Power Industry 101

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By Jonathan Llanes

The Maryknoller

Thursday, May 8, 2014


WITH advance notice to our editor through this column and the importance of informing member consumers like me on the Energy Power Industry Reform Act or Epira, I decided to devote my columns to write about the electric power industry in this merry month of May.

Me, Carlito Dar, Delfin Cachin Jr., Alejandro Palangdan, Martin Manondon, and Dr. Payawik are now officially but not technically "electrical engineers" graduating from the University of the Philippines in Quezon City with the proceedings held at the National Engineering Center in Diliman.

Yes you got it, "electrical engineers"! This following our three day course of EPIRA 101 May 5-7 (thanks to Atty. Delmar Cariño) with no less than renowned UP Associate Professor Rowaldo "Wali" Del Mundo as our mentor.

First on list is, being consumers, do we really know the basic composition of the electric power system? You will be surprised. Consumers have just a bit of knowledge on how the electric power industry operates.

The electric power industry is divided into three components namely generators, transmission, and distribution.

An example of a generator in the electric power industry is that of the hydro electric power plants found in the Cordilleras like Ambuclao, Binga and San Manuel dam wherein electrons (in this case water) is used as a form of energy to run turbines through mechanical action and magnetism.

Transmission are those interconnected network of overhead lines, cables, power substations and associated devices with the primary purpose of transporting very high voltages of electricity from generating plants to distribution stations.

These gigantic almost robot looking electrical power posts and lines are partnered with substation transformers that convert high voltages to lower voltages needed in operating household appliances.

And finally we have the distribution system wherein after the high voltage power have been transformed, it now goes through the system of wires and associated facilities owned by a franchised distribution system, in this case, the Benguet Electric Cooperative that is used to deliver electric energy to end users within the franchise areas.

This basic information will be vital in the coming columns as we will attempt to look at the intricacies of the electric power industry. What is important to note is that as early as now, the Benguet Electric Cooperative is continuously undertaking refinements in its operation to be attuned to the objective of giving quality service at a least cost while ensuring a stable supply of electricity.

Next week’s column will focus on the fundamental operational structure of a distribution facility.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 09, 2014.

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