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Electrical Substation Design Fundamentals


Study substation design subjects at a level appropriate for those relatively new to the field. Get an introduction to technical requirements, configuration philosophies, design practices, information sources and work processes. Learn the fundamentals of electrical, civil and structural design issues of electric power substations.


This program is presented as an introductory course on the fundamentals for the electrical, civil, structural design issues of electric power substations. Topics will cover safety, standards, site development, grounding practices, bus configurations, AC and DC ancillary systems, and major equipment.

The course will address a complete variety of substation design subjects at a level appropriate to those relatively new to the area of substation design. It will introduce technical requirements, configuration philosophies, design practices, information sources, and work processes. Issues related to reliability, safety, security and maintainability will be underscored. Emphasis is placed on practical issues important in developing an engineered solution. After this course, one will have a broad foundation upon which one can base the development of new, and the upgrade of existing, substation facilities.

This course will also provide an introduction to electrical substation engineering for non-electrical engineers, as well as a civil and structural introduction for non-civil / structural engineers.

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Who Should Attend

Engineers, supervisors, drafting personnel, contract managers, consultants, and managers interested in, or involved with, overall electrical power substation projects.

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Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Understand substation project chronology and how to develop the scope and identify the constraints for the overall project
  • Be familiar with costs and schedules
  • Explore site grading design, foundations, insulation and insulation protection and structures.

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Course Outline/Topics

Electrical Substations, Power Systems, and Deregulation

  • Structure of the electric power system overview
  • Systems for distribution of power
  • Classifications
  • Equipment definitions
  • Design principles

Substation Project Chronology

  • Workflow and project sequence
  • Site identification and acquisition
  • Engineering design, drawings and documentation
  • Construction, testing and commissioning

Developing the Scope/Identifying the Constraints for the Overall Project

  • Safety
  • Power requirements
  • Site constraints
  • Atmospheric
  • Environmental community and societal influences

Costs and Schedules

  • Costs and financial analysis
  • Schedules and impacts

Site Grading Design

  • Substation grade types
  • Drainage and erosion protection
  • Oil spill containment


  • Slab on grade and others

Design Techniques

  • Open air
  • Metal clad switchgear
  • Gas insulated subs/SF6

Bus Configurations & Conductor

  • Types of common configurations
  • Reliability criteria


  • Insulation protection and shielding
  • Clearance
  • Surge arresters


  • Need for grounding
  • Personnel safety
  • Hazardous potentials during faults


  • Materials
  • Design options and considerations
  • Finishes

Principle Equipment

  • General specifications and ratings


  • Core, winding configuration
  • Tap changers
  • Specifications

Circuit Breakers/Switches

  • Design and purpose

Ancillary Equipment

  • Potential transformers
  • Current transformers

Substation Auxiliary Systems

  • Necessity
  • AC station power
  • DC and battery power

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This program can be applied toward the:

Mon.-Wed., Apr.27-29
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Dan Chaply, Adjunct Faculty
CEUs: 2.1/PDHs: 21
Program No. 4840-7702
Register Now
  Electrical Substation Design Fundamentals course details PDF
For more information, contact:
Murali Vedula,, 414-227-3121
Marcia Gabriel,, 414-227-3378


Electrical Engineering Certificate Recipients
Congratulations to the latest recipients of UWM's Electrical Engineering Certificate:

Corey Fuhrman
Jill Gilmore
Donald Harvey
Aleksandr Pargamotnikas

Spring 2015 Electrical Engineering Brochure
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