The word substation originates from the early days of power generation and transmission before the power distribution system became a grid. When central power generation stations grew larger, smaller power generation stations were converted to distribution stations. That stations simply received and distributed the energy from the “main” power plant and didn’t use their own generators.
Most substations are owned and operated by electric utility companies, but large industrial or commercial customers often install their own substations. These customers use a great deal of power and need to manage it effectively.
Tasks Electrical Substations Perform
A substation is a critical component of an electrical generation, transmission, and distribution system. Substations on today’s power grid can perform many different tasks based on their specific design. Here are some of them:
- Transfer power from the transmission system to the distribution system in an area
- Transform voltage from high to low
- Transform voltage from low to high
- Change the frequency of the current
- Convert current from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and vice versa
- Switch current to back-up lines in case of failure
Most of these substations are automated, relying on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to control and monitor the transmission of electricity and other commercial and industrial processes.
Common Electrical Substation Components
Substations designs depend on the electrical needs of an area or a specific customer and will have the appropriate equipment and infrastructure based on these needs. Most substations use the following components to manage their electrical needs:
- Protection and Control Equipment
- Circuit Breakers and/or Fuses
- Voltage regulators
Electrical Substation Installation Infrastructure
Substations also require space and infrastructure to support them. Many substations are constructed in more remote areas within fenced enclosures to ensure proper clearances, access to sensitive equipment, and room for expansion in growing areas. Other substations might be constructed in special-purpose buildings to reduce transformer noise, protect the equipment from extreme temperatures, keep people out, or prevent an eyesore. In areas where land is costly, substations might be designed within high-rise buildings or underground. Substations in coastal areas need to be constructed or located in elevated structures to avoid flooding and storm damage.
Tri-State Electrical Contractors Installs Industrial Electrical Substations in Most Southeastern States
We provide a wide variety of industrial electric services, including electrical substation installations, repairs, and retrofits. We are licensed in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and (soon) Florida. To learn more about how Tri-State Electrical can help you with your commercial electrical project, give us a call at (423) 800-2134, fill out our simple online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today.