[Tagging] What's a power=station?

Randy rwtnospam-newsgp at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 18 04:30:49 GMT 2010

Steve Bennett wrote:

>According to the wiki "map features" table, a "power=station" is "A
>tag for electricity stations. Wires from power lines come in or go out
>Two questions:
>1) Does everyone use it this way? Without having looked at the table,
>I would have guessed that a "power=station" was a power plant (ie, a
>coal, or gas or whatever plant that generates power), whereas that
>appears to be a "power=generator".
>2) What is a "power station" exactly? I think I know the type of thing
>it's referring to (although I have, perhaps mistakenly, called these
>"sub stations" in the past). What does it do? Does it simply convert
>high voltage down to lower, consumer-level voltage?
>Hmm, then again, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_substation
>seems to use the term the way I understood it: ie, a roughly
>house-sized arrangement of electrical equipment, rather than
>cabinet-sized, as shown in the wiki page.
>I'll then update the wiki, adding definitions for the individual pages.

Your understanding is certainly the common use of those two terms in the 
US. A power station, also known as a power plant, is an electrical 
generation site. It includes a device for energy conversion from heat (a 
steam generation power station), potential water energy (a hydroelectric 
power station), wind energy (a wind farm), light (a solar power station), 
etc. into electrical energy. A substation is a location which is used for 
voltage transformation, conditioning, distribution, and/or switching of 
electrical power. Substations can be of many sizes, covering several acres 
to a few hundred square feet or less.

Without seeing the specifications for it, I would call the device in the 
table a distribution transformer.

I would say that either the UK/European terminology is significantly 
different from the US or else the person who prepared the examples for the 
table had an incomplete understanding of electrical power systems.

For terminology commonality, I don't have a problem with using 
power=generator for a power plant, but I don't think I can bring myself to 
use power=station for a substation. I think power=substation would fit 
much better in the US, and it doesn't appear to conflict with any 
currently defined tags.

My preference would be to use power=station for the total power generating 
facility, including generation and distribution functions, and 
power=generator for the device or possibly the building(s) within the 
facility containing the actual electrical generators. However, I guess 
that might be misusing the power=station tag considering its current 
definition and use.

Randy (PE, Elec.)

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