Underground Power Distribution System

Now a day much new electric power distribution system is underground. It’s true that underground distribution system is much more hidden from view than typical overhead circuits system and it is more reliable.

All type of power cables, connectors and installation equipment have advanced considerably in the last quarter of the 20th century and making underground distribution installations faster with less expensive.

Underground Power Distribution System With Details:

Yes, under-grounding power distribution system is the replacement of overhead cables is providing the electrical power or telecommunications network by the underground cables.

This procedure is normally performed for the aesthetic purposes but it also serves some additional significant purpose of making the electric power lines less susceptible to outages during the high wind thunderstorm, the heavy snow or ice storms in local area.

But under grounding power distribution system can increase the initial costs of electric power transmission and distribution but it may decrease the operational costs over the lifetime of the power cables.

Related: Fundamental of Electric Power Distribution System

Now come to the more specific about the under grounding power distribution system. When the low voltage lines are underground but the transformers and the medium voltage lines are overhead then it is called a hybrid overhead/underground electric power distribution system.

But when the system is completely underground and the medium voltage lines are also buried and transformers are mounted on the ground level pads or in underground vaults. This type of power distribution system is more common in densely populated areas and in certain housing developments.

For this reason, this is the main applications for “underground residential distribution” (URD) system and underground branches or loops supplying electricity to residential neighborhoods. Utilities also use underground construction system for substation exits and drops to pad-mounted transformers serving the industrial or commercial consumers.

Other uses are crossings: river crossings, highway crossings or transmission line crossings. All underground construction is widely used for decades in cities and now this system is appearing in more places.

Related: Overhead Electric Line Construction

But underground construction is expensive and costs vary widely. Now there are some main factors that influence underground power distribution system costs are:

Time of Development: Each road, sidewalks, driveways, trees and water pipes also some other obstacles slow construction work and increase costs.

Local Soil Condition: Rocks and frozen ground also increase overtime pay for cable crews during construction.

Urban, Suburban or Rural: Any construction works in urban area is more difficult not only because of concrete but also because of heavy traffic. But rural areas construction work is normally the less expensive per length but lengths are long.

Conduit: The concrete encased ducts cost is more than direct buried conduits which cost more than the preassembled flexible conduit, which cost more than directly buried cable with no conduits at all.

Cable Size and Materials: Always the actual cable cost is a relatively small part of many underground applications.

Installation Equipment: Bigger machines and machines more appropriate for the surface and soil conditions ease installations.

Related: Why is Electricity Transmitted at High Voltage and Low Current

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