Mobile substations – the sensible alternative

by W Jackson, Efficient Power


Published in: Transformers and Substations Handbook: 2014

Chapter 2: Design and installation of a substation - page 26


Download the full article on Mobile substations - the sensible alternative in PDF format.


Why is it that we persist with the construction of brick and mortar substation buildings and transformer bays, often in hostile and remote locations? Conventional thinking is constrained by the idea that the only substitutes for brick buildings are shipping containers. This could not be further from the truth.

Complete off-site fabrication needs companies with facilities and skills to design and fabricate customised mega mobile buildings that out-perform traditional substations and MCCs in every sphere. Once fabricated, the mobile building needs to be equipped, test-integrated and have every possible piece of equipment commissioned in the same facility in order that the building leaves for site 100 % operational, ‘from mouse to motor’. This approach makes it possible to have a substation with MV switchgear, an MCC and a C&I room fully operational within a week of arriving on site. This completely changes the extent of site-based commissioning. If off-site thinking is carried out correctly, the saving to the project can be orders of magnitude greater than the total cost of the buildings themselves.


Take note

  • Why do we persist with building substations on site when there are simpler and more cost effective solutions?
  • Many substations are located in remote areas, making access difficult, and costs excessively high.
  • There are many fundamental issues with site-based work – including those of health and safety.