How does the electricity grid work?

Electricity travels a long way before reaching the power socket. Swissgrid determines on a case-by-case basis whether to transport the electricity using underground cables or overhead lines. The operators in Swissgrid’s control centres ensure that the transmission grid is monitored around the clock.

  • Swiss transmission grid

    Electricity is invisible but forever present in our lives. We take it for granted and generally use it without even thinking about it. As soon as we get up in the morning, we turn on the light, grab a coffee from the machine, and listen to the radio.

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  • Grid levels

    By the time the electricity finally reaches the power sockets in homes, the voltage has to be reduced 1,000-fold (from 380,000 volts or 220,000 volts to 400 or 230 volts). This takes place across multiple stages and different grid levels.

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  • Grid technologies

    The decision on whether to install a high-voltage line as an overhead line or as an underground cable is based on objective criteria. That's why Swissgrid checks the cable and overhead line options for every grid project.

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  • Frequency

    To ensure the frequency remains at a stable level, the balance between production and consumption of electrical power must always be right. If there are deviations, this leads to a change in the grid frequency.

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