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The profession of a substation maintenance electrician
The choice of a profession is one of the most responsible decisions in the life of every person. If initially there is a desire to connect your life with the electrical industry, then here everything is not so simple. In this area of human activity there are many different professions, one can say the lines of activity that have their own characteristic distinguishing features. In this article, we give a brief description of the profession of a substation maintenance electrician.
To begin, consider what this profession is and what is the responsibility of an electrician in servicing substations. Surely everyone knows about such an object as electrical distribution substation.
Why do we need substations? Distribution substations are used for receiving electric energy, its conversion and distribution to consumers or other substations.
At substations there are a large number of various electrical equipment and devices that ensure the uninterrupted operation of this equipment and protect it from damage in case of emergencies - power and measuring transformers, high-voltage circuit breakers of various types, disconnectors, load switches, isolators and short-circuits, high-voltage fuses , arresters, capacitor banks, reactors, relay protection devices and automation.
In order to ensure reliable operation of this facility, it is necessary to constantly monitor the operating mode and, in case of any deviations from the normal operating mode, take operational measures to normalize it.
Therefore, the substation is serviced by specially trained workers - substation maintenance electricians. In order to understand who the substation maintenance electrician is, we will consider his main responsibilities:
control over the operating mode of the equipment. The electrician during his shift constantly monitors the operation mode of both individual elements of equipment and devices, and the substation as a whole. It fixes the load on the outgoing connections, supplying consumers or adjacent substations, the voltage on the buses of all voltage classes, the frequency of the working network; exercises control over various devices and devices (substation battery chargers, heating and equipment cooling devices, communication devices, etc.);
liquidation of accidents and technological violations;
operational maintenance of the substation: operational switching for operational purposes, as well as for the withdrawal of equipment for repair;
participation in the organization of the safe performance of work, in particular the work on the preparation of jobs and the admission of teams to work on the substation.
Depending on the class of voltage, the magnitude of the substation, several methods for servicing substations are possible. If the company has several small substations or substations that have implemented an automated control system, then these facilities can be serviced “at home”. That is, the electrician can be at home and in the event of an emergency or the need for operational switching or other work, arrives at one of the serviced objects.
If this is a large substation, which feeds many responsible consumers, then the operational maintenance of this facility is carried out by permanent maintenance personnel. As a rule, the substation is serviced by one electrician.At large facilities where there is a large amount of equipment and, accordingly, a large amount of work, there can be two operational workers per shift.
Each profession has its own nuances, which can be found out only in the course of labor activity. I will depart from the generally accepted interpretations of this profession and talk a little about this profession on the basis of personal experience as an electrician in substation maintenance.
The first question that interests a person who has expressed a desire to work at an electrical substation as maintenance personnel is How to get to the substation?
There is no highly specialized profession of electrician for maintenance of substations in universities and technical schools as such. In order to work at the substation as a maintenance staff, in addition to having an electrical education (in some cases, technical education in another specialty is allowed), you need to undergo specialized training.
Many energy supply companies, which operate a large number of electrical substations, organize staff training at the enterprise itself. The employee undergoes specialized training in accordance with the approved program, internship and duplication directly at the workplace - at one of the substations (groups of substations) of the enterprise.
In the event that there are several substations on the balance sheet of the enterprise and the number of service personnel is small, then the organization of training at the expense of the enterprise is inappropriate. In this case, the management of the enterprise prefers those employees who have experience in the operational maintenance of substations. Therefore, very often a person is faced with a problem: there is a workplace, there is an electrical education, but without specialized training or experience they do not take it. What to do in this case? There are several ways.
The first is to get training at a specialized training center. If this is the case, one can acquire the practical skills of the profession of an operational worker.
The second method involves the search for the company, which provides training for personnel who service substations. It is possible that at this enterprise there will be such working conditions that do not satisfy you, for example, remoteness from the place of residence, low level of payment, but at this enterprise you will be able to undergo training and gain experience as an electrician in substation maintenance.
Then, with the acquired knowledge and experience (including those recorded in the work book, without which it is now difficult to get the desired profession), you can switch to a more prestigious job in another enterprise.
As for the training in this profession, it all depends on the availability of education and work experience. If an employee has experience working as a substation maintenance electrician, then his training period is relatively short.
In this case, he needs to familiarize himself with the layout and layout of the equipment of one or several substations, depending on the nature of the work (permanent staff, maintenance of substations at home, work in the field team), and also obtain (if available, confirm) the appropriate group electrical safety.
