How do we get Electricity in at Home?
In this article we are going to understand how electricity reaches at home? You really don’t have to be an electrical engineer to understand this, if you have curiosity to know how electricity reaches our home, then this video is for you.
Electricity reaches in our home in three phases namely, Generation, transmission and distribution. Let’s start with phase one, Generation. First step to get electricity in our home is to generate it.
And the place where it is generated is called as “generating station or power station.” Power stations can be of different types like, thermal power station, hydro power station, nuclear power station, solar power station, etc.
Job of all of these power stations is to generate huge amount of electricity. In thermal power station, electricity is generated by the heat produced by the combustion of coal, oil or natural gas. In Hydro power stations, energy of moving water is converted into electrical energy by means of huge hydraulic turbines which is coupled with generators. In nuclear power station, electricity is generated from the heat released by nuclear reaction. In solar power station, electricity is generated by converting solar energy into electrical energy.
Solar energy, wind energy, biomass and hydro all these sources are know as green sources of electricity, as they do not cause any pollution. These generating stations are located faraway from the consumer, as they should be located near the primary energy source like water, coal, etc. Also, these generating stations requires huge amount of land. For example, Kurnool ultra mega solar power plant is spread over a Total area of 5932 acres! And because of these reasons such power stations has to be far away from the ultimate end user.
As the power stations are far away form the end user, electricity needs to be transmitted to the desired locations. And which takes us to the phase two of journey of electricity to our home, which is Transmission. Power stations generates electricity at lower voltage, but while transmitting electricity, the voltage is stepped up using a step up transformer, as delivering power at higher voltage offers more advantages over smaller voltage.
One of this advantage includes low losses while transmitting electricity, and this saves huge amount of money. Then once the voltage is steeped up, these conductors carries electricity to the next level with the help of these kind of giant to wars.
Job of these towers is to support the current carrying conductors and also to maintain a safe clearance between ground and conductors and also between the parallel conductors. You might have seen such kind of thing while travelling. This is called as substation. The function of substation is to either step up the voltage or step it down.
It is also helps in combining the power coming from two different generating station, which further increase the reliability of complete system. Substation consist of transformers which helping stepping up or steeping down the voltage, it also has protective devices like circuit breaker to protect the system in case of fault, it also has measuring devices like voltage and current transformer which measures the voltage current respectively.
Substation plays a very important role in both the phase I.e. transmission and distribution. Power is transferred to a long distance IN transmission phase. But when it reaches to the destination, voltage needs to be stepped down because power with this much high voltage cannot be delivered to the end customer. So, this brings us to the last phase of journey of electricity to our home which is Distribution.
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High voltage power coming from the transmission phase, cannot be delivered directly to the end user. Voltage level must be lowered before delivering the power to end consumer, and this is done by a distribution substation. In Distribution substation voltage is stepped own to much lower value. After this, low voltage power is carried byte distribution lines to a distribution pole or DP in short.
This distribution pole has a transformer which further lowers the voltage and this power is now carried by these lines which helps to get the electricity in our home. So to summaries how we get electricity in our home, first step is to generate electricity using different power stations, then this power is transferred to a long distance via transmission lines, which is the second step, then power is steeped down in distribution phase which is the last step, and this low voltage power is now ready to get into our home.