3 minutes reading time (500 words)

The Importance of Substation Design

Preserving power for the individuals and communities dependent upon it is critical to life, health, and safety. An integral part of accomplishing this objective comes in the form of proper substation design and protection from squirrel and critter damage. Answering a series of questions allows us to identify how substation design affects those who depend upon it.

view of substation

What Aspects Are Part of Substation Design?

According to the University of the West Indies design engineering guidelines, the primary aspects involved in substation design relate to three critical considerations, including:

  • Earthing and Bonding. This aspect of design is required in order to provide for the safety of equipment installers and maintenance workers, equipment protection, and prevention of dangerous potential gradients.
  • Design Layout. Security of supply is the main objective of design layout, which must reach a balance between this aspect and capital investment.
  • Systems and Components. The inclusion of various systems and components are the primary concern of design layout.

Why Is Design Important?

Substation design is an important part of ensuring the security of supply. Properly designed substations will provide the necessary components and systems in a layout that helps maintain and preserve this objective. Transmission and Distribution Electrical Engineering notes that "methods have therefore been adopted to achieve a compromise between complete security of supply and capital investment."

Who Designs Substations?

Licensed electrical engineers design substations. These specialized professionals understand the interaction of the various components along with how each contributes to maintaining and preserving the equipment, personnel safety, consumer safety, and ensuring security of power supply.

Which Designs and Design Features Improve Efficiency?

Spatial separation and the establishment of maintenance zones are critical features for improved efficiency. Electrical Engineering Portal classifies four different spatial separation instances involving the various components:

  • Earth clearance, which concerns the space allowed between live systems and earthed structures like walls, fences, support structures, and the ground.
  • Phase clearance concerns the allowance of space between live systems of different phases.
  • Isolating distance is part of ensuring proper clearance between the terminals of an isolator and its connections.
  • Section clearance deals with providing proper clearance between various live systems and the establishment of maintenance or work zones for equipment maintenance and installation safety.

How Does the Environment Impact Substation Design?

Substations designed with the proper components and proper systems layouts help ensure power supply security. "Problems at substations are almost exclusively of a bridging nature when birds or animals bridge phases or phase-to-ground," reports an Insulator News and Market Report (INMR). Various systems like our Line Guard and Pole Guard barriers are required to help maintain the designed spatial separation between components and environmental intrusion from various animals, plants, and debris into those necessary clearance areas.

Maintaining safety and security of power supply are critical aspects of substation design. Critter Guard helps protect these features from animal intrusions, which have the potential to disrupt the proper functioning of a substation. Contact us to learn more about how Critter Guard products can protect substations and their components.

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