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History of electric power distribution: Interesting facts

The history of electric power distribution is long and marked with various technological milestones. As a leadingpower distribution system manufacturer, we share with you some interesting historical facts about electric power distribution:

  1. The first operational electric power distribution started in 1889  

The first DC electric power transmission line was operated in North America in 1889. The lines were set up between the generating stations in Oregon. The very next year, the power station was destroyed in a flood. This event, however, made the way for the first long-distance transmission of AC electricity. 

  1. The AC lines revolutionised long distance power distribution  

In the 1890s, distribution systems underwent improvements. The most significant of these improvements was the design of alternating-current high-voltage distribution transmission systems. This was significant because AC lines allowed electric power to be transmitted over longer distances. Moreover, DC systems were expensive and complex. 

Note: Today, electricity is mainly powered by AC systems, but computers, LEDs, solar cells and electric vehicles all run on DC electricity. 

  1. Voltages used for electric power transmission changed throughout the century 

The first electric power transmission line in North America operated at 4000 V. By 1914, transmission systems operated at over 70,000 V. The highest voltage used was 150 kV. 

  1. PVC wires were first used in 1930s 

Although it is common to see PVC wires, it was used for power transmission only in the 1930s.  Before that cables insulated with a natural latex material were used. However, the material would dry out and fail to insulate the wires. This is why PVC was used and by the 1950s PVC replaced rubber cables. 

  1. Technological advances in electric power distribution was spurred by the needs of World War 1  

Interconnection of generation plants and distribution networks was spurred by the needs of World War I. Large electrical generating plants were built to supply electric power to military factories. Later, these were used for civil purposes to supply electrical load through long-distance transmission. 

  1. Switchgears were attached to walls earlier 

One of the key safety elements of the electrical system is switchgear. Switchgear assists in rerouting or isolating parts of the system experiencing electrical faults. Interestingly, the first switchgears were part of the first electricity generators. They were attached to a wall. Later, they were moved from the wall to wooden boards then to stone pieces. Today, switchgears use fabricated materials for electrical insulation. 

Looking for a power distribution system manufacturer?

We manufacture a wide range of power distribution system structures such as: 

  • Single circuit towers 

  • Double circuit towers 

  • Multi circuit towers 

They are suitable for both AC lines and DVDC lines.

Besides power distribution system structures, we also offer traffic structures such as steel tubular poles, street light poles and high masts. We have over 40 years of manufacturing experience and are a trusted name in the infrastructure industry.

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