DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

SUBSTATIONS: 3 Common Steel Structures Found Inside

Posted by Wendy Gintz on Feb 26, 2015 7:54:00 AM

Before electricity can travel into your home, it must pass through a substation first. A substation is an assemblage of equipment where electrical energy is passed in order to be stepped up or stepped down.

Transformers inside a substation change the voltage levels between high transmission voltages and lower distribution voltages. The high transmission voltages are used to carry electricity longer distances, like across the country, whereas lower distribution voltages travel to industrial, commercial or residential consumers.

In a T&D system, the major components typically consist of transmission lines, distribution lines, substations and switchyards.

For this particular Blog, lets just identify the Main Substation Structures.

1.)    Dead-End Structures

2.)    Static Poles

3.)    Bus Supports/ Equipment Stands

Dead-end Structures are where the line ends or angles off. They are typically constructed with heavier steel in case they are needed to carry heavier tension. The two most common dead-end structures are H-Frame and A-Frame structures.

HFrame Substation Structure   t&d_1-resized-600

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Static Pole, is a single, free-standing pole that creates a shield to protect all of the equipment inside a substation from lightning. Static poles may or may not have overhead shield wires attached to enhance protection. It depends on the size of the substation as to how many static poles are needed.    

NOTE: Tapered tubular design is typically efficient and economical in dead-end andstatic pole situations when compared to AISC standard shape structures.

 

 

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Bus Supports are the most basic structure found inside a substation. Its main purpose is to provide support for rigid bus as it travels though the substation. Rigid bus is stiff and will not move around during     weather events. Unlike rigid, flexible bus is typically used in high   seismic areas in order to be able to move and dampen the seismic forces that occur. 

 

Examples of some equipment stands include:t can be of significant weight and must meet specific guidelines for structural loads, deflection limits or clearance requirements. Equipment Stands are the structures that the actual equipment sit on.

  • Potential Transformers (PT) Stands
  • Current Transformers (CT) Stands
  • Coupling Capacitor Voltage Transformer (CCVT ) Stands
  • Lightning Arresters (LA)
  • Switch Stands

 

When it comes to which type of steel is used, galvanized or weathering, inside a substation, I won’t say that you will never see weathering steel, but it is very rare. Weathering steel is used more in transmission structures than substation. One of the main reasons is because aesthetically, galvanized steel “looks” better inside a substation. Typically a substation is surrounded by a fence, has a metal building inside as well as white rock on the ground surrounding it. So the look of weathering steel, which is usually a dark brown color, aesthetically, goes better with a transmission line running through the woods to blend in versus in a substation.

Let us know if this information was helpful.  Comment below with and questions you may have, we would love to hear from you.

 

 Ultimate Utility Guide

 

Tags: steel structures, DIS-TRAN Steel, standard shape steel structures, switch stands, substation, dead-end structures, H-Frame structures, dead-end h-frame structures

Two ASCE Must-Have References for Transmission & Substation Design

Posted by Brooke Barone on May 29, 2013 4:28:00 PM

Whether you’re a seasoned Engineer or still working on your P.E., there are a few ASCE must-haves when it comes to designing substations and transmission structures.

The first reference, Substation Structure Design Guide, also referred to as ASCE Manual 113, was first published in 2008 and is the first of its kind for substation design. The second must-have is the Design of Steel Transmission Pole Structures, also known as ASCE Standard 48-11.

Now let’s see how good you are…

Do you know the main difference in the two? (Besides the obvious that one is intended for substation design and the other for transmission pole.)

Well, if you said one is a guide and the other is a standard then you are correct! It should be addressed that while guides, standards and codes are all used, there is a difference between them.

ASCE

There is a level of importance that falls with these, meaning that if a guide contradicts a standard, the standard typically wins, and if a standard contradicts a code, the code typically wins.

The substation design guide is currently being updated along with a handful of other design guides, standards and codes.  Jennifer Gemar, Vice President of the Engineering Department at DIS-TRAN Steel, is on the ASCE 113 Design Committee which is responsible for revising the guide, and has a few updates from the latest meeting that was held in the Houston area last month. 

