The Benefits of Using High Voltage Contact

Author: Liang

Mar. 07, 2024

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Tags: Measurement & Analysis Instruments

The electricity our world runs on is often transmitted at high voltages. If you’ve ever looked up and seen the large steel power poles then you are familiar with Australia’s high voltage transmission lines. They come in a few different shapes and sizes, carrying power that ranges from 132kV (132,000 Volts) up to 275kV. Compared to the 240V found around the home, 132kV is a large number, but transmitting power at such high voltages comes with a few key advantages. In this article, we are going to look at high voltage power transmission to see the benefits to infrastructure and commercial applications.

Reduction in Power Loss

Power from traditional sources like coal-fired plants is usually produced far away from large cities. These power plants are built in areas that are rich in the resources used to create power, but it means the power needs to be transported long distances before it can be used. Australia uses large steel towers that transmit power at high voltages to take care of this work, primarily because the higher voltage reduces the amount of power lost in transmission.

Wires of every size have some amount of resistance simply due to the copper and aluminium they are made from. Over great distances, this resistance adds up and the amount of power lost as heat can be expensive for the energy provider. Transmitting power at high voltages is the simplest way of reducing these losses. Increasing the voltage of the electricity means the current can be decreased and the same amount of power can be transmitted with lower losses due to the resistance of wiring and other conductors.

Lower Infrastructure Costs

The size of the cabling needed to transmit power is proportional to the amount of current that will pass through it. So, when transmitted at higher currents, larger wire sizes are used. High voltage cabling can be a relatively small diameter thanks to the low currents passing through.

Over large distances, sometimes hundreds or thousands of kilometres, the cost of power cabling quickly stacks up. When added to the cost of substations and transformers, the size of the cabling makes a large difference to infrastructure costs. Even transmission towers would need to be engineered to handle larger wire sizes. With high voltage cabling already weighing in at several tonnes per kilometre, supporting thicker gauges of wire would require far more substantial transmission towers. Using high voltages and thinner gauges of wire is cheaper for power producers and infrastructure suppliers, as well as for end consumers wanting affordable electricity.

Increased Power Transmission Efficiency

Transmitting power at high voltage and low current makes the entire system more efficient. Not only does it reduce infrastructure costs, but more power can be transmitted over larger distances. When designing high voltage power systems, engineers account for the distance travelled and the expected losses due to resistance. In a system where more power is lost between the power plant and the substation, the power plant would need to supply more power to keep up with demand. By reducing the amount of power lost in transmission, power plants can produce less of the electricity that substations need to pass onto paying consumers.

Asset Power Solutions are High Voltage Electricians

High voltage power systems are an electrical staple that makes our modern world possible. Asset Power Solutions are licensed and trained for work on networks up to 132kV. We can provide safe installations and repairs for your business’ high voltage power needs, and our expert technicians can ensure your job is completed on time and on budget. Contact the team at Asset Power Solutions today for an appointment or to find out more about our high voltage electrical services.

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If you are referring to power transmission, then you have put your finger on exactly why Tesla beat out Edison back in the day.

When George Westinghouse was called upon to provide power to New York for industry he decided that Niagara Falls was the best way to get the power. His original idea was to pipe compressed air.

Edison had his electricity plants but they ran on DC, which means the power must be generated at the same voltage at which it was used. To keep the number of home electrocutions to a manageable level this meant that it had to be kept in the 100-200 volt range. With available cables the power could only be transmitted a few miles before the voltage drop in the lines made it impractical.

Remember: Power loss in cable is defined by the square of the amperage multiplied by the resistance.

$$ Ploss = I^2 \times R $$

where Resistance is determined by the cross-sectional area of the cable.

And since power is the product of the voltage and amperage,

$$ P = E \times I $$

Edison's power-delivery system was current-limited due to cable losses.

So then along comes Nikola Tesla with the idea of using what he called "rotating magnetic fields" - we now call it triple-phase power. By using this he could use AC in transformers to step up the voltage to very high levels.

With his system he could deliver more power at the same amperage via the same size cable by using high voltage.

This translated directly into the ability to install long-distance transmission lines.

Westinghouse immediately saw the advantage of this, so thus Niagra Falls became the very first electrical power plant to transmit power for such a long range.

At the point of use it could then be stepped back down by transformer to a level that could be used in the premises.

Some very long-haul lines can be up over 100,000 Volts. At substations it is brought down to lower levels for local power lines.

Then the transformers on the poles bring it down to the 240 Volts that feed our homes.

On our end, as consumers, we see that by using AC and its ability to be stepped up to high voltage has given us the benefits of the modern power grid system.

Thus we now have AC outlets in our homes as a result - with power that is being provided from far away.

The Benefits of Using High Voltage Contact

What are actual additional benefits of using high voltage

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