Electric Power Distribution System Basics

Electrical power is dominant as it is relatively much easier to transmit and distribute than other forms of energy such as mechanical. Imagine transmitting mechanical energy to just 20 feet of distance. Isn't it much easier to use wires instead of belts, chains or shafts?
We have seen how electrical energy is generated in generating stations and how it is transmitted over long distances through transmission networks. Now, let's see how electrical power is distributed to the consumers.

Power Distribution System

A distribution substation is located near or inside city/town/village/industrial area. It receives power from a transmission network. The high voltage from the transmission line is then stepped down by a step-down transformer to the primary distribution level voltage. Primary distribution voltage is usually 11 kV, but can range between 2.4 kV to 33 kV depending upon region or consumer.
A typical power distribution system consists of -
  • Distribution substation
  • Feeders
  • Distribution Transformers
  • Distributor conductors
  • Service mains conductors
Along with these, a distribution system also consists of switches, protection equipment, measurement equipment etc.
Distribution feeders: The stepped-down voltage from the substation is carried to distribution transformers via feeder conductors. Generally, no tappings are taken from the feeders so that the current remains same throughout. The main consideration in designing of a feeder conductor is its current carrying capacity.
Distribution transformer: A distribution transformer, also called as service transformer, provides final transformation in the electric power distribution system. It is basically a step-down 3-phase transformer. Distribution transformer steps down the voltage to 400Y/230 volts. Here it means, voltage between any one phase and the neutral is 230 volts and phase to phase voltage is 400 volts. However, in USA and some other countries, 120/240 volts split-phase system is used; where voltage between a phase and neutral is 120 volts.
Distributors: Output from a distribution transformer is carried by distributor conductor. Tappings are taken from a distributor conductor for power supply to the end consumers. The current through a distributor is not constant as tappings are taken at various places throughout its length. So, voltage drop along the length is the main consideration while designing a distributor conductor.
Service mains: It is a small cable which connects the distributor conductor at the nearest pole to the consumer's end.
simple radial AC power distribution
The above figure shows a simple radial AC power distribution system. The figure does not show other equipment like circuit breakers, measuring instruments etc. for simplicity purpose.

Primary distribution

It is that part of an AC distribution system which operates at somewhat higher voltages than general residential consumer utilization. Commonly used primary distribution voltages in most countries are 11 kV, 6.6 kV and 3.3 kV. Primary distribution handles large consumers such as factories and industries. It also feeds small substation from where secondary distribution is carried out. Primary distribution is carried out by 3-phase, 3-wire system.

Secondary distribution

This part directly supplies to the residential end consumers. Domestic consumers are fed with single phase supply at 230 volts (120 volts in USA and some other countries). Three phase supply may also be provided at 400 volts for big properties, commercial buildings, small factories etc. Secondary transmission in most countries is carried out by 3-phase, 4-wire system.

Classification of power distribution systems

  • According to nature of current:
    1. DC distribution system
    2. AC distribution system
  • According to type of construction:
    1. Overhead distribution system
    2. Underground distribution system
  • On the basis of scheme of connection:
    1. Radial distribution system
    2. Ring main distribution system
    3. Inter-connected distribution system

Wireless charging : Not for just a phone

If you have a look at phones from the past decades, you can see a major difference. For example, the phones that were used in the 80’s are vastly different from an iPhone. They are different in so many different ways. But one of the things that makes them so much more efficient than a brick phone from the 80’s, is that the iPhone is wireless. It needs no wires at all for you to be able to utilise a number of different uses and applications. Wireless devices and wireless functionality in general is one of the pioneering forces of the technology age, the object you’ve created can’t reach the higher echelons of gadgetry unless it is wireless.

Inductive charging : How it works?

