Substations: an Overview of the Types of Structures that Keep North America Powered Up

When we think about the infrastructure that keeps our nation moving forward, our intricate network of roads and highways easily comes to mind. But there is another grid behind the scenes that quietly keeps our modern life running: our vast array of electrical substations. As an electrical construction contractor experienced in the construction, and maintenance of different types of substations, Matrix NAC understands the importance of a safe power grid for our customers — and our nation. We put our understanding of substations to work every day to keep America strong.

From power generation to end-user distribution among the power transmission systems, including but not limited to: power generation, power transmission and distribution of power – Matrix NAC prides itself on getting your power grid job done safely and on-time. Our familiarity with substations includes step-up-type substations, step-down-type substations and transformers, distribution-type substations, underground distribution substations, switchyard, customer substations, and system substations.

These common substation types can be utilized via transmission bus to transmission lines. Our substation knowledge includes circuit breakers for switch generation as well as transmission circuits in and out of service as required, this includes the retirement of antiquated structures as well.

Primary types of substations have specific purposes.

  • In a customer substation, the generated power is the principal or major source of power supply for one specific business client.
  • System substations supply applicable end-points to the transmission lines created from switchyards and then feed the electrical energy to circuits that supply appropriate transformer stations.
  • A distribution-type substation is implemented where the main voltage distributions are stepped-down or reduced in order to supply proper and applicable voltages to those substation consumers who rely on a distribution network.
  • A step-down-type substation connects different parts of the network and is a source for sub-transmission or distribution lines.
  • The use of an underground distribution substation is primarily employed when necessary for urban centers that cover large spaces but do not have the usual area required to install the substation.
  • The electrical switchyard is the mediator among the transmission as well as generation, and equal voltage can be maintained in the switchyard. The dominant purpose of a switchyard is to supply the generated energy from the established power plant at the specifically targeted level of voltage to the nearby transmission line or power grid.

With every type of substation, proper maintenance is key to performance. At Matrix NAC, emergency restoration services and general restoration are paramount to our commitment to safety and customer service.