The power system is a constituent of power generation, transmission and distribution systems. For all the power system operations, substations are required for their course of action. Substations are congregation of electrical equipment through which consumers get supply of electrical power from generating stations. By varying the voltage levels or frequency or any other aspects, the required electrical quantity can be altered in substations to provide quality power to consumers.
Based on the application of substations, they are classified into different types: Generation substation, Indoor substation, Outdoor substation, Pole mounted substation, Switching substation, Transmission substation, Converter substation and Distribution substation. In rare cases like wind farm power generation system, multiple hydroelectric and thermal power plants one can observe the collector substation which is used for transferring power from multiple turbines into one transmission unit.
The substation is an assembly of the following major electrical equipments:
- Electrical Power transformers
- Instrument transformers
- Conductors& Insulators
- Bus bars
- Lightning arresters
- Circuit breakers
- Capacitor banks and miscellaneous equipment
Electrical Power Transformer
A static electrical machine used for transforming power from one circuit to another circuit without changing frequency is termed as Power transformer. The transformers are generally used to step down or step up the voltage levels of a system for transmission and generation purpose. These transformers are classified into different types based on their design, utilization purpose, installation methods, and so on.
The current and voltage transformers are together called as the Instrument transformers.
Current transformer is used for the measurement of the alternating current by taking samples of the higher currents of the system. These reduced samples are in accurate proportions with the actual high currents of the system. These are used for installation and maintenance of the current relays in substations for protection purpose which are normally have low-current ratings for their operation.
Potential transformer is quite similar to the current transformer, but it is used for taking samples of high voltages of a system for providing low-voltage to the relays of protection system and also to the low-rating meters for voltage measurement. From this low-voltage measurement, the actual system’s high voltage can be calculated without measuring high voltages directly to avoid the cost of the measurement system.
The material or object that obeys the electrical property conductance (mostly made of metals such as aluminum and copper) and that allows the flow of electric charge is called conductor. Conductors permit free movement of the flow of electrons through them. These are used for the transmission of power or electrical energy from one place (generating station) to another place (consumer point where power is consumed by the loads) through substations. Conductors are of different types and mostly aluminum conductors are preferred in practical power systems.
The metal which does not allow free movement of electrons or electric charge is called as an insulator. Hence, insulators resist electricity with their high resisting property. There are different types of insulators such as suspension type, strain type, stray type, shackle, pin type and so on. A few types of insulators are shown in the above figure. Insulators are used for insulation purpose while erecting electric poles with conductors to avoid short circuit and for other insulation requirements.
Isolator is a manually operated mechanical switch that isolates the faulty section or the section of a conductor or a part of a circuit of substation meant for repair from a healthy section in order to avoid occurrence of more severe faults. Hence, it is also called as a disconnector or disconnecting switch. There are different types of isolators used for different applications such as single-break isolator, double-break isolator, bus isolator, line isolator, etc.
The conductor carrying current and having multiple numbers of incoming and outgoing line connections can be called as bus bar, which is commonly used in substations. These are classified into different types like single bus, double bus and ring bus.
The substation equipments such as conductors, transformers, etc., are always erected outdoor. Whenever light surges occur then, a high-voltage pass through these electrical components causing damage to them (either temporary or permanent damage based on the amount of voltage surge). Therefore, to avoid this difficulty, lightening arresters are placed to pass the entire lightening surges to earth. There are other arresters which are used to ground the switching surges called as surge arresters.
For the protection of substation and its components from the over currents or over load due to short circuit or any other fault the faulty section is disconnected from the healthy section either manually or automatically. If once the fault is rectified, then again the original circuit can be rebuilt by manually or automatically. Different types of circuit breakers are designed based on different criteria and usage. But in general mostly used circuit breakers are Oil circuit breaker, Air circuit breaker, SF6 circuit breaker, Vacuum Circuit Breaker, and so on.
Relays are used for disconnecting the circuits by manual or automatic operation. Relay consists of the coil which is excited or energized and such that making the contacts of relay closed activates the relay to break or make the circuit connection. There are different types of relays such as over current relays, definite time over current relays, voltage relays, auxiliary relays, reclosing relays, solid state relays, directional relays,inverse time over current relays, microcontroller relays, etc. The above figure shows some basic relays and their operation.
A Capacitor bank is a set of many identical capacitors connected in series or parallel within a enclosure and is used for the power factor correction and basic protection of substation.These capacitor banks are acts as a source of reactive power, and thus, the phase difference between voltage and current can be reduced by the capacitor banks. They will increase the ripple current capacity of the supply. It avoids undesirable characteristics in the power system. It is the most economical method for maintaining power factor and of correction of the power lag problems.
Emerging trends in technological development have created advancement in the substation installation and maintenance. For example, SCADA, supervisory control and data acquisition technique made it possible to control a substation automatically from a remote location. For more data regarding miscellaneous components and technologies in substations, post your queries in the comments section below.
- Instrument transformer by blogspot
- Insulators by ecideluxe
- Isolators by kpoly
- Relays by geofex
- Capacitor banks by directindustry
- Bus bar by openstreetmap
- Substation by relaypowersystems
- Distribution Substation by blogspot
- Electrical Power transformer by answcdn
- Conductors by howequipmentworks
- Lightening Arresters by osha
- Circuit Breakers by blogspot