This article discusses low voltage electric power distribution – the last mile in the electric power distribution network. Till recently, this part of the network has been comparatively ignored but companies can no longer afford to do that. The growth of disruptive technologies and electronics, besides increased use of renewable and distributed energy resources and pressure to reduce and optimise power usage – are all forcing companies to pay attention to their electric power distribution systems.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Electric power distribution is the final stage in the delivery of electric power; it carries electricity from the transmission system to individual consumers. Power distribution substations connect to the transmission system and lower the transmission voltage to medium voltage ranging between 2 kV and 35 kV with the use of transformers. Primary distribution lines carry this medium voltage power to distribution transformers located near the customer’s premises. Distribution transformers again lower the voltage to the utilization voltage used by lighting, industrial equipment and household appliances.’
In this AC distribution system, separate feeders radiate from a single substation and feed the distributors at one end only. This is the simplest distribution circuit and has the lowest initial cost. It is employed at low voltage and the substation is located at the centre of the load.
The radial system is used for short distances only as it suffers from these drawbacks:
In this energy distribution system, the primaries of distribution transformers form a loop. The loop circuit starts from the substation busbars, makes a loop through the area to be served, and returns to the substation.
The Ring Main System is preferred as there are less voltage fluctuations at consumer’s terminals, and the system is more reliable as each distributor is fed via two feeders. In the event of a fault, supply continues uninterrupted.
This electrical distribution system has a feeder ring that is energised by two or more sources. This increases the service reliability. Any area fed from one generating station during peak load hours can be fed from the other generating station. This reduces reserve power capacity and increases efficiency of the system.
Low voltage electric power distribution systems facilitate the economic and safe delivery of adequate electrical power to all the electrical equipment used in a home, commercial building, or industrial facility. The transmitted power arrives first at an electric distribution substation, where it is passed through a series of step-down transformers that again lower the voltage to more usable levels.
Finally, the usable electricity enters the building at a single point known as the service entrance. Power enters through a main device (circuit breaker or fusible switch) located within an electrical assembly referred to as the service entrance electrical distribution equipment.
Panel boards, switchboards and switchgear can all be used as service entrance electrical distribution equipment. Each option offers unique uses and benefits to the multi-tenant residential complex, commercial facility or industrial site.
The best energy distribution system is one that will, cost-effectively and safely, supply adequate electric service to both present and future probable loads. The selection of a system arrangement plays a crucial role in the reliability and maintainability of the electrical system.
Messung has been in the business of PLC-based automation since the last four decades. With this experience Messung now provides their customers with turnkey solutions by providing smart power distribution control panels with automation products like PLC, HMI and Scada along with their special Busbar trunking system for electrical power distribution.
In fact, copper busbars are now becoming irreplaceable because of the convenience and safety factor. While using traditional cables, the cost of cabling and trunking and the time taken for installation is much higher than busbars as well.
Messung has now developed Industry 4.0- compatible, smart Cloud-based solutions to provide IOT features for “Any time Anywhere” supervisory and control features.
Messung offers the total low voltage power distribution system by studying the automation requirements of the customer and proposing an efficient, cost-effective solution. Messung also provides end-to-end support to ensure that the customers application – be it a machine tool or a water treatment plant – is completely automated. Messung’s team provides programming, engineering, training and documentation services as part of the total deliverables.