The Main Elements of a Substation

There are over 11,000 power plants in the United States. A substation is a vital part of any power grid.

The purpose of an electrical substation is to convert voltage to a usable level.

The electricity in a place of residence might go through several substations before the consumer uses it. The components a substation uses may just be a transformer and a few switches or an entire array of transformers and much more equipment.

Now we’ve answered the question, “What is a substation?” Let’s examine the different kinds of substation equipment.

Read on to learn about the different kinds of substation components!

Lightning Arrester

A lightning arrester is a protective component that diverts electrical current to the ground if lightning strikes any substation equipment. By transferring current directly to the ground, lightning arresters prevent power outages and equipment failure.

Arresters are generally located higher than other equipment to prevent lightning from striking other components. This height provides lightning strikes a more direct path to the ground.


Insulators are components that don’t conduct electricity. They support other components to prevent generated electricity from reaching the ground.

Insulators not only prevent energy waste but are also crucial to the safe handling of substation equipment.

Instrument Transformer

An instrument transformer reduces an electrical current’s voltage to a level safe for use. Typically, this type of transformer converts power into the 110 V range.

There are two kinds of instrument transformers: voltage transformers and current transformers.

Power Transformer

Unlike instrument transformers, power transformers prepare electrical current for distribution rather than for practical use. This kind of transformer reduces a current’s voltage from 735,000 V to 120,000 V.



Relays are a diagnostic and preventative component. They detect the failure of other components and shut off any faulty components.

This helps substations keep other components from failing. Additionally, relays stop failures from causing damage to any other equipment.

Circuit Breaker

If you’ve ever tripped a circuit in your home, you’ve likely encountered a circuit breaker. When an electrical system experiences a surge, circuit breakers close the connection to prevent damage.

In the event of a short circuit, circuit breakers flip automatically. They can also be used manually for maintenance or system checks.

Bus Bar

The bus bar is the substation’s delivery system for electrical current.

Electricity coming to the power substation first goes to the bus bar. The bus bar then transfers the current to other components for use.

Capacitor Bank

The purpose of a capacitor bank is to make the transfer of electricity more efficient. By reducing a line’s reactance, capacitors help substations regulate voltage.


An isolator is a switch that workers operate manually. This switch isolates any faulty equipment so it can’t overload other equipment.

Top Quality Substation Packaging

Substations rely on a variety of components to provide power. Even if one component fails at a substation, another piece of equipment can prevent it from damaging the system.

From design to operation, substation packaging is essential to keeping a substation running smoothly. At Peak Substation Services, we have over 100 years of packaging experience.

Contact us today to find out why we’re a one-stop shop for substation packaging!