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UETCL and Siemens Staff in Italy show off the Mobile Substation


The Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has acquired and commissioned a mobile 132/33-11kV substation that will be used during refurbishment, upgrade, routine maintenance of un-firm substations and emergency spare in the case of catastrophic failures.

The mobile substation capacity contains a 50MVA power transformer that can output both 11 and 33kV, HV and MV switchgear (including Circuit breakers, Bus-bars, Disconnectors, and Earth-switches), Fully integrated Control with SCADA, Protection, Communication, Auxiliary Power Supplies (VAC & VDC), Voltage Regulation, Fire Detection, Online Line Monitoring, Global Positioning (GPS), and Energy Metering, Systems, and all are mounted on two semi-trailers, meant to be towed by a truck. The Mobile Substation is designed to be compact for travel on public roads and is built in several units to meet road travel limitations. The mobile station is rated at an estimate of Euros 2million (Ugx8.8bn) much lower than a permanent installed substation that can cost over Euros 9 million (Ugx40bn).

A substation is part of an electrical generation, transmission, and distribution system. Substations transform voltage from high to low, or the reverse, between the generating station and consumer. Electric power may flow through several substations at different voltage levels. A substation includes transformers to transform voltage levels between high transmission voltages and lower distribution voltages, or for the interconnection of two different transmission voltage bus-bars.

UETCL currently has a total of 23 primary substations countrywide connected to the transmission grid and rely on the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System for remote supervision and control.

A transmission substation connects two or more transmission lines and the simplest case is where all transmission lines have the same voltage. In such cases, substation contains high-voltage switches that allow lines to be connected or isolated for fault clearance or maintenance. A transmission substation may have transformers to convert between two transmission voltages, voltage control/power factor correction devices such as capacitors, reactors or static VAR compensators.

The sizes for a transmission substation can range from simple to complex. A small transmission substation may be little more than a bus plus some circuit breakers (Take an example of a mobile substation). The largest transmission substations can cover a large area (several acres/hectares) with multiple voltage levels, many circuit breakers, and a large amount of protection and control equipment (voltage and current transformers, relays and SCADA systems).


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