Although at first glance they may seem identical, not all electrical installations are the same: the installation of a house is not the same as that of an industrial complex. In this post we explain the types of electrical installations that exist and the parts of an electrical installation.
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What are the types of electrical installations?
There are different types of electrical installations that we can classify according to voltage and use.
Types of electrical voltage: low, medium and high voltage
- Very low voltage electrical installation
They are characterised by a low intensity differential, less than 24 volts in places with humidity and in drier areas less than 50. These are the safest facilities and are found in places where there is a lot of driving. With all this, the risk of accident or malfunction of electrical appliances is minimized. The power of these systems is usually low, it does not exceed 10 kW.
- Low voltage electrical installation
In these installations, the potential difference between the conductors is less than 1,000 volts but greater than 24 in a very low voltage installation. The facilities we have at home are of this type. If it is direct current, it is considered low voltage as long as the potential difference is below 1,500 volts.
- Medium and high voltage electrical installation
If the electrical installation exceeds 1,000 volts reaching 36,000, it is considered a medium voltage electrical installation. They are the ones with the most power. For example, electricity generating plants are located in the high voltage level.
Once the differences between low, medium and high voltage have been clarified, we explain the electrical installations according to the function they perform.
They are electrical installations responsible for generating an electromotive force and, therefore, electrical energy from other forms of energy. For this, high-voltage transmission lines are used in photovoltaic generating installations to transport all alternating current from the point of generation to consumption centers.
These are power lines whose function is to connect the different facilities. Electric lines can be underground, either thanks to a system of conductors of galleries, ditches or aerial installations through conductors installed on supports.
They are the ones that receive the electrical energy and are in charge of transforming its parameters, modifying the energy tension.
They are found in homes and in the industrial sector and are characterized by the modification of electrical energy to other types of energy and for being the competing installations of generators.
Elements of an electrical installation
The design of an electrical installation will depend on the end point of the supply, that is, the capacity of the building, the electrical equipment installed, the number of plants, the outlets… Although the structural design may vary, the following would be the main parts of an electrical installation:
- Connection: This is a part of the installation that conducts the energy from the public network to the point of supply. The electrical connection of a house can be underground or aerial.
- General picture and distribution: This is located inside the home and becomes the core of the installation. In the table itself you can find elements of control, distribution and protection of the electric current.
- Transformer: It is the electrical equipment in charge of changing the supply voltage to the voltage required by the installation. Due to the voltage level, there may be installations that require more than one transformer.
- Measuring equipment: This item is the property of the distribution company. This is installed in the connection to control or quantify the energy consumption by the consumer. The meter will be located in an accessible place to be able to properly read and review.
- Switches: This device is designed to be able to open and close circuits or any electrical connection through which current flows. The main switches are those located between the connection and the rest of the installation. The different types of switches are:
- General switch: used as a means of disconnection and protection of the system.
- Branch switch: used to disconnect and protect the power supplies from the circuits.
- Control switch: used to limit power consumption, thus protecting the system from possible overloads.
- Thermomagnetic switch: if a short circuit or an overload occurs, this switch will be in charge of disconnecting and protecting the supply.
- Lighting output and contact points: it is the lighting unit located at the end of all installations. They become consumers who transform energy into heat or light.
- Plug socket: this is located on the wall and allows the transport of electrical energy when the plug and the base are connected.
- Neutral socket: used to prevent the passage of current to the user due to a failure in the insulation. This type of intake has very little resistance to favor the circulation of a leak.
- General panel: it is placed in the transformer and contains a general switch that disconnects the service if necessary. Contains control devices.
All these parts of an electrical network are necessary for an adequate transport of electricity.
Breakdown of electrical installations
Electrical installations have a very complex mechanism and in the event of possible breakdowns or leaks it is very delicate for safety. Some of the most common faults are:
- Overload: each circuit in an installation is designed to withstand a current load. There is a defined maximum current that will limit the current flow through each circuit. If this current exceeds the limit, an overload or voltage rise will take place.
- Short circuit: it occurs when there is a bad connection between two conductors, a fault in the insulation of the wiring or a connection between two conductors that are of different popularity.
- Differential circuit breaker failure: it is in charge of protecting the user from possible electric shock by contact. The differential will be disconnected when the light supply detects any anomaly or defect in the installation.
- Loss of insulation: this failure occurs due to deterioration of the cables through which the electric current is transported.
For more information and accurate tips to ensure your electrical installation is up to the most demanding standards, contact us here at Westwire Electrics.