Physics

Difference Between Transmission Line and Distribution Line

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Main Difference

The main difference between the Transmission Line and Distribution Line is that Transmission Line transfers electricity to long distances, whereas Distribution Line transfers electricity across shorter distances.

Transmission Line vs. Distribution Line

The electric line that transfers the electricity from the power plants to different substations is known as the transmission line. On the flip side, the electrical line that transfers the electricity from substations to the consumer is called a distribution line.

So, the transmission line carries electricity up to long distances, whereas the distribution line transfers electricity to short distances. The transmission line transfers electricity in the bulk form with high voltages, i.e., about 11000 volts. It can conduct the electrical current at 69 kV or more. On the other side, the distribution line transfers energy in lower voltage form, i.e., about 220 volts. It can conduct the electric current less than 69 kV.

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A transmission line requires a three-phase supply system to carry out electricity. On the other hand, the distribution line needs a single-phase supply system to transfer electricity. Transmission lines show a bidirectional transfer system, i.e., they can transfer electricity in both directions to keep the grid balanced. On the other side, distribution lines have a monodirectional transfer system, i.e., they can transfer electricity in only one direction.

The transmission line works more actively, so it has to maintain after a particular time with automatic and manual interventions. On the flip side, distribution lines have a passive type of system, so it does not need to be managed by operators or computer programs. The transmission line is usually stayed on tall metal towers and sometimes on wooden poles. On the other hand, the distribution line supported on small wooden poles as compared to transmission lines.

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There should be low-growing vegetation below the transmission line, i.e., It should not be taller than 10 feet at maturity. On the flip side, trees growing near the distribution line can manage with directional pruning, but still, removal is the best option. Moreover, transmission lines have thick structure as compared to the distribution line.

Comparison Chart

Transmission LineDistribution Line
The type of electric line that carries the electricity from the power plant to different substations is known as a transmission line.The type of electric line that transfers the electricity from substations to the consumer is called a distribution line.
Distance
The transmission line carries electricity up to long distances.This type of line transfers electricity to short distances.
Amount of Energy
It transfers electricity in bulk form.It transfers a small amount of energy.
Voltage
It transfers a high voltage current, i.e., about 11000 volts.This line transfers energy in lower voltage form, i.e., about 220 volts.
Conduction of Current
It can conduct the electrical current at 69 kV or more.This type of line can conduct current less than 69 kV.
Type of Supply System
This line requires a three-phase supply system to carry out electricity.This line needs a single-phase supply system to transfer electricity.
Type of Transfer System
It shows a bidirectional transfer system, i.e., it can transfer electricity in both directions to keep the grid balanced.These lines have a monodirectional transfer system, i.e., they can transfer electricity in only one direction.
Maintenance
It works more actively, so; it has to maintain after a particular time with automatic and manual interventions.It has a passive type of system, so it requires less maintenance.
Construction
This line is usually stayed on tall metal towers and sometimes on wooden poles.These lines supported on small wooden poles.
Structure
Transmission lines have thick structure.These lines have a thin structure.
Vegetation Management
There should be low-growing vegetation below the transmission line, i.e., not taller than 10 feet at maturity.Trees growing near the distribution line can manage with directional pruning, but still, removal is the best option.
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What is Transmission Line?

The transmission line is the type of electric line that carries the bulk of electricity from a power plant or generation site to different substations—these lines connected in the form of a network known as a transmission network. Transmission lines transport electricity up to long distances from one end of the country to the other with the help of different interstate connections.

Transmission lines have thick structures and usually stayed on tall metal towers and sometimes on wooden poles. There should be low-growing vegetation below the transmission line, i.e., not taller than 10 feet at maturity. These lines work more actively, so; they have to maintain after a particular time with automatic and manual interventions. Such lines are usually maintained by using the best management practice of the industry of Wire Zone Border Zone.

Moreover, the transmission line transfers electricity in the form of high voltages, i.e., about 11000 volts to reduce energy loss. So, it can conduct the electrical current at 69 kV or more. It requires a three-phase supply system to carry out electricity. It also uses High-voltage direct-current or HVDC technology to increase efficiency over very long distances, i.e., typically hundreds of miles.

Transmission lines show a bidirectional transfer system, i.e., they can transfer electricity in both directions to keep the grid balanced. In the case of wholesale electricity markets, electrical energy flows from zones of production to zones of demand. So, as the areas of demand keep on changing with time, the electricity will transfer in different directions.

What is the Distribution Line?

The distribution line is the type of electric line that transfers the electricity from substations to the consumer etc. It is the final stage of electricity delivery, i.e., it delivers electrical energy to homes and offices, etc. These are small lines and transfer electricity to short distances. Such lines have a thin structure. Trees growing near the distribution line can manage with directional pruning, but still, removal is the best option.

Distribution lines mostly found overhead, but sometimes they are also placed underground. Mostly these lines are supported on small wooden poles. As distribution lines are less active or have a passive type of system, so they require less maintenance without the intervention of operators or computer programs. Moreover, these lines have a monodirectional transfer system, i.e., they can transfer electricity in only one direction that needs less maintenance.

The distribution line transfers a low amount of energy in lower voltage form, i.e., about 220 volts. So, it can conduct an electrical current of less than 69 kV. But, this low voltage of electricity is still so strong to cause injury or death. Such lines may also include a secondary voltage system that worked at less than 1,000v and used to connect the electric customers’ homes and offices. The distribution line needs a single-phase supply system to transfer electricity.

Key Differences

  1. The type of electric line that carries the electricity from the power plant to different substations is known as transmission line whereas, the type of electric line that transfers the electricity from substations to the consumer is called a distribution line.
  2. The transmission line transfers electricity up to long distances. On the other hand, the distribution line transfers electricity to short distances.
  3. The transmission line transfers electricity in the bulk form. Conversely, the distribution line transfers a small amount of energy.
  4. The transmission line transfers a high voltage current, i.e., about 11000 volts. On the flip side, the distribution line moves energy in lower voltage form, i.e., about 220 volts.
  5. The transmission line can conduct current at 69 kV or more. On the other side, the distribution line can conduct current less than 69 kV.
  6. A transmission line requires a three-phase supply system to carry out electricity, and the distribution line needs a single-phase supply system to transfer electricity.
  7. The transmission lines show a bidirectional transfer system, i.e., they can transfer electricity in both directions to keep the grid balanced. On the other hand, distribution lines have a monodirectional type of transfer system, i.e., they can transfer electricity in only one direction.
  8. The transmission line works more actively, so; it has to be maintained after a particular time with automatic and manual interventions whereas, the distribution line has the passive type of system, so it requires less maintenance without the intervention of operators or computer programs.
  9. The transmission line is usually stayed on tall metal towers and sometimes on wooden poles. On the flip side, distribution lines are supported on small wooden poles.
  10. Transmission lines have thick structure. On the flip side, distribution lines have a thin structure.
  11. There should be low-growing vegetation below the transmission line, i.e., not taller than 10 feet at maturity. On the other side, trees growing near the distribution line can be managed with directional pruning, but still, removal is the best option.

Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that the transmission line is a type of electrical line that carries the bulk of electricity with high voltages up to long distances. On the other side, the distribution line is that type of electrical line that transfers a small amount of energy with low voltages and up to short distances or final end.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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