Electrifying isolated communities

The Station Service Voltage Transformer (SSVT) compact substation

A small secluded community lives a life of its own. Located far from an urban center, the community residents have not enjoyed the benefits of electricity in their homes; however they do realize and witness the cultural changes, because of the nearby high voltage transmission line traversing the expanse of their countryside. Without an electrical substation in reasonable proximity to their community, the electricity they seek is just out of their reach. This real life scenario is the case in many remote areas with small isolated societies where their power requirements are modest. A conventional distribution substation with the traditional support infrastructure is simply not a commercially viable solution.

When small sized isolated communities desire the modern conveniences that electricity brings, typical methods require considerable expenditure to install a traditional high voltage substation with a high capital investment power transformer. This must include the requisite support and protection equipment, as well as the distribution infrastructure. But today, the Station Service Voltage Transformer (SSVT), enables a limited power, compact footprint substation for these smaller installations. The SSVT is a product that transforms the high transmission line voltage (up to 550kV) to consumer voltage (120V or 220V) in one transformation. Also available is output at medium voltage which will enable remote communities at greater distances from the transmission lines to access power, while using conventional voltages and equipment for local power distribution. This can be the right-sized solution at a sensible cost, providing a most effective, low loss, transformation.

The SSVT is constructed around the premise of an enlarged core and coil of an instrument voltage transformer (an instrument voltage transformer is classically used for measuring voltages in contrast to a power or distribution transformer, customarily used to step-up or step-down voltages). This voltage transformer with a larger core and coil is then used to supply suitable thermal burden output for station service control power applications or community electrification projects.

Providing either low voltage or medium voltage outputs from 25kVA to 333kVA rated power, this reasonable power output exploits the compact design of a free-standing voltage transformer. This allows for convenient installation in the traditional substation, or as a limited footprint stand-alone mini-substation. The medium voltage output extends the distance that communities can be located from the high voltage Transmission line. This can provide power to energize a small community, a cell tower repeater or irrigation pumps for example. Consider the SSVT whenever it is advantageous to obtain power immediately from the high voltage transmission level directly down to usage voltages. The SSVT community electrification solution has minimal impact on the rural landscape, making it considerably more environmentally responsible. The SSVT, when used to supply substation control power, retains the utility autonomy within the substation boundaries. Expensive land use permits and environmental licenses can often be eliminated, since power distribution lines do not traverse the surrounding lands to bring in outside power.

SSVT’s are not only a preferred substation power source to the traditional approach for substation control power needs, but they also serve as a cost-effective and appropriately sized power source for isolated communities. The SSVT is available with oil or SF6 gas insulation.

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About the author

Gary Vessel

I am a senior application engineer and business development manager for High Voltage Instrument Transformers. I promote the Station Service Voltage Transformers (SSVT) worldwide, for innovative applications such as for control power requirement in remote substations and community electrification. SSVTs supply cost effective power to isolated communities, with a minimum of infrastructure and environmental impact.
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