One of the most critical sites in the electrical power grid is a substation. Within the overhead or underground cable that supplies power to your home or business, you can be sure it comes from a substation located at a certain place. In simple terms, an electricity network consists of generation, transmission, and distribution. A substation sits between generation and transmission, within the transmission and between transmission and distribution. Usually, it’s constructed on a given geographical location and power lines transmit power to the connected load. The post will shed some light on a special type known as a mobile substation.
Well, you know that mobile means something is portable or it can be moved geographically from point to point. A substation on the other hand is a site where electricity supplied from generation plants is transformed and/or controlled for distribution. A mobile substation is therefore a movable electricity transformation and control system. Its mobility can be achieved by road, rail, sea, or air. For road transport (which is the most common), it is mounted on a container or a trailer that is attached to a truck engine to move it.
It’s mostly used by utilities and industries to provide temporary power supply in an area that is not supplied by the grid.
The following are the characteristic features that defines it.
- It has easy mobility
- It’s a complete assembly- no additional component is required for it to operate.
- It’s a plug and play system- ready to connect and supply power.
- Full compliance with grid code.
The complete assembly consists of the following components; electric generator, power transformer, switchgear, battery system, distribution panel, meters, capacitors, air conditioner, and protection gear. The ratings of components are key if establishing its operation limits such as voltage, power, direct or alternating current, etc. Power rating can be as high as 70MVA with voltages being as high as 750kV.
Areas of application
To appreciate its purpose consider an area where large amount of electric power is required temporarily and is unavailable? What happens where power outage occurs on a substation? This and many more as we will highlight below necessitate use of mobile substations.
- Emergency power outage- in an event a fault cuts the power supply, the utility services responds by moving and connecting the substation as they work on troubleshooting and repair of the faulty one.
- Planned outage- during preventive maintenance and upgrade of equipment, the mobile substation is brought on board for continued power supply to outgoing feeders of the substation.
- Grid unconnected remote areas- consider remote areas as mining points, far desert, or forests that need electricity for equipment to run. Obviously you cannot start the design and construction of a substation. Can you? A mobile substation comes handy to supply power on temporal terms.
- Moving load- for activities such as mining or military camps electricity should move with a load. A mobile substation is the best fit in this case.
- Integration of distributed generation- during the design stage of the grid network. Mobile substations are used to do a practical test of how the network will perform, should the proposed design be implemented on permanent terms. The suitability of location is assessed as well as the effect on the quality and reliability of power.
For the substation that is powering the grid, the output terminals are connected to the overhead transmission line. For low voltage connection output terminals are connected to the distribution panel board. To sum it up, the system is economical (compared to constructed open), it’s fast to move and install and saves on space requirements. Electricity reliability needs are raising the need for such systems across the world. With equipment relying on electricity growing by the day, the demand will grow at the same rate. It’s important that power is constantly in supply.
A substation is a highly dangerous area for untrained persons and enough clearance should always be kept. When you come into contact with a live conductor you will die, always observe safety.
You can now go ahead and shop for one, AKTIF is an established company that manufactures the units.