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Substation Design Guide

Timothy L. O'Hearn, PE

Course Outline

This 15-hour course provides criteria and guidance in the engineering and design of electrical substations. The planning, engineering, design, procurement, construction, and operation of transmission and distribution substations are covered. The topics covered are: major equipment selection, layout, site design, structural design, grounding system design, insulation coordination, protective relaying, substation automation, inspection and testing, as well as maintenance considerations.

The course materials are based entirely on the design guide developed for the United States Department of Agriculture: RUS Bulletin 1724E-300 Design Guide for Rural Substations.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be familiar with:

Intended Audience

The course is intended for engineers, project engineers, technicians, and designers with an electrical discipline focus involved in the engineering, design, construction, operation and maintenance of electric substations.

Benefit to Attendees

The course provides an in depth comprehensive discussion of the issues involved in development of electric substations. After completion the student will be familiar with all aspects of substation design and with a publication that can be a valuable resource during the development of preliminary and front-end studies for substations as well as during detailed design, construction, operation maintenance and startup/commissioning.

Course Content

The purpose of the course is to provide guidance, criteria, and a reference tool for the design of substations for electric utility transmission and distribution. You are required to study the following design guide developed for the United States Department of Agriculture: RUS Bulletin 1724E-300 Design Guide for Rural Substations (Issued June 2001).

Design Guide for Rural Substations (PDF, 764 pages)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - General Design Considerations
Chapter 3 - Documents
Chapter 4 - Physical Layout
Chapter 5 - Major Equipment
Chapter 6 - Site Design
Chapter 7 - Structures
Chapter 8 - Foundations
Chapter 9 - Grounding
Chapter 10 - Insulated Cables and Raceways
Chapter 11 - Corrosion
Chapter 12 - Protective Relaying
Chapter 13 - Instruments, Transducers and Meters
Chapter 14 - Substation Automation
Chapter 15 - AC and DC Auxiliary Systems
Chapter 16 - Control Houses
Chapter 17 - Communications
Chapter 18 - Inspection
Chapter 19 - Tests
Chapter 20 - Maintenance
Chapter 21 - Up rating and Expanding Existing Substations

You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

This course provides design guidance for the increasing number of substations necessary to meet the increasing electrical demands. The engineering function is generally more than furnishing of design and specifications and this function becomes especially important when the user/owner of the substation employs an engineering firm to support the substation development. Use of this design guide will usually result in an economical approach from a system standpoint. Technical advances and changes in codes and standards that could cause some of the material in this course to become obsolete continue to proliferate in the industry and therefore the user needs to continue to stay up to date with the changing technologies.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.