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In the very early days of electrical power systems, generation was local and power stations supplied small areas, such as a town.  As the networks developed, it became more economic to generate in larger, central power stations and distribute electricity to the local power stations, which lost their generators and became sub-stations.  Now a substation describes a part of the electricity system where a range of functions are performed, such as transforming the voltage level or connecting parts of the systems, such as a town, factory or generator to the main power network.

Substations range in size from small, local distribution substations such as you might see down your street through to major transmission substations that supply cities and can extend for several acres.  Substations comprise a variety of elements, including Switchgear, Transformers, Instrument Transformers, Protection, Control, Communications, Condition and Network Monitoring  equipment. 

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