[Tagging] What's a power=station?

Randy rwtnospam-newsgp at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 19 02:31:25 GMT 2010

Liz wrote:

>Redoing the tagging, and leaving the disputed tag out of the new scheme is 
>way to go forward.
>I don't have Randy's qualifications, but to me a "power station" means
>potential energy in and electrical energy (plus waste heat) out.
>The area on the ground containing transformers that step down from high
>voltages to medium voltages is a "substation"
>So we can ignore power=station
>and have electricity generation plants, with subkeys for oil, gas, coal,
>nuclear, wind, methane, whatever
>have substations
>and have transformers

Ignoring all the philosophical noise that followed in this thread, yes, I 
concur with you, Liz. Expanding on your comments, I would suggest,

Avoid using power=station (although it would be my preferred term) as a 
misdefined term which, when properly used in according with the wiki, is 
misused in accordance with common English understanding (acknowledging the 
possible blur in the German usage).

Use power=plant to designate a power generating facility, since in 
English, one usage of the word "plant" is to denote a facility where 
something is produced, often from raw materials; more or less, but not 
quite, synonymous with "factory". (my definition)

Use power=substation to denote a voltage transforming (either up or down) 
and/or switching facility which is not normally the final transition point 
prior to consumption of the power.

Use "power=local_distribution" or something similar for pole transformers, 
and underground power, distribution transformers such as the one shown in 
the wiki "station" photo, which are typically the final transition prior 
to use by a commercial or residential consumer. I purposely avoided 
including industrial users. While the basics are the same, it can become a 
little fuzzy, since many industrial facilities will have their own, 
sometimes quite significant, substation(s).

This would not redefine either of the current power=generator or 
power=station terms, but would allow for future deprecation.

One minor caution to some of this: there are other power plants than 
electrical plants. For example, there are a few steam power plants where 
steam is distributed outside the plant and is used for motive force other 
than to turn electrical generators. They are few and far between though, 
and mostly archaic or historic, due to the inefficiencies of distribution. 
And, they are usually, if not always, within the confines of a larger 
facility rather than used as a utility.

Randy (I confess, I cheated a little. While I am a registered professional 
electrical engineer, most of my background is in electronics, not power.)

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