Topic: electricity sector

Differences between types of electrical systems

When an electrical system is created it is necessary to carry out a design based on the environment for which the system is intended. In fact, depending on whether the system is intended for a civil home or a shed or industrial building, cables and devices will find a different location and arrangement.

The electrical system of a house is in fact structured so as to favor the aesthetic side, avoiding having visible flying cables or power outlets without a roof; otherwise, industrial-type electrical systems follow a production logic that tends to make it easy to use the various devices and to allow rapid accessibility for maintenance and repair operations.

Between these two types of plant there are also many other nuances of electrical systems that are conditioned by the particular type of construction that is required, by the size of the room where it is to be built and, obviously, by the level of finish that the client desires.

What is the reference legislation?

The electrical system, be it civil or industrial, is composed of a series of cables and devices that can be potentially dangerous, since - if it is not made in a workmanlike manner - it could give rise to some inconveniences for users, one among many that of taking a dangerous electric shock.

Precisely for this reason, it is completely unthinkable of being able to create an electrical system by following the rules of DIY, since you have to rely on a specialized technician who must follow the indications provided by the reference legislation.

The latter, on the basis of the configuration of the cable assembly, support and connection elements, can provide the following types of distribution:

  • in sight
  • in tube
  • in the channel
  • in conduit

Let us try to better understand what the differences between these types of electrical systems are and their characteristics.

Differences between types of installations

Distribution in sight

An electrical system with exposed distribution is characterized by the fact that the electric cables are visible as they are attached to the walls and ceiling; generally the cables are fixed to the wall with a special support or a flat cable can be used. The environments that are best suited to this type of plant are warehouses and cellars, that are places where particular attention must not be paid to the aesthetic effect.

Distribution in tube

Electrical systems with tube distribution are instead characterized by the fact that the conductor cables, generally of the unipolar type, follow a path inside the protection tubes.

The latter can be fixed to the walls by means of a special support, it can be hidden inside a false ceiling or inserted directly into the plaster so as to become completely invisible.

The environments that mostly foresee this type of plant are the offices, in particular those characterized by fairly large rooms, schools, shops, some prefabricated buildings and in most of the common houses.

Channel distribution

The channel distribution of electrical systems is based on the fact that the cables pass through a system of containers that can be suspended, positioned on the wall or placed directly on the floor. This solution is also particularly suitable for industrial buildings, buildings to be used in industrial plants, warehouses and so on.

Conduit distribution

The last type of plant is that with conduit distribution, that is through special cavities that are obtained directly in the walls or in the floor where the conductors are then passed. The most frequent situation of this type of plant is in mechanical workshops where there are tunnels, underground pipes and cavities.

It is very important to foresee the use of a magnetothermal switch which performs the function of eliminating the voltage to the system when it detects a current higher than the nominal one. This is an excellent safety device that prevents excessive overheating of the electric cables.


Each type of system, as we have seen, has its particularities, even if the functions always remain the same, with some variations in terms of potential, aesthetics and practicality: but, in the end, they all include a type of installation which absorbs a rather high amount of time and money.

However, there is an option that, if taken in time and carried out with quality materials, makes it possible to reduce both the times and the costs, bringing the customer considerable savings - and greater safety at the end of the work: this solution involves the use of prewired cable, an emerging technology already widely used in different European areas, which allows to optimize installation times and reduce the costs of the operation.

Posted by Redazione on September 24, 2019

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