Electronic – How does the Electrical Grid React to Large Changes in Supply or Demand



I'm performing some research for a software project that monitors power generation and consumption for a large fictional spaceship. My rationale is I'd like to first understand how real-world power generation works before starting to make the app feel as authentic as possible when using it.


My question stems from my current understanding of how the electrical grid works. Energy is generated through whatever mechanism (steam/mechanical, photo-voltaic) and is then stepped up via a HV substation for long distance transmission. Large factories (Steel Mills, Microchip Plants, etc.) may have a substation dedicated to them for their operations. Otherwise, a substation steps HV down to MV for smaller scale distribution (factories, large office buildings, etc.). This is repeated again for LV, for delivery to homes and small businesses. It's a simple model, albeit misleading because it presents a linear chain of flow from source to load, with a single source generator of power. In the real world, there are multiple stations that are running to meet the demand, and they adapt as the demand changes over time.


Suppose a large event such as a generator station unexpectedly shut down. What equipment would be involved in "rerouting" power to minimize the possibility of blackouts? Or, if a rolling blackout was temporarily implemented because of high demand, what equipment or process would be involved?

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What equipment would be involved in "rerouting" power to minimize the possibility of blackouts?

Transmission switching stations re-organize things when there are problems with generators or section of grid: -

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As you can see, every generator connects to the (national) grid via a TS. This wiki page should help. Pictures taken from here or here if not a Quora member