What is the secondary distribution grid and what elements comprise it?

Operations in a compact transformer substation for secondary distribution
Operations in a compact transformer substation for secondary distribution

Perhaps you’ve heard of the secondary distribution in the power grid, but do you know what it is and what elements are part of it?

Understanding how the world around us works makes us appreciate the complexity of many everyday things whose operation we take for granted. One of the main protagonists of our daily lives is electrical energy, which makes our lives much easier and whose operation is extremely interesting and necessary. Electrical energy travels a long way, from generation to reaching consumption points, through the distribution grid until it can be consumed, for which its transformation and distribution at each of the key nodes is indispensable to ensure supply and safety.

Thus, we can distinguish between two main phases when we talk about distribution: the primary distribution grid and the secondary distribution grid. Today we will focus on explaining what it is and what elements are part of the latter, which is the closest to consumption points. Let’s dive into it.

When we talk about the term electrical distribution grid, we refer to the existing infrastructure that enables energy to reach customers and end consumers from the large high-voltage transmission lines (between 220 kV and 400 kV) that we all recognize. As we mentioned, the treatment of electrical energy is tremendously complex in its different phases (generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption) and requires many elements of different complexities such as cables, electrical equipment, poles, towers, substations…

The location of each of these elements in the grid is not random but responds to technical requirements that guarantee stable and safe lighting in our homes, as well as ensuring that each kilowatt of renewable energy generated is used as efficiently as possible. When distinguishing the main phases of the distribution grid, we can divide it into two main groups:

  • Primary distribution grid: This is the stage of electricity distribution where energy reaches substations to be transformed and distributed at medium voltage to the next phase of the grid for direct consumption by electro-intensive consumers such as industry.
  • Secondary distribution grid: This is the stage of the electricity distribution system where the voltage values of the energy are adapted for safe and efficient delivery to consumption points such as our homes, offices, hospitals… It is based on the work of medium-voltage transformation centers, which adapt the energy voltage for its transition to low voltage and subsequent consumption by the end user.

The secondary distribution grid and its main elements:

If we focus on the secondary distribution grid, we can distinguish several elements that perform the main functions for its proper operation. Let’s see what they are:

  • Feeder cables: These are the main transport arteries for electrical energy within the secondary distribution grid. Despite appearing to be simple cables, they are designed to withstand significant electrical currents, reducing losses and prioritizing safety. They are also protected by devices against overloads and short circuits, as well as connected with grid measurement and monitoring devices for proper management and monitoring.

Ormazabal, expert in electrical solutions for secondary:

At Ormazabal, we work to transform the electrical grid into a future infrastructure: more reliable, resilient, and sustainable. Thus, we have more than 55 years of experience in the design and manufacture of electrical solutions for secondary distribution aimed at digitizing the electrical grid to integrate more renewable energy generation, enable more sustainable mobility, and ensure electricity supply to buildings and infrastructures with critical energy needs.

Within our route to zero, we have launched our innovative ranges of products free of fluorinated gases, based on insulation in natural industrial air, for the public distribution market up to 24 kV cgm.zero24. The most complete alternative solution to SF6 insulation on the market, guaranteeing zero changes, zero uncertainties, and a more sustainable electrical grid.

Want to know more? Contact with us:

    Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Bizkaia, Edf. 614, Astondo Bidea,48160, Derio (Bizkaia) España

    +34 94 431 77 77