html{display:none} The Journey of Electric Power | Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

The Journey of Electric Power

Electricity allows us to power almost everything we do in our homes, businesses, and schools: watch TV, use the stove, keep refrigerators cold, heat and cool our buildings, and much more. SEL devices can be found at every stage of the journey from generation to consumption, protecting the flow of power, reducing outage durations, and keeping equipment and substations secured.


Electric power is made at generating stations, which can include water, coal, wind, natural gas, and solar sources. It is then sent through transformers that increase the voltage to push it long distances.

Transmission Lines

The electric current is transported via high-voltage transmission lines stretching hundreds of miles across cities, states, and countries.

Transmission Substation

The high-voltage transmission lines connect to various substations, where heavy-duty equipment lowers the voltage and transfers it to lower-voltage power lines.


Distribution Substation

Equipment continually lowers the electrical voltage as the current passes through each substation, getting closer and closer to the end users.


Small transformers mounted on poles or sitting on the ground lower the voltage to safe levels for use in our homes and businesses.

Circuit Breaker Panel

The current enters our homes and businesses through circuit breaker panels that regulate the flow of power.

Outlets and Switches

From the circuit breaker panels, electricity travels through wires hidden inside walls to all of the outlets and light switches powering our daily needs.


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