What happened in the substation?

What happened in the substation?


Sometimes on your birthday, you will be asked how much you live on. If you answer that you work at medium voltage and supply and install substations, you will hardly recognize the other voice. With any luck, you'll have a chance to try and explain exactly what the job is and which clients need it.

People are not normally affected by high or medium pressures. At least that's what they think. It is not generally known that each residential area has a compact station, each industrial area has several stations, and each larger production site has its own central voltage connection. Then, if you explain that at such plants, transformers convert the grid operator's high voltage into "a mouthful of ready electricity from your outlet", the raised eyebrows usually move down. We know things can be a little difficult at times. So in this blog, we hope to get a clearer picture of the substation.

Professional jobs

When heavier connections are required than those provided by grid operator standards (and therefore a transformer is required), it is often not clear what is involved. For convenience, it is kept by "home installers". Usually, they don't put this on the plate every week. The results are obvious: finding the right connections and solutions for the required power problem is not easy, to say the least.

It is more convenient to know the customer's needs and the actual solution execution path. The same rules also apply to feeding energy from solar panels back into the high-voltage grid. In many cases, this also requires a transformer in a compact drive. In our next blog post, we'll cover the actual route in detail, along with tips on where to start and more information.

High pressure! In danger?

We went all the way around. At first glance, substations, capacitors or mini-substations don't look all that exciting. A concrete "loft", hidden somewhere in the woods or on a street corner. The door has a yellow triangle sign with the famous lightning bolt on it. The words "High pressure! Danger! This is why doors cannot simply be opened. When that door opens, you see the grid operator's high-voltage switch. With it, the station can simply say "on" or "off" by an authorized person. The switch itself can do the same, for example, if there is a short circuit. In both cases, you don't have electricity. The name "high pressure" does say, you guessed it, high pressure. It's about 43 times larger than a normal electrical outlet. In most parts of the Netherlands, the figure is around 10,000 volts, or to put it another way, 10kV. Other voltages used are 13kV, 20kV and 23kV.

Beating heart

If we could peek through the side grille, we could see the station's beating heart: transformer or transformer. The transformer works in relative silence. Just like your phone's charger, it's a transformer. Transformers in the switch housing convert high voltage into voltage suitable for a home or business. For homes, it's usually 230 volts -- a charger can make a 230 volt charging device even lower -- and for companies, it's usually 420 volts.

Okay, we're almost at the end of our lap around the station, and there's still one door to go. This is the low pressure side door. For example, voltages below 1000 volts are often mentioned. This door can only be opened by qualified people. What we're looking at here is an oversize modular cabinet where cables run down to the main switchboard of a home or business. A lot goes on in such a specific cubicle. It is an integral part of today's electricity supply.

If you look closely, you'll find many places like this all over the country. Very ugly, very beautiful (like transformer columns or pepper POTS), and everything in between. Maybe you'll look at such a substation a little differently in the future. In any case, you now have a general idea of what's going on inside, with your eyebrows raised downward when someone tells you on a birthday or other occasion that he's doing "medium pressure station stuff."

Have you ever thought about what substations can do for you? In our next blog post, we'll tell you what to look out for. Do you want more information? Please call +86 0577-27885177 or contact us.