Switchyards and Substations

A Switchyard or Substation, consisting of large breakers and towers, is usually located in an area close to the plant. The substation is used as the distribution center where:

Often there are at least 2 main Buses. Very high voltages (typically 220,000 or 345,000 volts) are present. Gas and oil circuit breakers are used. The gas (e.g. sulfur hexaflouride) or oil is used to extinguish the arc caused when a breaker is opened, either by a control switch or due to a fault. Manually or motor operated disconnects are provided on either side of the breaker to allow the breaker to be electrically isolated so that maintenance work can be performed. 

The diagrams below illustrate typical substation distribution schemes. 

The photographs below illustrate a typical substation..


Copyright 1996-2005.  Joseph Gonyeau, P.E.. The Virtual Nuclear Tourist. All rights reserved. Revised: December 1,  2001.