Difference Between Distribution and Transmission Switching Of The Power Grids

The power lines of electricity or the power grids are considered to be pretty complicated mechanisms, no matter where you live. These power lines are also known as transmission lines or the power plants that are supposed to send energy to all its consumers on a constant level of frequency and voltage. Regardless of what the demands are, they send out the energy through an interconnected network from the producers to the consumers.

Generally, power grids vary in their sizes. They can single-handedly cover an individual building through the help of national grids that are also used to cover whole countries. Another grid includes the transnational grids which are used to cover and cross continents in an overhead or underground way. These grids consist of:

  1. Several generating stations that manufacture electrical power
  2. Several distribution lines to be able to connect customers individually
  3. Some high-voltage transmission lines to transfer the power from producers to demand centers
  4. Electrical substations for stepping the electrical voltage down for distribution and up for transmission

In order to transport electricity from one place to another, these power grids require a wide array of equipment. These equipment include, 

  1. Transformers
  2. Voltage regulators
  3. Line reactors
  4. Capacitors
  5. Breakers
  6. Fuses
  7. Solid-state mechanical relays, etc.

Furthermore, it is considered that these power lines have three different types that transform the electricity in a form alternating current, typically spans a difference of 500 kilometers or less. The types include, 

  1. Overhead lines
  2. Underground lines
  3. Subtransmission lines

Difference Between Transmission Lines and Distribution Lines

However, the wires that actually form the power lines or grid itself are of two types and have been divided based on their functionality. 

  1. The distribution lines
  2. The transmission lines

Distribution Lines

These power lines consist of voltage lines that are smaller and carry lower-voltage around 30 kV in most cases to distribute it to smaller buildings such as homes and businesses. They can be strung on smaller poles that are about 40 feet in height or they can also be buried underground in newer neighborhoods. 

The number of wires that carry energy in them is basically three or less as per the circuit requires. Some distribution poles even carry more than three-phase circuits along with holding other important equipment such as fuses, switches, transformers, and even cable and telephone lines. 

Transmission Lines

The other type of power lines commonly known as transmission lines that are much larger in size and are able to carry higher-voltage. As compared to the distribution lines, they can be easily distinguished through their large size. However, there are various other indicators that transmission lines consist of. 

Transmission lines are always manufactured in a way that sets up three conductors apart along with the requirement of an optional small wire or two of them. These wires serve as lightning protection at the top of the transmission line structure. In addition, the transmission line switching structures do not have any equipment attached to their conductors, however, sometimes unrelated equipment is attached to it such as cell towers.    

These transmission lines are essential to supplying power to urban regions and any disruptions in these lines can effectively take-out power in large parts of a city or town.

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