The plan is to have the revision ready for submittal to ASCE by late 2015.  Since this is the guide’s first time going through a revision, it will remain a design guide with the thoughts that it will eventually become a design standard through enough revisions and time.  Overall, it seems the guide has been well received throughout the industry, especially being the first time published.  It has quickly become a “go-to” book, and a great reference and training tool for newer engineers.  It’s pretty much straight forward, and has general definitions of equipment and types of structures found inside a substation.  The fundamentals are basic, and while it points in the right direction when designing, it doesn’t actually give the formulas to design the steel structures.

 The second book, ASCE Standard 48-11, was published in 2012 as a revision to the ASCE Standard 48-05, that was first published in 2005.  This standard replaced the ASCE Manual 72, which at the time, was the main design reference for transmission pole structures.  The standard outlines the minimum criteria that must be considered in the structural design, fabrication, testing, assembly and erection of these type structures.  Unlike the substation guide, ASCE 48-11 explains how to design steel poles and their corresponding connections.  There is a committee currently updating this standard as well.

It’s important that these references stay updated as knowledge and experience permits.  It’s also beneficial to be active on one of the committees responsible for these updates.  Though it can be hard work, it can also be a very educational with opportunities to contribute and shed light on problems or issues that need addressing.

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Tags: steel structures, DIS-TRAN Steel, transmission, asce manual, asce 113, pole structures, substation design, asce standards, asce, high voltage substation structure design

DIS-TRAN Celebrates National Pancake Day

Posted by Brooke Barone on Feb 5, 2013 12:23:00 PM

BB WG Pancake

In lieu of IHOPS’s National Pancake Day, DIS-TRAN Steel made over 100 delicious pancakes to serve their employees for breakfast today.

While IHOP’s free buttermilk short stacks can’t be beat, it's hard to make it over to the restaurant before work, so we decided to partake in this delicious day.  Okay, so maybe pancakes aren’t the healthiest breakfast choice, but they sure hit the spot!

It’s said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and whether you’re a breakfast goer or not, you can’t pass up free, mouthwatering pancakes, especially when they are paired with crispy sausage links (Thanks Guillory's Specialty Meats).

How do you choose since there are numerous recipes, flavors, shapes, sizes and even cinnamon roll pancakes?

Well, I'd give you my grandmother's secret recipe, but then, you know...

I've gathered a list of 10 recipes that sounded too good to be true. Skip the chicken and broccoli tonight, and try one of these scrumptious pancake recipes.

  1. The Best Silver Dollar Pancakes Ever
  2. Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
  3. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes 
  4. Fruit Explosion Pancakes
  5. Hot Chocolate Pancakes
  6. Multigrain Pancakes
  7. Apple Puff Pancake Pie
  8. Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
  9. Good Old Fashioned Pancakes
  10. Gingerbread Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

If you try one of these recipes, or if you already have, please leave a comment below and give us your thoughts. Also, if you have any other pancakes recipes, please share!

Happy Pancake Day!

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Tags: DIS-TRAN Steel, DIS-TRAN, IHOP National Pancake Day, pancake recipes, National Pancake Day

How do we ensure safety?

Posted by Brooke Barone on Oct 5, 2012 11:59:00 AM

Shortcuts can be killers. So, in every endeavor, DIS-TRAN makes sure to provide the highest level of integrity and safety that our employees deserve so they can return home each day to their loved ones. Safety 1 resized 600

With the quantity and types of materials that we deal with on an everyday basis, our safety processes need to be focused and detailed in order to make our employees feel secure. Our finished products can weigh from one pound to upwards of 50,000 pounds, so handling material in a safe manner is paramount.

Over the past five years, the number of man-hours worked has more than doubled at our plant, while the number of accidents has gone down. To achieve this success, we implement several safety processes on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.

What do we do to protect our employees?

DIS-TRAN Steel uses an Accident Prevention Process to keep employees from being injured.

  • Full-time Safety Coordinator at our plant
  • Aggressive orientation program for all new employees
  • Job Safety Analysis are reviewed prior to every shift
  • Stretches prior to every shift to focus our employees on injury prevention
  • An external safety consultant visits the plant once a month to further train employees
  • Weekly “Tool Box Talks” which is internal training on every topic pertinent to our industry
  • Monthly leader training
  • Audit system to help recognize hazards and correct them before they become an injury
  • PPE worn at all times

Our employees come to work each day ready for whatever task is at hand, and so in return, we owe them a safe and hazard free work environment. To uphold our commitment, we also control hazards using Engineer Control, Administrative Control and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Engineer Control is our intent to engineer all hazards out. Administrative Control is our procedure to change processes in order to make safe. PPE is required to be worn every day, at all times of the day, such as steel toe boots, safety glasses or ear protection.