One of the technologies being utilised more and more, is the process of inductive charging. Which is when an Induction charger uses a coil to create an alternating electromagnetic field from within a charging base. There is then an induction coil, also in the portable device, and it takes power from the electromagnetic field and converts it back into electric current to charge the battery. The energy is transferred between the coils by the phenomenon of mutual induction, which is similar to the transformer action.
wireless or inductive charging of a smartphone
Wireless charging of a smartphone
Image Credit: Wikimedia commons

We are so enshrined to think that to charge something it must have a power source plugged into it, to enable it to receive power and energy. But those technicians that have created and are improving the nature of inductive charging are breaking this myth with the use of mutual induction that permits wireless charging. This technology, once thought to be impossible, is now powering phones, industrial devices and even heavy-duty equipment.
It can be expected that we will see a lot more of this sort of revolutionising of charging in the years to come. It has the potential to be cost effective, it is easy to use and there is less potential to break. And (which is what drives most of these implementations of it thus far) it is easy to use you don’t have to pay for research paper about inductive charging to know how it works. It also looks the part, imagine being at a party and just placing your phone down onto a sleek black pad and having it light up, notifying you that it has begun to charge. The coolness factor of it has already been enough for Nokia and Samsung to integrate it into their phones.

Applications of wireless charging or inductive charging

This technology is seen as a revolutionary method of charging in technological circles and is already utilised in a number of products, including the Apple watch, the Nokia Lumia 820 and an Oral-B toothbrush. This revolution is not just for phones, but for a variety of electrical machines. It is revolutionary enough integrating a wireless charging capability in a phone. Imagine if your power drill was wirelessly charged, or even your electric car just had to be parked up in a certain spot for a while before you could drive it away with a full battery. The fact that the process has already been used on handheld industrial equipment and even some larger industrial machines is huge, and shows us that this technology, that seems problematic, can be used to charge and power large devices.
electric car wireless charging at parking station
Wireless parking charge of an electric car
Image credit: Wikimedia commons

Reviews of wireless charging

The quality of its use is also surprisingly good, reviews of the wireless functionality of the Nokia Lumia 920 state that it’s ‘convenient’, and that ‘charging takes a little longer that it would using a normal charger’ but that this doesn’t dampen the application of a revolutionary charging method to provide efficiency. And on the Samsung S5, reviewers said that it ‘actually worked consistently’, and that the price tag was enough to justify labeling it a wireless charging option with real financial value. Of course this is very significant, being that when people imagine wireless chargers they instantly see dollar signs, and expect that particular function to cost them a lot more money. But, it comes to just $25 extra to add that functionality to the Samsung S5.
I for one dream of the day I can just leave my phone on a small pad, pick it up an hour later and have the ability to walk away and write my paper I need to write, text friends, email colleagues, video call parents, absolutely anything imaginable. And all I had to do was place my phone onto a charging dock (not even straight or in a regimented position at all!) and let the induction coils do their thing. It really is a glimpse into the future, and it’s being used more and more right now.

5 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

Are you facing lots of electrical issues in your home? Do electricians repairing these issues recommend you upgrade your electrical panel? Perhaps, you are facing this situation, or you have seen it in other homes.
Electrical panel issues are usually seen in homes where the electrical panel is older and has not been upgraded.
The electrical panel is usually set up just after the start of construction on a home. The electrical panel accepts the main power and then distributes it to different part of your home.

electrical panel in homes

Any fault in an electrical panel can cause many different kinds of electrical issues or it can disrupt the electricity to your entire home. So, you can understand how it is significant update your electrical panel when needed.

Signs that you need to upgrade your electrical panel:

1. Circuit breakers frequently trip

A circuit breaker trip helps to stop the flow of electricity. It happens to protect the circuit from overheating and causing other kinds of damage. It may also happen when your home energy exceeds the capacity of your current electrical panel. If you are frequently having this situation, then you may need to upgrade electrical panel in your home.

2. Evidence of electrical fires

Wires going into your electrical panel may reach the point where they could ignite themselves. If you notice an acrid smell from your panel or notice any discolored marks near to the circuit breakers, there is the chance of an electrical fire. If you observe signs of a fire, you should immediately look for services to upgrade the electrical panel.

