Are substations dangerous

“Helmet on and hands in your pockets”, demands Tilo Seelig, responsible for the Esag substations. Already at the gate of the Sebnitz substation, the sign "Caution high voltage" clearly indicates that this is not a playground.

It is well known that electricity cannot be seen, smelled or even tasted. You can only hear him sometimes. When the transformers are working and the humidity is very high, that crackle is in the air. “This is precisely why we point out the high voltage at all points and warn against getting too close to the devices,” explains Tilo Seelig.

Normally mortals are not allowed on the premises of a substation. To make this even more difficult, the gate is always locked, the entire station is encircled with fences and secured with climbing protection. “It would be just too dangerous,” says Tilo Seelig. And anyone who is allowed to enter the site will immediately hear the instructions from the employees. After all, they know the power of electricity. Just think that even reaching into the 230 volt socket can be life-threatening. It is immediately clear to everyone that touching the wrong place in the substation, which works with almost 480 times as much amperage, has fatal consequences.

The Sebnitz substation supplies an area of ​​120 square kilometers. These include the city of Sebnitz, Bad Schandau and parts of the communities of Hohwald and Kirnitzschtal. A total of 8,347 households get their electricity from Sebnitz.

To ensure that everything always works, Swen Dutschmann, fitter for protection technology, regularly checks the parameter settings. In the event of a short circuit, this ensures that consumers have access to electricity and the whole city does not sink into the dark. In addition, in an emergency it can be precisely located in which of the 115 transformer houses the fault is.

“By and large, a substation works like a network,” explains Tilo Seelig. It consists of various components that must all work and function together. In order to guarantee this, the specialists are familiar with high and medium voltage systems and everything that goes into ensuring that electricity comes into every house.

The Sebnitz substation is one of Esag's youngest. It was only built in 1991. That is why there is no need to invest again here. The 34 million euros that Esag plans to spend next year are much more needed by other plants. The Sebnitz region is also up to date when it comes to house connections, says Esag spokeswoman Claudia Kuba.

"Our main goal has always been to ensure that the quality of the electricity is secured or improved for the consumer," says Tilo Seelig. The customer notices poor quality, among other things, because the lamp flickers.