Difference between Indoor Substations and Outdoor Substations

Power substations are key components of the electric grid that provide electricity to homes and businesses. They are responsible for the distribution of electrical power to local communities, and they make it possible for people to use electricity in their daily lives. They convert and regulate the electricity coming from power plants, which can be made up of coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, or renewable sources like wind and solar.

There are two types of substations: indoor and outdoor. The main difference between indoor substations and outdoor substations is that an indoor substation is located inside a building, and an outdoor substation is located outside.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Indoor Substations and Outdoor Substations:

  • Indoor Substations: Indoor substations are designed to be installed inside a building and are mainly used to connect the power supply system with the distribution network.
  • Outdoor Substations: Outdoor substations, on the other hand, are typically installed outdoors and serve as a point of interconnection between two or more power systems.

Indoor Substations vs Outdoor Substations

Now, let’s move to Indoor Substations vs Outdoor Substations:

Major differences between Indoor Substations and Outdoor Substations

Indoor Substations Outdoor Substations
Indoor Substations use bus bars, which are long metal strips that run vertically along the walls of the substation. These bus bars connect to each other to create a large circuit that connects all the equipment inside. Outdoor Substations use switchgear enclosures (or cabinets), which are boxes with doors that open up like an old-style refrigerator door.
The equipment inside includes transformers, switches, breakers and other devices used to change power levels for different parts of a building or complex. Inside these enclosures are switches and breakers used to change power levels for different parts of a building or complex.
Indoor substations have transformers that convert high voltage electricity from the transmission lines into lower voltage electricity that can be used by homes and businesses. Outdoor substations do not have transformers; instead, they take incoming power at high voltage, then step down its voltage to reach homes and businesses in the area.
Indoor substation has a very small size. Outdoor substation has a large size.
Indoor substations take less time to install than outdoor substations. Outdoor substations take lot of time to install.


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That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Indoor Substations and Outdoor Substations”.

Also see:

Final words

It’s easy to think of indoor substations and outdoor substations as similar, but they’re actually quite different.

Indoor substations are used in locations that have a lot of people around, like schools and hospitals, because it’s important that the electrical equipment be protected from the elements. Outdoor substations are used for less populated areas, where weather isn’t an issue.

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09/24/2023 11:03 am GMT


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