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The journey of electric power starts in a generating station e.g. a Power Plant, Wind Turbine or a Solar Power Converter. At a Power Plant, the potential difference can be as high as 13,800 volts. AC is usually used. Users of large amounts of DC power such as some railway electrification systems, telephone exchanges and industrial processes for example aluminium smelting use rectifiers to derive DC from the public AC supply. 

Alternatively, they may use their own generation systems. High-voltage DC can be advantageous for isolating alternating-current systems or controlling the quantity of electricity transmitted.

Starting from the generating station, the journey continues to the generating substation where a step-up transformer increases the voltage to a level suitable for transmission, from 44 kV to 765 kV. Once in the transmission system, electricity from each generating station is combined with electricity produced elsewhere. If not stored, electricity is consumed as soon as it is produced. It is transmitted at a very high speed, close to the speed of light.

Power substations mark the transition form transmission to distribution of electricity:

Overcoming Challenges

The Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution markets are faced with various challenges and difficulties on a day-to-day basis. Due to the large sums of data and signal transmissions required for monitoring all the facilities along the journey, a reliable connection is critical. Hard wiring does not present itself as a solution for such a challenge; however, industrial connectors offer the ability to not only overcome these obstacles but also propose an array of other benefits.

Hard wiring is also deemed very time consuming and requires a lot of manpower. The Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution market is fast-paced and each process needs to run as quickly and smoothly as possible. Introducing industrial connectors reduces wiring costs and offers faster commissioning in the field along with fewer personnel required for on-site constructions.

Another challenge faced in the market is the continual development of machinery and technology. If using hard-wired solutions, changes on site such as extensions or additional equipment can be more difficult to conduct, using industrial connectors makes this process easier to carry out.

Plug & Play History

Your industrial machines’ motion control components are not moving anywhere or anything without the cables that transmit the power, signal, and data. When deciding how exactly to connect these cables, you have two options: hardwiring the system or using connectors for plug and play capabilities.

Traditionally, hard wiring has been used as a viable option for servicing the Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution sector. While presenting a satisfactory solution during normal operation, hard wiring presents a number of challenges: not least the question of what happens if the product breaks down and the problem is traced to an electrical fault.

In more recent times however, the market has moved more to plug and play solutions for various different reasons. Connectorisation takes all the guesswork out, especially when there are multiple connectors which are mounted side-by-side. Male and female receptacles can be keyed so they only mate with their appropriate counterpart.

Connectors are designed to prevent any miss-wiring. With keyed pins, you cannot plug a connector in wrong, and you cannot make the same mistakes you could possibly make with hard wiring.
 

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Your systems partner for Plug & Play solutions in the Energy market. HARTING brings you the required interfaces for a modular plant construction with reliable Plug & Play installation. Customised solutions are designed to meet your project specifications. Working together, HARTING can help you reduce cost, improve installation time and save space with innovative connectivity solutions.

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