Power transmission is the large-scale transportation of electrical energy from a generation source, such as a power plant. A transmission network is a collection of interconnecting wires that allow this movement to occur. This contrasts with the local cables that connect high-voltage substations to consumers, which is an act of power distribution.
Towers supporting high-voltage transmission lines may be a familiar sight in your neighborhood. These are high voltage cables that carry electricity produced at remote power plants. The power is generated in these remote areas due to the security threat they pose to people if an accident occurs. Then, the high voltage lines transport the power to various destinations.
Notably, these lines can carry electrical energy at 1.2MV (1200 kilo Volts) or higher in certain nations. As a result, a professional company with years of experience must be tasked with the responsibility of installing these transmission lines. But what is the necessity of transporting energy through these high voltage lines?
It Saves on Cost
The main factor that comes into play when determining transmission line conductor size is the current range. It determines the cross conducting line’s cross-section necessary for the transmission process. A lower voltage level will necessitate a larger conductor’s cross-section for transmission. In contrast, a smaller conductor cross-section will be necessary for transmitting the same power quantity at a higher voltage level.
As a result, high-voltage power transmission saves on cost by aiding in reducing material costs in the form of the conductor.
Minimizes Chances of Power Loss
Transmission line power losses are directly proportional to the current they carry. Copper, aluminum, and their alloys are the most used materials for transmission lines. This power loss, also known as copper or 12R loss, is primarily due to the resistance of these transmission cables.
As per the above discussion, power loss is directly proportional to the current. Hence, the solution for this would be to reduce the amount of current in the transmission lines. A knowledgeable company uses high voltage, as voltage and current are inversely proportional. That is, the higher the voltage, the lower the current.
Maintains Voltage Levels
Several factors cause a voltage drop in transmission lines:
- The current passing through them.
- The resistance of the transmission lines to the current flow.
As such, an increase in voltage concurrently decreases the current levels, which helps in minimizing voltage drop and improving voltage control.
Enhancement of Transmission Efficiency
Power transmission efficiency results from the information in the above sections. For instance, high voltage transmission reduces power losses, the costs associated with conducting materials, and transmission equipment. As a result, transmission companies save on cost and power, which increases efficiency while being more accountable.
High Voltage Market
Recent years have seen the fast-expanding renewables sector play a significant role in the high voltage industry. An increase in the availability of renewable sources of local electricity production increases the need for high-voltage transmission infrastructure.
Hence, there are two primary drivers of the high voltage industry in the United States:
- The replacement and renovation of existing transmission infrastructures.
- The addition of new generation and transmission capacity.