Electrical Power Transmission System and Network

Electrical Power Transmission System

Various generating stations generate electrical power. These generating stations are not necessarily situated at the load center. During construction of generating station number of factors are to be considered from the economic point of view. These all factors may not be easily available at load center; hence generating stations are not normally situated very nearer to load center. Load center is the place which consumes maximum power. Hence there must be some means by which we can transmit the generated power to the load center. Electrical transmission system is the means of transmitting power from generating station to different load centers.

Factor to be Considered for Constructing a Generating Station

During the planning of construction of generating station the following factors to be considered for economical generation of electrical power.

  1. Easy availability of water for thermal power generating station.
  2. Easy availability of land for construction of power station including its staff township.
  3. For hydro power station there must be a dam on river. So proper place on the river must be chosen in such a way that the construction of the dam can be done in most optimum way.
  4. For thermal power station easy availability of fuel is one of the most important factors to be considered.
  5. Better communication for goods as well as employees of the power station also to be kept into consideration.
  6. For transporting very large spare parts of turbines, alternators, etc., there must be wide roadways, train communication, and deep and wide river must pass away nearby the power station.
  7. For nuclear power plant, it must be situated in such a distance from common location so that there may be any effect from nuclear reaction the heath of common people.

There are many other factors also we should consider, but there are beyond the scope of our discussion. All the factors listed above are difficult to be available at load centers. The power station or generating station must be situated where all the facilities are easily available. This place may not be necessary at the load centers. The power generated at generating station then transmitted to the load center using electrical power transmission system as we said earlier.

transmission system and network

The power generated at generating station is in low voltage level as low voltage power generation has some economical values. Low voltage power generation is more economical than high voltage power generation. At low voltage level, both weight and insulation are less in the alternator; this directly reduces the cost and size of an alternator. But this low voltage level power cannot be transmitted directly to the consumer end as because this low voltage power transmission is not at all economical. Hence although low voltage power generation is economical but low voltage electrical power transmission is not economical. Electrical power is directly proportional to the product of electrical current and voltage of the system. So for transmitting certain electrical power from one place to another, if the voltage of the power is increased then associated current of this power reduces. Reduced current means less I2R loss in the system, less cross-sectional area of the conductor means less capital involvement and decreased current causes improvement in voltage regulation of power transmission system and improved voltage regulation indicates quality power. Because of these three reasons electrical power mainly transmitted at high voltage level.

Again at distribution end for efficient distribution of the transmitted power, it is stepped down to it’s desired low voltage level.

So it can be concluded that first the electrical power is generated at low voltage level then it stepped up to high voltage for efficient transmission of electrical energy. Lastly, for the distribution of electrical energy or power to different consumers, it is stepped down to the desired low voltage level.

This brief discussion of electrical transmission system and network, but now we will discuss little bit more details about the transmission of electrical energy.

Transmission of Electrical Energy

Fundamentally there are two systems by which electrical energy can be transmitted.

  1. High voltage DC electrical transmission system.
  2. High AC electrical transmission system.

There are some advantages in using DC transmission system –

  • Only two conductor are required for DC transmission system. It is further possible to use only one conductor of DC transmission system if earth is utilized as return path of the system.
  • The potential stress on the insulator of DC transmission system is about 70 % of same voltage AC transmission system. Hence, less insulation cost is involved in DC transmission system.
  • Inductance, capacitance, phase displacement and surge problems can be eliminated in DC system.

Even having these advantages in DC system, generally electrical energy is transmitted by three phase AC transmission system.

  • The alternating voltages can easily be stepped up and down, which is not possible in DC transmission system.
  • Maintenance of AC substation is quite easy and economical compared to DC.
  • The transforming of power in AC electrical sub station is much easier than motor-generator sets in DC system.

But AC transmission system also has some disadvantages like,

  • The volume of conductor used in AC system is much higher than that of DC.
  • The reactance of the line, affects the voltage regulation of electrical power transmission system.
  • Problems of skin effects and proximity effects only found in AC system.
  • AC transmission system is more likely to be affected by corona discharge than a DC transmission system.
  • Construction of AC electrical power transmission network is more completed than DC system.
  • Proper synchronizing is required before inter connecting two or more transmission lines together, synchronizing can totally be omitted in DC transmission system.

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