Outdoor ELF exposure
Electrical energy has an inherent problem: it is not storable (except in batteries). To mitigate this difficulty, the only solution is to directly connect consumers to electricity production sites and produce electricity on demand.
Transmission and distribution networks convey electricity from the production stations (nuclear, hydraulic, thermal, wind) to supply areas. In order to minimise energy losses, electricity transport over long distances requires high-tension power lines. On the other hand, distribution to consumers is carried out with low-tension power lines. Transformers are used to modify voltage from high to low tension.
In summary, the network of energy (i.e. lines, cables, transformer stations) transmits, divides, and distributes the energy provided by power stations to all users. The network was designed for an AC current of 50 Hz using a three-phase current (see further information in Electrical concepts).
Here is a guided tour that will allow you to discover field intensities in which we are exposed at various degrees from high voltage lines, cables and transformer stations (Flash player needed).
Illustrations by Olivier Ladsous (2009)
To better understand the meaning of the electric and magnetic field values, see "Standards" or "EMF and Health? - Standards (in Flash)" or "F.A.Q.". For further information, please contact us through our form.
It is interesting to note that exposure varies according to the charge of the line: here below an example of the magnetic field intensity under a 380 kV powerline in a 5-week period.
Information on EMF exposure around 2 kind of powerlines (380kV and 150kV)
Exposures in the vicinity of an overhead powerline and an underground cable
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