A substation is a high-voltage electrical system that may be used to regulate equipment, generators, electrical circuits, and so on. Substations are mostly used to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). The word "substitute" comes from the same root as "alternate". When an alternate source of power is required for some reason, such as when a circuit breaker opens during an outage, the system automatically switches over to the next highest voltage source.
The term "substation" can also refer to the building or structure that houses all or part of the equipment found in a substation. These buildings are usually large, solid structures designed to withstand the loads placed upon them by the equipment inside while still being able to fit within their surrounding environment. Substation buildings often serve as landmarks and community centers where people can go after experiencing power outages.
Substations are important for distributing electricity across wide areas, especially if the area needs to be illuminated at night. For example, municipal power companies distribute electricity over large distances using multiple substations because many homes need light bulbs at different temperatures to function properly. Power companies use computers to control how each transformer distributes electricity through the build-up of amperage over time. Transformers increase or decrease the voltage of the incoming power signal as needed to ensure that enough voltage reaches all parts of the network.
An electrical substation is a substation of a power generating, transmission, and distribution system where voltage is changed from high to low or reverse using transformers. Electric power may go via numerous substations between a producing plant and a customer, and its voltage may be adjusted in stages. The purpose of such substations is to reduce the load on any one section of line, thereby increasing the life of that part of the circuit. A transformer substation uses two separate circuits: one for loading up with surplus power from one circuit while reducing the load on another; and another for unloading this excess power back into the original circuit.
The term "transformer station" is also used for large switching stations that change voltage by using thyristors instead of transformers. These days they are usually referred to as "switchgear cabinets", since they contain the essential components for transforming voltage: breakers (for opening and closing the circuit), capacitors (to store energy when the current is flowing but not much else can happen on that circuit), inductors (to store magnetic energy during changes in current direction), and heaters (to keep things working if parts need to be heated).
Transformer substations are useful for balancing supply against demand, especially during periods of peak demand (when many homes are running their air conditioners).
A switching substation is one that does not use transformers and runs at a single voltage level. Collector and distribution stations are occasionally employed in switching substations. In certain cases, they are used to switch current to backup lines or to parallelize circuits in the event of a failure. They also may be used to divide up a single circuit into several separate circuits. The term "substation" is often used as a generic name for large electrical equipment rooms containing numerous pieces of equipment mounted on metal shelves. These rooms are usually climate-controlled warehouses where the equipment is stored during nonuse.
Switching substations were first developed by General Electric in the early 1950s. At that time, large power companies were installing electric transmission lines across America. It was necessary to have multiple points of connection to distribute current along these lines, so GE designed a device that could replace multiple breakers in a traditional substation. A switching substation uses semiconductor devices instead of electromechanical parts such as motors and solenoids. This reduces the size and cost of the system while increasing its reliability.
These days, most major power companies own both switching substations and transformer-based substations. Swinging substations are useful when you need to make multiple branch circuits from a single line source.
What exactly is substation automation? A substation automation system is a grouping of hardware and software components used to monitor and operate an electrical system both locally and remotely. The software part of the system can be as simple as a computer with a web browser, but most systems also include some type of controller. Controllers are devices such as microprocessors or digital signal processors that control other functions within the system. They usually receive their instructions from a storage device such as a hard drive or flash memory.
Substation automation allows for remote monitoring and controlling of assets within the electrical distribution system. This can include circuit breakers, transmission lines, transformers, and more. It can also include monitoring systems such as voltage monitors and current sensors. Substation automation systems can be built into new buildings or they can be installed in existing facilities. There are many different types of subsystems available for various applications. Some common examples include: protective relay systems, power quality monitors, energy management systems, and distributed generation controllers.
Protective relays use measurements of voltage and current at multiple locations within the system to determine if there is a problem requiring attention. If so, the protective relay will activate an alarm indicating that a fault has been detected. Protective relays may also have options such as auto resetting after a delay period to prevent false alarms due to transient faults.
A secondary station attached to an electrical distribution, generating, or transmission station is what an electrical substation is. A switching station is a sort of substation in which electricity is channeled from multiple sources or to separate clients. The main purpose of a switching station is to provide extra capacity for an electrical grid so that it can handle increased power demand during peak hours without causing blackouts.
Examples of switching stations are superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) plants and flywheels. These devices are used because they can store energy at a lower cost than conventional batteries and they don't need to be recharged as soon as possible like conventional generators. Also, they can supply power when needed even if the other generators aren't working. Finally, they don't cause pollution.
The term "substation" is often used interchangeably with "switching station", but they are not exactly the same thing. A switching station has additional functions beyond those of a substation. It may include voltage regulation, current balancing, and power quality improvement components such as capacitors, transformers, and reactors. A good example is a superconducting magnetic energy storage plant which includes all these elements in one single device.
Substations can also include some or all of these functions.