Fall protection that has a body harness and a self protracting lifeline, is also used at our plant to protect our employees rain or shine.

We also work hand-in-hand with our loss prevention specialist, who works for our insurance company, and visits on a regular basis. This not only ensures that we are in compliance with state and federal guidelines, but it is taking the extra step to guarantee the safety of our employees.

 

Tags: DIS-TRAN Steel, safety, Accident Prevention Process, engineer control, PPE, administrative control

More than just Standard Steel Poles...

Posted by Brooke Barone on Sep 20, 2012 9:07:00 AM

Aerial view of our plant in Pineville, LAIt’s always hard when you’re first starting out and trying to establish yourself and your company, but with perseverance and an appetite for success, growth is inevitable.

In the beginning, DIS-TRAN only manufactured standard shape steel structures; however, we were always in need of steel poles. We established a great relationship with a company here in Louisiana who we purchased our steel poles from until a larger company came in and bought them out and shut their plant down. This forced us to reach out to other companies across the country.

Right around this time, in the late 90’s, cell phones were rapidly catching on and cellular towers were going up everywhere. Contractors were purchasing tons of steel pole capacities, so it became very hard for us to get service. One of the problems that we ran into was that we would ship the structural steel out to a site, but then have to wait a month or so for the steel poles to arrive. We all know how that story ended-with unhappy customers.

So, in 1995, DIS-TRAN decided to open up its own steel pole shop and dabble into the market. With only 12 employees in the beginning, it was a huge learning curve, but as the industry grew and became more advanced, so did DIS-TRAN.

DIS-TRAN Steel Pole and DIS-TRAN Steel Fabrication were two separate companies at first, but after we realized we were doubling our internal workload, we decided to merge the two in 2010 to become what is now DIS-TRAN Steel, LLC. In 2006, DIS-TRAN Steel Pole and DIS-TRAN Steel Fab had 149 employees total, and now, six years later, DIS-TRAN Steel has more than doubled that number to 321.

Over the years, we’ve realized that there are some misconceptions about the capabilities of DIS-TRAN Steel since we initially started off just manufacturing steel structures. But we can also design, detail, fabricate and deliver tapered tubular steel structures for the utility industry. 

Our engineering and detailing capabilities allow DIS-TRAN Steel to pursue and be involved in highly technical design projects. With 18 in-house detailers and 10 engineers, including 4 Licensed Professional Engineers (P.E.), we can design any steel structure for the utility industry, whereas some of our competitors require shop-ready drawings.

Whether they are pre-engineered poles, engineered transmission poles or taper tubular substation structures, DIS-TRAN Steel can fabricate it. As one of our guys says, we can design steel structures with as little information as a stick figure on a napkin to fully-detailed drawings because of our in-house expertise and resources.

The investment we have made in our employees goes hand-in-hand with the investment that we have made at our plant, with 4 expansions in 16 years. Customers are always surprised when they tour our plant in Pineville, LA because of how large and advanced it really is. It’s not just this little fabrication shop tucked away in the swamps.

Our state-of-the-art facility is just as large as any other steel fabricating facility in the U.S., sitting on about 60 acres with 300,000 square feet under roof manufacturing space. Some of our most prized possessions at our plant include a fully automated 2500 ton, 60 foot Press Brake with a one-of-a-kind automation software package that our plant operators actually helped design. We also have in-house high definition plasma cutters, robotic welding systems, CNC controlled seam welders and CNC punches for standard shapes.

Something that also surprises many is that we can also supply wood transmission arm assemblies and distribution crossarms through our sister company DIS-TRAN Wood Products, LLC. DIS-TRAN Wood Products has two fabricating facilities, one in Pineville and the other in Vancouver, WA.

Throughout the years, DIS-TRAN has made the investment to meet the demands of the growing industry, and has made sure to keep up as the elite supplier, consistently providing the highest quality products.

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Tags: steel structures, utility industry, wood transmission assemblies, DIS-TRAN Steel, tapered tubular steel poles, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, wood distribution poles, pre-engineered poles, transmission poles, standard shape steel structures

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