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Substations transform voltage from high to low, or the reverse, or perform any of several other important functions. The first substations were connected to only one power station, where the generators were housed. Tranformers may be used to change voltage levels between high transmission voltages and lower distribution voltage Circuit breakers, in larger applications, are used to interrupt short circuits and overload currents.
Voltage, class and applications best describe a Substation. Transmission substations can range from simple to complex. Large Substations can cover several acres and a large array of circuit breakers may be installed for better protection.
Reliability and cost are always the first steps in planning a substation installation. Expansion of substations are critical and to that end, most lines will either have a disconnect switch or a circuit breaker. Switching is also a critical function. Substations are designed to, in most cases, isolate a fault in the system and correct it swiftly so as to avoid serious downtime.
Automated supervision came quickly as more and more complex networks were installed. Smart Grids is another aspect of Substations and multiple devices such as DNP3, IEC6 and Modbus allow for intelligent devices to communicate with each other. Railways also use substations for trains implementing installing rectifiers for direct current and alternating current frequencies.
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