3. Breakers are unable to remain reset

If you are having a problem and you reset the breaker, but it will not remain that way, or it does not restore power, chances are there is a problem with the electrical panel.

4. Old or damaged wiring

As your wiring ages and starts to deteriorate then you might see the flickering of lights, experience shock while touching an appliance, find a burning smell near appliances or see any faded black marks around the panel. If you observe these kinds of signs, there is a problem with your wiring, and you should immediately look for services to upgrade the electrical panel.

5. You only have fuses and not circuit breakers

If your home is older, it may have a fused-based electrical system. Fuses are outdated and don’t trip like the circuit breakers. Electricians used that fuse-based system when homes didn’t have the significant amount of electricity consumption as they do today. A fuse-based system is not safe, it is recommend to have an electrician install a circuit breaker system. If you are still using the fuse-based electrical system, you need to upgrade the electrical panel with circuit breakers.

If you find any of these signs with your electrical panel, you should immediately look for a residential electrician to upgrade your electrical service as a solution for your electrical panel issues. Many online portals are offer services for electrical panel repairing and upgrading. You can refer to these online electrical upgrading services to acquire complete repair services, at your home.

[Also read: Top 10 Benefits Of Upgrading Your Home HVAC System]

Author: Amit Sharma is an all-time professional Writer and very honest sincere and up-front blogger. In general, he tries to blog up-front and honest, without being argumentative or confrontive. He takes care not to offend, but sometimes, he just wants to bash intelligence into some brains.

Explaining Essential Components of Stepper Motor Drive

A stepper engine drive is a circuit which is used to run a stepper motor. It is also known as stepper motor driver.
The market is flooded with a lot of drive circuits today. Most of the circuits are easy to interface to a motor such that you can easily connect stepper engine to it and you are all set to run the motor.
These circuits come in a vast collection of ratings for voltage and current, and you can choose as per the requirement of the engine which will be used.
A stepper engine drive consists of components such as a controller, a driver, power supply unit and the connections to the motor.
Here in this article, I have broadly discussed the components.

The 3 Essential Components of Stepper Motor Drive

  • Controller
  • Driver
  • Power supply unit
And there are also some different components such as switches, heat sink, connecting wires.

Stepper Motor Controller

The first and critical element of the stepper motor is a controller, also known as a pulse generator.
The controller is used to output pulse commands that are used to move the motor. It can accelerate or decelerate motor speed or can also stop it. It is an essential component in the efficient working of the stepper motor.
In building a stepper motor drive, the controller is the first component that should be selected.
Select the one that has at least four output pins. It must contain serial port, ADC, timers, etc.
Also, there are mainly two types of stepper motor controllers, i.e., open loop and closed loop.
Open loop is simple to operate and is less expensive than a closed loop. Most of the motor applications work well with open loop controller.

[Also read: Servo motor]

Stepper motor driver

The second important component is the motor driver. The function of stepper driver is to control the direction and magnitude of current flow into the motor windings. It takes pulses from the controller and calculates when and how motor windings should be energized to generate motion.
There are mainly three types of stepper motor drivers, i.e., Digital, Analog, and Integrated. These days, Compact integrated circuits, i.e., IC’s have taken the place of discrete driver components. These IC’s are very affordable to buy and are very easy to implement.
One should select the driver as per the current and voltage required. One of the most popular stepper motor drivers is of Leadshine Technology, renowned manufacturers in China. If you want to buy best quality stepper motor driver, you can search for any reseller of Leadshine stepper drivers.

Image source: omc-stepperonline

Power supply unit

A stepper motor requires a voltage ranging from 5V to 12V and current ranging from 100mA to 400mA. Power supply unit is designed as per the motor specifications.
It is vital that the power must be controlled so that fluctuations in speed and torque can be regulated.

