What is the electrical grid actually?
The electrical grid is an electrical power system network, which is made up of the generating plant, transmission lines, substation, transformers and distribution lines that feed electricity to the consumer.
Generally electrical generation facilities were constructed some distance from consumers resulting in the electrical grid that connects the generating facility to the consumer.
A grid can be explained as three main components that make up the supply of electricity to the consumer.
- ELECTRICITY GENERATION – Basically, there are 2 types of systems that generate electricity; centralised and decentralised. Centralised is a large scale system that is far from the consumers of electricity . These include wind farms, solar arrays, hydro plants, natural gas sources, coal and nuclear. An electrical grid connects this centralised system to the consumer, Decentralisation of electricity occurs closer to the consumer and these are typically generators, solar power on rooftops and a range of other electrical generating units or stations.
- TRANSMISSION and DISTRIBUTION – Transmission of electricity is typically done through transformers, substations and power lines that deliver electricity to the end user. Electricity delivered at high voltage minimises transmission losses over long distances through resistive transmission lines. This is where sub-stations play a role at the point of power generation. They house transformers to step up the voltage so that it can be transmitted to the end user via power lines either overhead or underground. At points nearer the consumer, another substation is required to step-down voltage for households or other consumption.
- CONSUMPTION – Consumers include industrial, commercial and residential consumers. In each of these are a host of sub industries such as hospitality, medical, educational facilities, retail centres, and more.
The electrical grid is one of the most complex systems in the world and a vital element of all economies. Research is ongoing to develop optimal electricity generation for optimal usage of a precious resource. Today, smart grids, which include information technology solutions are becoming more and more popular right down to domestic use.
Maritz Electrical has the skills to develop, install and maintain the electrical supply from source to consumer.