An In-Depth Look at Substation Classification Standards

As inflation continues to bite, infrastructure is paying a heavy price. Costs for much-needed infrastructure projects across America are skyrocketing. As a result, long-awaited updates to our energy system are becoming more costly. 

To understand how to get the most bang for your buck, knowing the most suitable pieces is essential for your infrastructure project. When it comes to energy, this means knowing what substation you need. 

There are many different types of substations out there. Knowing the right one for your project will save time, resources, and cash. 

Read this handy substation guide to learn everything you need to know about substation classification. 

Substation Classification, According to Service Requirement

First off, it is worth noting that there are two broad types of substations.

There are substation classification standards according to the service requirement. Then there are classification standards according to how it is constructed.

Let’s run through the first one. 


Transformer substations change the level of voltage within the supply of electricity. They take in electricity at one voltage and deliver it again at another voltage. They are the most common type of substation in America. 


These are the opposite. They do not affect or change the level of voltage at all. Instead, they switch the various operations of the power lines they are attached to.


Power Factor Correction

Power factor correction substations act as boosters. They improve the “power factor” of the electricity system as a whole. For this reason, they are usually built at the very end of the transmission line.


These are similar in scope to switching substations but with a more specific role. Converting substations changes AC power to DC power. This DC power can be used for particular functions, such as welding or electroplating. 

Frequency Changer 

As the name suggests, this substation classification works by changing the frequency or electricity supply. This can be used during high demand, especially in an industrial context. 

Substation Classification, According to its Construction 

Construction classifications group substations into how and where they are physically built. 


These are often the smallest substations used for voltages below 11kV. They are also the most economically-friendly option. 


Sometimes, it is not practical to build a substation indoors. The space needed for switches, conductors, and circuit breakers might be so ample that you must make it outdoors. For this reason, outdoor substations usually deal with voltages exceeding 66kV. 


You need an extensive substation system, but you must build it outdoors. This might be because you need the system in a dense urban area. In this case, it is often best to develop your substation underground. 


One particular type of outdoor substation is called a pole-mounted substation. These small-voltage substations (<11kV) are often mounted on a 4-pole structure. They are used for small-scale electricity distribution. 

We Can Power Your System 

Knowing what tools will get the job done is essential regardless of your industrial or community energy needs. You can find the perfect one for your system by understanding the substation classification standards.

For this, we are here to help. If you need help identifying the substation for the job, do not hesitate to contact our friendly and professional team today.