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Why Do We always See Substations?

Feb. 06, 2021


What people may not realize is that every moment you turn on the lights, fire up the furnace or plug in the charger is a connection to something thousands of miles away. A series of electric currents are transmitted from distant power stations, and the journey is a long one.

In order to transport the current farther, the power needs to pass through the step-up substation to raise the voltage to a high voltage level and cross the mountains and rivers by power lines; then pass through different levels of step-down substations to lower the voltage level needed by customers, and then it can enter thousands of homes and supply power to every corner.

Why can always see the figure of the substation? Why are they built in the densely populated urban areas instead of in the remote suburbs? Or are they moved to the hills around the towns?

 Prefabricated Substation

In fact, the reason is very simple, just like your home wireless router, when away from a certain distance, the WIFI signal will disappear. Substation also has a certain coverage area, there is a professional term here, called "power supply radius".


In commercial, transportation, living and other large power consumption of urban areas, a 110 kV substation can only cover about 5 square kilometers of power supply area, beyond this range, limited by voltage attenuation, line losses, etc., can not guarantee the power supply in these areas. And certain objects with special power supply needs, such as large hospitals, airports, subways, high-speed rail, etc., due to the intensity of electricity consumption, high power supply stability requirements, usually will also build a substation specifically for its power supply. Generally speaking, the higher the load, the smaller the power supply radius.

In rural areas with low electricity intensity, the power supply radius of a 110 kV substation can cover several towns at the same time, so the distribution density of substations is not as high as that of urban areas.

To sum up, the substation site is constrained by the load distribution and power supply radius requirements, which cannot be arbitrarily far away from the users. In order to meet the increasing power demand with the development of the city, according to the power grid planning, multiple mutually supporting substations are also needed in a certain area in order to ensure the people's daily stable power consumption.


The area of urban economic activities is constantly expanding, and the city is changing day by day. Substation planning and construction follow the pace of urban development, but also continue to look at themselves, extending the city's function and environmental significance in addition to power security.

The substation is far away, but also very close. When it is far away, it is because it never affects people's lives and runs quietly; when it is close, it is because the masters who maintain it are dedicated, abide by their duties and do the ordinary things to the best.

ZBW packaged substation, also known as a prefabricated substation.

As a new type of power supply and distribution device has more advantages than traditional civil substation. Such as smaller size, smaller floor area, compact structure, flexible movement, which greatly reduce period and area for construction in the site, also the construction cost. Meanwhile, the prefabricated substation is easy to be installed at the site, can realize rapid power supply, almost maintenance-free. Most particularly, it is placed at the load center so that reduce power loss effectively to improve power quality, enhance the reliability of power supply and also is significant for distribution network transformation.

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