Power substation: Working and types

  • 06 Nov, 2019

A power substation is a major component of an electricity generation, transmission, and distribution system which is primarily meant for transforming high voltage into low voltage and vice versa. It basically serves as a medium between the station where power is generated and the final consumer of this power. The power makes its way through several substations before reaching the destination. The power substation manufacturers utilize the excellent quality of raw materials and state-of-the-art technology for setting up the substations.

Working of a power substation

The electricity that is generated at hydroelectric, thermal, and nuclear power plants is to be transmitted to areas far and wide for use by consumers. When the electricity covers such a long distance, it can naturally undergo a tremendous amount of fluctuations. This is where power substations prove useful. The electricity is first transmitted to a transmission substation and at this point, the voltage is increased with the use of a step-up transformer so that there are minimal transmission losses. This high voltage power is then sent to the power substations and at that point, the voltage is lowered with the use of a step-down transformer. Next, the electricity is supplied throughout the distribution grid where the voltage may be reduced further before the electricity is supplied to the consumers for use.

Types of substations 

  • Transmission substation. It is basically a medium between two or more transmission lines. With the use of high voltage switches, the transmission lines can be connected or isolated for maintenance or fault clearance. A transmission substation may be simple or complex depending on its use.
  • Distribution substation. It is responsible for regulating the electricity flow from the transmission substation to the distribution system of a particular region. At this point, the voltage is reduced with the use of a step-down transformer. They also prove beneficial in isolating faults in the transmission and distribution system.
  • Collector substation. This is generally used for distributed generation and although it may appear like a distribution transformer, the flow of power is in the opposite direction.   
  • Converter substation. These comprise of power electronic devices to change the frequency of current or to transform the alternating current to direct current or vice versa. However, these are not much in use nowadays.
  • Switching station. It operates on just one voltage level and may even be used as collection and distribution centres on occasions. They help to paralyse the circuits in case of failure so as to avoid any serious accidents. Their most important function is switching i.e., connecting and disconnecting the transmission lines.
  • Traction substation. These are basically power substations that are used in railways to alter the frequency of the alternating current.
  • Mobile substation. True to its name, this is a substation on wheels which makes it highly portable. They are compact and prove highly useful in emergencies such as natural disasters or wars.

Do the necessary research to find reliable power substation manufacturers so that there are no issues of quality. Thoroughly testing the quality of products prior to buying them is suggested.