3 Different Types of Substations

A substation is an essential part of electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution. A substation is a bridge that transfers electricity from the power generation source unit to the end-user by transforming voltage from high to low and vice versa as needed.

The different types of substations are classified in numerous ways, such as by nature of functions, service rendered, importance, and design. Keep reading to learn more about the classification of substations by nature of functions.

1. Step-Up or Primary Substations

A step-up or primary substation is used to distribute electricity over large distances. The primary substation receives power from a generating facility and amplifies the voltage through a power transformer. Power in a primary substation is transmitted through transmission buses to transmission lines. Transformers in step-up substations increase the voltage of received power and lowers the current to facilitate the transport of high amounts of electricity safely.

2. Primary Grid Substations

The primary grid substation receives power from the step-up substation and lowers the voltage further for transmission. Primary grid substations are linked with bulk load centers next to primary transmission lines.

3. Step-Down or Distribution Substations

Step-down or distribution substations are located at different switching points on the electrical grid and are the source of distribution or sub-transmission lines. The step-down substations change transmission voltage to a sub-transmission voltage ready for industrial use or transfer to a distribution substation.

A distribution substation is a step-down substation closest to the end-user on the power grid. The transformers in the distribution substation convert the transmission or sub-transmission voltage to lower levels for everyday use. Power from a distribution substation is ready for household, industrial and commercial use.

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