In the absence of experience in servicing substations, a newly hired employee undergoes full training under a specialized program.
The future electrician gets acquainted with all the elements of electrical equipment, studies operation of protection and automation devicesinstalled at the substation, it studies the instructions for the operational maintenance of the substation, emergency response, the organization of work in electrical installations - in general, it studies everything that it will encounter in the course of labor.
The final stage of training in the two above cases is an internship followed by duplication at the workplace, as well as checking the availability of practical skills to eliminate emergencies and technological violations at the substation, which is one of the most important criteria for the electrician's readiness for independent maintenance of the facility.
The profession of a substation maintenance electrician is an interesting, eventful and at the same time very responsible and dangerous. The main task of the electrician is to ensure the normal operation of the equipment and, accordingly, reliable power supply to consumers, while observing all safety standards, in particular, ensuring personal safety in the process of performing work.
The complexity of the work and the amount of responsibility depends on the size of the substation and the category of consumers. If this is a small substation, for example, 35/10 / 0.4 kV, which feeds mainly consumers of the third category, then work at such a substation does not differ in variety and richness, as they say - quiet and smooth.
If this is a large junction substation, which feeds responsible consumers of the first category, as well as several adjacent substations, then you will not be bored with such work. Every day there is work - performing equipment repairs, turning off the equipment to perform work with consumers, eliminating minor malfunctions and, most importantly, controlling the operating mode of the electric network, which in turn affects the operation of the integrated energy system of the region (region) as a whole.
Often there are various emergency situations: damage to one of the supply lines, equipment malfunctions and deviations from the normal operating mode of relay protection and automation devices, etc.
In addition, all elements of the substation equipment are subject to periodic inspection and repair (ongoing, overhaul repairs, troubleshooting in case of emergencies). The role of an electrician in servicing substations during repairs is one of the key. The substation maintenance electrician is involved in the organization and conduct of work at the substation.
If it is necessary to carry out any work, the task of the electrician is to coordinate the conclusion to the repair of a particular item of equipment or a section of the electrical installation with consumer enterprises.
Before starting work directly, the electrician must prepare the necessary switching forms for the production of operational switching to bring repair equipment under repair. Further, the electrician takes the equipment out for repair and carries out the admission of the team to perform one or another work in the substation.
Often you can hear positive reviews in the direction of electricians for equipment repair, maintenance of relay protection and automation devices, and other workers who provide for the installation, repair, adjustment, inspection of certain elements of equipment or devices. But not a word is mentioned about the substation maintenance electrician. In fact, the preparatory work for repairs, that is, what the electrician does to substation service is half, and in some cases, most of the work.
A specialist in the maintenance of relay protection and automation devices checks the protection of one of the outgoing lines for an hour, and the whole process of organizing work (coordination, preparation for operational switching, commissioning of equipment for repair and commissioning, access to work and other works) in general The complexity lasts several hours, or even more, depending on the specific situation and the role of the connection to the substation that is brought into repair.
For example, if it is necessary to repair the bus disconnector of one of the connections, then to perform these works it is necessary to bring the entire section (system) of tires into repair. In this case, the repair will be carried out within an hour or two, and the time required for the repair and commissioning of the tire section (system), including preparatory work, will be 6-8 hours.
Thus, we can conclude that the profession of an electrician in substation maintenance is an important and responsible profession. This employee makes a significant contribution to the process of organizing the work of the energy supply company as a whole, which is comparable to the role of an equipment repair specialist, relay protection service, communications and telemechanics.
Is there any prospect?
An equally important issue is the prospect of work as an electrician for substation maintenance. Many probably objected, but is it worth it to breed such an extensive story about such a, say, not very noticeable profession?
If we are talking about a power supply company, then the position of a substation maintenance electrician can be the first step in a career at a given enterprise.
A substation service electrician has several career options. The substation maintenance electrician is an operational staff, therefore, the next step in career growth may be the profession of the operational servicing of enterprise facilities: a dispatcher, a senior dispatcher, an engineer of the operational dispatch service of an enterprise.
Also, the electrician can go on an increase in the service of substations, where there are such positions as a foreman, a head of groups of substations, a head of a section, an engineer of a substation service and higher posts.
The latter, in the course of labor activity, relies mainly on his theoretical experience, which was acquired at the educational institution, while the engineer, who worked as an electrician for substation maintenance, solves problems based on practical experience in servicing substation equipment, which is more efficient, for example, in compiling various projects of work in the electrical installations of the enterprise.
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