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Physical Security & Monitoring

Ensuring Compliance vs Building Resilience

The realization that the vast majority of substations have significant security vulnerabilities was crystalized after the Metcalf incident of April 2013, during which unknown assailants caused the failure of 17 transformers at the Silicon Valley PG&E transmission substation in Metcalf,...

Breakers & Relays

A Closer Look into the True Cost of Replacing Electrical Switchgear

During my switchgear modernization presentations all over the US, I am constantly reminded of the concerns customers face with their aging electrical infrastructure. For the most part, these center around safety, reliability and productivity: • Replacements parts are very hard (or impossible) to...

Substation Technologies

Substation Focused on Environmental Design

One of the important trends in design of new overhead lines over the past 20 years has been development of structures and designs that are less obtrusive and more pleasing visually. Much the same process has also been going on at substations. For example, even 25 years ago, efforts had already been...

Substation Protection

Substation Architecture Protection

Solving common mistakes in communications cabling for electrical utilities BY FRANK KODITEK, Belden Inc. In the energy industry, there are numerous types of cables in use for a wide variety of applications, from transporting high-voltage current for miles to providing power and data connectivity...

Substation Automation

Building a better world of smart structures on the smart grid

It is a truth universally acknowledged that billions of people around the world live in poverty. But does it have to be that way? Today’s technological progress means that tomorrow we will be able to produce more, more efficiently – lifting people above the breadline with accelerated economic...

Substation Testing & Maintenance

End-to-End Monitoring Systems Feeds Situational Awareness

For many years the limit for normal apparatus loading was based on the maximum nameplate rating or an arbitrarily set value, called ‘the red line’. On-line monitoring of power transformers and circuit breakers for condition assessment has gained popularity over the past twenty-five...

Electrical Substations

Properly Grounded Substations

Adequate utility grounding improves power quality, but more importantly, it is essential for worker safety as well as public protection. Design is critical in maintaining a safe equipotential environment all around the substation.

Construction is important to accommodate fault currents without leaving the substation with dangerous potential gradients.

A tester must establish a sufficiently low resistance to remote earth so that operation remains within safe parameters. Similarly, safe step and touch potentials must be...

Electrical Substations Articles