panel as normal, save your changes, and close the dialog box.
  8. Run the Connect Distribution Equipment command.
  9. In Step 1, select the second panel.
  10. In Step 2, select the first panel and the Feedthrough connection setting.
  11. Press the Step 3 button to connect the panels.
  12. If the panel has three or more sections, repeat Steps 9-11 for each additional section.

This method is more time-consuming and requires a naming scheme to differentiate each section, but is a better representation of how multi-section devices actually exist in the field.

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