What Is Power System and its types?

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.”

– George Carlin

An electric power system is a combination of generating station, grid station, substation, transmission line, distribution lines and distribution station that work together for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity to our homes, commercial buildings factories etc.

So you can say that It is a large network and critical infrastructure which must operate 24/7 to meet the consumer demands even when the engineers are in leave.

It interconnects thousands of generating stations through transmission and distribution lines, which are basically just really long wires that carry electricity all over the place.

Structure Of power System

As mentioned above, the complex network and modern critical infrastructures are divided into the following:

  1. Power Generating station
  2. Power Grid Station
  3. Power Transmission Line
  4. Electrical Substation
  5. Power Distribution line
  6. Power Distribution station

The electric power system is like the human body.

-Senthil M

Power Generating Station

This is where the electricity is made, using a variety of sources such as coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, hydroelectric dams, solar and wind power.

Electricity is generated by converting other form of energy into electrical energy. This is done at power plant or power generation.

One of the most common ways to classify power generation is by the type of fuel used. The most common fuel sources for power generation are:

  1. Fossie fuel power plant-Fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil)
  2. Nuclear power plant (Nuclear energy)
  3. Renewable Power plant (hydroelectric, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal etc.}

Power Grid Station

The generated electricity from the generating station is connected to the power grid. It consists of transmission and distribution line. In simple words, The electricity that is made at the power plant is plugged into the power grid, which is like a giant electrical extension cord.

The biggest power grid in the world is the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Interconnection. It is a network of interconnected power grids that covers the United States, Canada, and parts of Mexico. The NERC Interconnection has over 3,000 power generating stations and serves over 300 million people.

There is no theoretical limit to the number of power generating stations that can be connected to a power grid. The limiting factor is the capacity of the grid to transmit and distribute the electricity generated by the power stations.

Power Transmission Line

Power transmission lines transmit high voltage, EHV, or UHV electricity from power grid stations to electrical substations using suspended tall towers and poles with copper conductors.

Here is a funny analogy to help you understand how power transmission lines work:

Imagine that you have a giant battery full of electricity. You want to get that electricity to your house, but it’s too far away to carry the battery yourself. So, you decide to build a power transmission line.

Your power transmission line is a long wire that runs from your house to the battery. You connect the wire to the battery at one end and to your house at the other end. Now, when you turn on a light switch in your house, the electricity from the battery will flow through the wire and light up the light.

Of course, power transmission lines are much more complex than this simple analogy. But it should give you a basic understanding of how they work.

Electrical Substation

Electrical substations are places where power transformers step up or down the voltage level of electricity for safe distribution to consumers. It may be either indoor or outdoor depends on voltage level of substation’s voltage level of a substation depends on what it’s used for. For example, substations that send electricity over long distances need a higher voltage than substations that distribute electricity to homes and businesses.

There are many transformer ratings available in the market, from 6 megavolt-amperes (MVA) to 750 MVA (approximately). The two most common transformer ratings used in electrical substations are 500 MVA and 20 MVA.

Power Distribution Line

You and I can see power distribution lines everywhere, which are the medium or low voltage conductors are suspended on poles or underground cables that are routed or suspended from electrical substations to distribution stations.

The voltage level carried by these distribution lines are 11kV and 415 Volts.

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