Demand for the modular and mobile substation is increasing dramatically due to changes in the global power industry. Equipment vendors are shifting to a new model that satisfies the need for flexible, scalable and reliable solutions. Additionally, clients want options that are cost-effective and available on short notice. Modular substations can meet these requirements. Plus, the self-contained design allows for easy shipping to logistically challenging sites. Fully enclosed electric houses (e-houses) are suitable for urban areas where substations are highly visible. These features make modular products an excellent alternative to conventional builds.
Fundamentals of Fast-Track Substations
Modular substations have been used in specialty applications for years, but they are now in the mainstream. This approach is different because transformers, circuit breakers and related components are wired and tested in off-site factories before shipping.
Because the equipment is fully assembled in a compact package, clients and vendors have the option to transport the finished product by truck, air, train or ship. The final connections are made once the unit reaches the worksite. This eliminates the cost of transporting skilled workers to and from distant facilities.
Pre-fabricated units can be assembled, shipped and commissioned on short notice. It is possible to rent units after an emergency or while repairs and upgrades are completed. Modular solutions bridge the gap between short-term rentals and permanent facilities. Conventional sites are costly, have multi-year build times and are frequently eclipsed by future development plans. Fast track power options can be built and placed according to demand. Even custom substations have the same rapid availability.
Different Types of Modular Substations
A Modular and mobile substation is customized for site-specific requirements. In addition to operating conventional step-up and step-down facilities, units can be engineered to withstand demanding applications in the world’s harshest environments.
Some mobile substations are mounted on skids and tractor-trailers while others are housed in walk-in structures. Custom substations can support a high-voltage facility independently, or multiple structures could be combined to accommodate power demands at larger generation and distribution sites.
Fully enclosed e-houses are useful in harsh conditions where the shelter protects the equipment from dust storms or ice. Modular options save space, and they are more attractive to consumers who might be overwhelmed by cables, control wires and transformers in urban areas. Modular substations house the following equipment.
- Power Transformer
- Circuit breakers
- Potential transformers
- Current transformers
- Earthing switches
Air-insulated substations and gas-insulated substations can be engineered in modular configurations. Designs with SF6 gas are practical because they are 10 percent smaller than air-insulated facilities on average.
Benefits of Portable Substations
Cost savings, reliability and short lead times are the primary benefits of modular substations. These products are gaining popularity across various sectors. In addition to serving clients in urban and remote sites, modular e-houses are being used in developing regions that have burgeoning electricity demands. They are also useful for upgrading aging infrastructure when space is at a premium.
Modular solutions can be delivered and operational in a fraction of the time that is required to plan and commission permanent facilities. Portable e-houses are easy to relocate, which increases efficiency, reduces waste and delivers greater returns on one investment.
Fast-track builds are cheaper too. The most significant cost reductions are related to labor. Because parts are assembled in off-site factories, high-voltage clients have immediate access to a skilled workforce. There is no need to train new staff, and the cost of transporting experts to the field is reduced substantially.
To learn more about the advantages of high-voltage substations or to see how these solutions can work for your organization, call Equisales Associates at 713-733-3999. Our high-voltage engineers implement fast-track solutions and provide emergency services to global clients.