What is Electrical Substation? Which devices are needed to build a substation?

What is Electrical Substation? Electrical Substation is a very well known word in the electrical world. Many of us are aware of substations. Maybe we’ve read a book or seen it in real life. Today, I will introduce you to the members of the whole substation family in a slightly different way.

What is electrical substation? 

What is Electrical Substation- an electrcial substation
An Electrical Substation

In fact, the substation is basically a range where the voltage to bring it in a control using various electrical devices and there is transmission to the grid substation conection or to the customer level.

What is electrical substation? The office system

Think of an office system. There you can find different people in different types of activities. Someone is obeying the orders of the boss of the office, while the boss is supervising or controlling the work of his subordinates. Again, someone is working on the financial accounts of the office. Moreover, someone is handling the ICT department. Furthermore, the night watchman is providing security to any office. Let us now compare the substation system with the analogy of this office system. Let’s get started.

What is Electrical Substation- office employees
Office Employees

Firstly, it is said that the office has a boss who is the main driving force of the office. Similarly, the main driving force of the substation is the transformer. This transformer lowers the voltage to a well-regulated level. You can find step-down transformers commonly in grid and distribution substations. 230/132, 132/33, 400/230, 400/132, and 33/11 KV transformers are used in grid substations and distribution substations.

Potential transformers are then used to measure the voltage reduced by the transformer. There is the usage of current transformers to measure the high current flowing due to this voltage. You can compare this current transformer and potential transformer with the people in the office who are busy with various accounts in the office.

Hence, the subordinate officers of the boss can be compared to the various switching devices of the substation such as relays, isolators. 

The Circuit Breaker and Night Watchman

Then let’s come to the case of the night watchman. There is a night watchman in the office who stays awake at night. The substation also has a night watchman named Circuit Breaker. Whenever there is any fault in the substation, the circuit breaker trips to protect the substation from electrical accidents. SF6 circuit breakers are used in grid substations and vacuum circuit breakers are used in distribution substations.

Again, if the office boss wants, he can keep a bodyguard with him for safety. In this case, this bodyguard is the lightning arrester of the transformer. Which protects the transformer from lightning.

You can then compare the staff employed in the ICT department with the power line carrier / SCADA system of the substation.

Power line carrier 

A line is used for communication between electrical substations where the electrical signal (50 Hz) and the communication signal (400 Hz) travel together.

Now the question arises: how will the two signals electrical signal (50 Hz) and communication signal (400Hz) run continuously? 

These two types of signals will not be a problem in navigation. This is because after a certain period of time there is the separation of the communication signal by a wave trap. Just like the segregation of water and sand through a sieve.

Why use it instead of the public telephone network? 

Public telephone
Public Telephone

To understand this, the concept of bandwidth must first be clear. Bandwidth is the transmission of the amount of binary data on a radio/fiber channel at any given time. Simply, people refer to it as data speed. For example, the meaning of car traffic on a road means how many cars are traveling at a given time.

Now if there are more cars on the road then there will be traffic jams. Similarly, using public telephone networks will reduce their bandwidth. So, the call may be cut off in an emergency. Transmission can take a long time.

Why use it instead of optical fiber?  

Yes, it is very old technology. Currently, there is the usage of SCADA (supervisory control & data acquisition system) technology with the help of optical fiber.

So let’s make a list of the devices needed to set up the substation.

  • Transformer
  • Potential transformer
  • Current transformer
  • Relay
  • Isolator
  • Circuit breaker
  • Lightning Arrester

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Courtesy: Iqbal Mahmood

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