How Electric Power Transmission Lines Work

electric power transmission

The very concept of electric power transmission lines is not alien to us. We all know how important electrical power is; but we seldom think deeper till we actually miss it. When power is there, we hardly bother to think about it. But since electricity is a part and parcel of our daily life, it is wise to have an idea as to how the electrical grid system works.

Electrical power distribution grid is a complicated and interesting system through which electricity travels from the power plant to respective houses. The electric power transmission lines form the grid which remains exposed to the public in the rural areas. These lines constitute a set of wires known as conductors, responsible for carrying electric power to the sub stations from the generating plants. Power gets delivered to the customers from the sub stations. The generating plant is where the electric power steps up to a few thousand volts with the help of a transformer and thereby gets delivered to the transmission lines.

Based upon the topography, the visibility of the electric power transmission lines keeps varying. If there are forests and other factors, these lines may be visible from a distance. In fact the view of the transmission lines amidst the forest is quite unpleasant and distracting and hinders the natural beauty. However, when found in a community, the transmission lines become a part of the whole industrial set up and also a residential hub and in no way disturb the visual impact of the overall environment.

On the transmission system in a huge number of sub stations transformers are found to bring down the power to a decreased voltage and deliver it to the lines for distribution. Power gets carried to homes and offices. Such a structure of transmission using electric power transmission lines is generally characterised by the route of the transmission lines, which include the existing infrastructure and also the terrain.

The typical electric power transmission lines structures are discussed below:

1.    High-voltage structure
2.    Low-voltage structure

Electricity gets carried by the high voltage transmission lines to a substation travelling a long distance. Near factories, homes and business, the power lines are found to go into the sub stations where the high voltage electricity is changed by the transformers back into electricity of low voltage. From the sub stations electricity is used for running factories, street lights and also sent to homes and neighbourhoods.

In certain localities, there are small transformers mounted on pole in a utility box which is found to convert power to a lesser level so that it can be used by the houses. It is often seen that this voltage is decreased to as little as 220 volts for big home appliances and 110 volts for lights, television and other small appliances.

While some electric power transmission lines are overhead; some other are underground. In such cases, the power lines remain fully protected from weather which could otherwise break the line as is found in case of storms. When electricity enters a house, it has to pass through a meter. This meter is generally read by a professional belonging to a utility company in order to ascertain the total amount of electricity that you are using and the bill that is getting generated following your usage. Once electricity is being metered, it passes through a fuse box straight into your home. The role of the fuse box is to protect the house in case of any disturbance or problem. If ever a fuse is found to trip or blow, a short circuit is found to occur.

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