So, these are three main components of stepper motor drive. If you are looking to buy stepper motor drive, you don’t have to worry about it. Now you can buy stepper motor and other motion control components just by sitting at home.

[Also read: Brushless DC motor]
Author: Amit Sharma is an all-time professional Writer and very honest sincere and up-front blogger. In general, he tries to blog up-front and honest, without being argumentative or confrontive. He takes care not to offend, but sometimes, he just wants to bash intelligence into some brains.

New Ways to Solve the Energy Problem

The global energy problem is the problem of providing humanity with fuel now and in the foreseeable future. Here are the ways to solve this problem with an unexpectedly different approach.

alternative energy - new ways to solve the energy problem

Space Solar Stations

Every hour the earth receives more solar energy than Earthmen use for a whole year. One way to use it is to create orbital solar farms that will collect some of the high-intensity and uninterrupted solar radiation. Huge mirrors will reflect the sun's rays on the collector of a smaller size. Then this energy will be transmitted to the ground by means of microwave or laser beams. One of the reasons why this project is at the idea stage is its huge cost. Nevertheless, it can become a reality in the near future because of the development of technologies and the reduction in the cost of exporting goods to outer space.

Energy of the Person

We already have a human-charged device, but scientists are working on how to get energy from a usual movement. It's about microelectronics, but the potential is great for a target audience of a billion people.

Waves and Tides

Curbing all the energy of the ocean could charge the whole world several times, so more than 100 companies are working on this. Because of the emphasis on the energy of the sun and wind energy, tidal one was forced out of the front rows, but it becomes more efficient currently.


Hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, contains a lot of energy, although the engine that burns pure hydrogen produces virtually no emissions. After separation, hydrogen can be pumped into mobile fuel cells and placed on cars for direct generation of electricity. These cars are now produced in fairly large lots and a case study on this matter can be ordered here

Heat of Underground Lava Flows

The way to convert heat into electrical energy that rises from the molten depths of the earth is used for the needs of millions of houses around the world and in the mathematical language is a torque equation. Its geothermal energy. It accounts for 27% of the generated energy of the Philippines and 30% of Iceland.

Nuclear Waste

Nuclear power plants are traditional nuclear reactors that have been in use for decades, being responsible for 20% of the energy consumed in the United States. But now we have a more efficient technology of fast reactors, where the rods are immersed not in water, but in liquid sodium. Thanks to this, 95% of uranium is used, instead of an unacceptably low efficiency of 5%. This method will solve a huge problem of getting rid of radioactive waste since these reactors can use them repeatedly.

Window Solar Panels

Every day the production and installation of solar cells are becoming cheaper, which leads to their widespread distribution. Europe led by Germany is the leader in converting the energy of the sun into electricity. Researchers from the National Laboratory of Spain have made a significant breakthrough in the technology of photocells at quantum dots, which will allow highly efficient solar panels to work as transparent glass. When this technology becomes cheap enough to enter the mass market, any sunlit window can be turned into a miniature solar station.

Biofuel (Algae)

Today biofuels are winning their positions. The only drawback is that the first generation of biofuels uses the same land and resources that used to grow food, which raises prices for it and causes many problems in the developing world. This brings us to the third generation of biofuels - algae, which can replace oil once and for all. The natural algal oil content is more than 50%, which guarantees easy extraction and processing of the oil. The remains of the plant can be turned into natural gas or fertilizers to grow even more algae without chemicals.

Soaring Windmills

Even today we get enough energy from the wind, but thanks to the hanging wind turbine above the ground, where the wind is stronger and more stable we could get it much more efficiently. The scheme is simple. It is a soft circular airship tied to the ground with a turbine in the middle that will produce a double amount of energy as a stationary windmill of the same size.

Thermonuclear Fusion

Unlike nuclear fission, nuclear fusion does not produce any deadly nuclear waste, since it merges the atoms together, rather than splits them. Consequently, there is no threat of uncontrolled reaction, which can lead to melting of the active region of the reactor. However, it is easier said than done.