No it is not. Heat is the "byproduct" of power. There shouldn't be
any significant power dissipated by the panel (and contents). Don is
correct; if the panel is hot it's not because there is insulation
There are always some losses across breakers etc. This relates to generating
warmth, the bigger the current the more heat. I would not expect much
heating in domestic equipment, I suspect Rich is talking about industrial or
large building installations and he is right about the warmth generated in
those installations, it is a normal situation.
It appears that the vault in question contained transformers which are the
source of heat, rather than the switchgear which really should produce
negligable heat. A far cry from a household distribution panel.
The closest thing to an electrical vault I've been in was in an office
building, and it was indeed hot in there and had a fan, but there was a
huge (by my standards) transformer in there humming away which was the
obvious source of most of that heat.
I've felt circuit breakers in a residential panel that were warm to the
touch, but if anything struck me as *hot*, I'd be very concerned.
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