In a previous article, What is Voltage?, we discussed the basics of voltage, its applications, and how measuring it can be beneficial. There are a few classifications of voltage, though, based on amount distributed. Most buildings you see day-to-day use “low voltage” because they do not demand enough power to reach what is called “medium voltage.” Traditionally, power distribution 600 volts or higher is seen as dangerous and requires special personnel and safety equipment to work with. Medium voltage, however, is northern of 1,000 volts, all the way up to 35,000 volts, so that may give you an idea of how much power we’re talking about.

A kilovolt (kV) is equal to one thousand volts.

“kVac” refers to a thousand volts of AC current. When defining voltage sizes (like the guide below), AC current is assumed.


Definitions vary but a general guide to the voltage categories is as follows:

Low Voltage (utility level) up to 1 kVac
Medium Voltage (distribution level) Between 1 kVac and 35 kVac
High Voltage (transmission level) 35kVac and up

Facilities that use medium voltage demand very high amounts of power, which is why there are very few compared to low voltage facilities. Two usual examples are industrial plants and data centers. Other examples, which may or may not have medium voltage, are universities, skyscrapers, and select warehouses. If you have a huge motor that needs lots of power, you may want a medium voltage system that lowers current, making the motor smaller and less hot. These motors, typically running around 4,160 volts, can be monitored with a PowerSight analyzer and 5 kV probe. If you have your own distribution transformer, you may want to test that directly instead of a potential transformer for faster, more accurate data. These transformers, typically running around 12,500 volts, can be monitored with a PowerSight analyzer and 15 kV probe. We have the only portable power analyzers that connect directly to medium voltage! Medium Voltage Solutions


Here are a few advantages to medium voltage distribution (besides higher voltage):


  • Reduces voltage drop: wastes less power throughout the facility
  • Metering on the transformation’s primary side: saves energy and money
  • Requires better transformers, which elevates many facets of power distribution
  • Allows for motors to be smaller in size and give off less heat (energy loss)
  • Reduces the need for expensive copper wire: fewer/smaller conductors
  • And more!


There is a reason that PowerSight is the number one choice for power monitoring devices. If you have further questions about medium voltage or anything else, reach out to one of our experts. PowerSight offers you start-to-finish solutions! One way we do this is by offering the only direct connection to medium voltage. From the initial planning stage to carrying out your test to analyzing your findings, we have the tools, software, and solutions you need to be successful. Get your free power monitoring quote today!

We are devoted to your success. If you just have a question, give us a call at 1 (925) 944-1212. Our unmatched sales and technical support is a key benefit we offer our customers. Call us to ask about your medium voltage needs today, you won’t get these answers from anyone else!