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Loads and Load Duration

2.0 Introduction Unlike transmission systems, distribution systems are directly connected to loads. As a result, the nature of the load often has a large influence on operational and planning decisions concerning the distribution system. Loads are characterized into the following customer classes: o Residential o Commercial o Industrial o Agricultural (rural commercial) Customer class loads are normally assessed at the feeder, substation, region, or system level, and at this level, end-users of a given class tend to use electrical energy in much the same manner. 2.1 Load curves The load curve is a plot of load (or load per end-user) variation as a function of time for a defined group of end-users. The end-user grouping may be by electrical proximity, e.g., by feeder, substation, region, or system level. Alternatively, it may be by end-user class. Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly load curves are commonly developed and used in order to gain insight into the usage behavior of a group of end-users. Fig. 1 shows a daily load curve for a single residential end-user. The multiplicity of high peaks is due to the intermittent operation of large appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and stoves, where the highest peaks are a result of simultaneous operation of such devices.

Fig. 1: Daily load curve for single residential end-user [1]


Fig. 1 is not very useful for understanding the usage behavior of residential end-users as a class. To do this, we develop a load curve for multiple residential end-users. To provide a basis for comparison, we plot the load per end-user rather than the total load. Fig. 2 illustrates daily load curves for 2, 5, 20, and 100 end-users, respectively.

24-hour demand curve for Customer # 1 and 2

24-hour demand curve for Customer # 3 and 4

Fig. 2: Daily load curves for groups of end-users [1] We observe the smoothing effect on the curves. We also observe the peak load per end-user decreases as the number of end-users in the group increases. This is because at any given moment, some end-users will incur a peak while others do not, so that the average load at any given moment will always be less than the highest individual peaks for that moment. This aggregation of load curves across multiple end-users is done for each of the different end-user classes, except the load curves are given in terms of percent of peak rather than load per end-user. Fig. 3 illustrates such load curves for the various end-user classes, including a miscellaneous class (mainly sales to other utilities) and also the aggregation of these class-specific load curves into a system load curve.

Fig. 3: Class-specific load curves and system load curve Some observations from Fig. 3 follow: 1. Urban and rural residential loads - Have three peaks: once at 8 am, once at noon, and once at 6 pm, - Have two valleys, once at 5 am and once at 3 pm, - Differ in that the urban load does not fall off so steeply after 7 pm. 2. Commercial loads (rural and urban) peak at about 11 am, dip slightly at noon, and then are rise slightly until about 5 pm after which they drop sharply. 3. The industrial load curves are similar to the commercial except that the valleys only dip to about 50% of peak rather than 20% in the case of commercial. This is the case since many industrial end-users operate 24 hours a day. 2.2 Load duration curves It is often of interest to know the percent of time that the load in a system, flowing through a substation, or flowing on a feeder exceeds some particular level. For example, we might determine that at 90% of peak, the losses are unacceptably large for the existing amount of voltage switched capacitors. Purchasing and installing more voltage switched capacitors would solve the problem. This may be a good investment if the load exceeds 90% of peak for more than 5% of the time. Otherwise, it is not a good investment. So how do we tell the % of time the load exceeds a particular value? One tool for doing this is the so-called load duration curve, which is formed as follows.

Consider that we have obtained, either through historical data or through forecasting, a plot of the load vs. time for a period T, as shown in Fig. 4 below.

Load (MW)

Fig. 4: Load curve (load vs. time)

Of course, the data characterizing Fig. 4 will be discrete, as illustrated in Fig. 5.

Load (MW)

Fig. 5: Discretized Load Curve We now divide the load range into intervals, as shown in Fig. 6.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Load (MW)


Fig. 6: Load range divided into intervals

11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

L (MW)

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0

Probability(Load > L)
Fig. 7: CDF with axes switched If the horizontal axis is scaled by the time duration of the interval over which the original load data was taken, T, we obtain the load duration curve. This curve provides the number of time intervals that the load equals, or exceeds, a given load level. For example, if the original load data had been taken over a day, then the load duration curve would show the number of hours out of that year for which the load could be expected to equal or exceed a given load level,
11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

L (MW)

2.4 4.8 7.2 9.6 12.0 14.4 16.8 19.2 21.6 24.0

Number of hours that Load > L

Fig. 8: Load duration curve Load duration curves are useful in that they provide guidance for judging different alternatives. In our example of unacceptable losses at loads exceeding 90%, we see from Fig. 8 that this situation occurs for 1.2 hours/day (or 5% of the time).

Chapter 2

Load Characteristics
Basic Definitions
Demand The demand of an installation or system is the load at the receiving terminals averaged over a specified interval of time. Measured in kW, kVA, kA or A It is the period over which the load is averaged. This selected period may be 15 min, 30 min, 1 hr, or even longer, denoted as t . Of course, there may be situations where the 15-and 30-min demands are identical

Demand Interval

Maximum Demand

The maximum demand of an installation or system is the greatest of all demands which have occurred during the specified period of time.

Diversified demand (or coincident demand)

It is the demand of the composite group, as a whole, of somewhat unrelated loads over a specified period of time.

Noncoincident Demand

The sum of the demands of a group of loads with no restrictions on the interval to which each demand is applicable

Demand Factor

It is the ratio of the maximum demand of a system to the total connected load of the system. Therefore, the demand factor (DF) is


max . demands total connected demand

Connected Load

It is the sum of the continuous ratings of the load-consuming apparatus connected to the system or any part thereof.

Utilization Factor

It is the ratio of the maximum demand of a system to the rated capacity of the system. Therefore, the utilization factor (Fu) is

max . demand Fu Rated Capacity of the System

Plant Factor
It is the ratio of the total actual energy produced or served over a designated period of time to the energy that would have been produced or served if the plant (or unit) had operated continuously at maximum rating. It is also known as the capacity factor or the use factor. Therefore,

Plant factor =

actual energy produced or served T max plant rating T

It is mostly used in generation studies. For example,

Annual Plant factor =


actual annual generation max plant rating T

Load Factor

actual annual energy generation max plant rating 8760

It is the ratio of the average load over a designated period of time to the peak load occurring on that period. Therefore, the load factor FLD is


average load peak load

average load T peak load T

units served peak load T

Where T = time, in days, weeks, months, or years. The longer the period T is the smaller the resultant factor.

Annual load factor =

Diversity factor

total annual energy annual peak load 8760

It is the ratio of the sum of the individual maximum demands of the various subdivisions of a system to the maximum demand of the whole system. Therefore, the diversity factor FD is

FD =

sum of individual max demands coincident max demand

D1 + D2 + D3 + ... + Dn FD = Dg



i = 1

Di = maximum demand of load i, disregarding time of occurrence

D g = ci Di
i =1 n

where ci =

class demand at time of system ( group ) peak class noncoincident max demand

= Coincident maximum demand of group of n loads The diversity factor can be equal to or greater than 1.0. The demand factor is:

max demands DF total connected demand

Or Maximum demand = total connected demand x DF The diversity factor can also be given as

FD =


i =1

DF i


TCDi = Total Connected Demand of group, or class, i load DFi = Demand Factor of group, or class, i load

Coincidence Factor

It is the ratio of the maximum coincident total demand of a group of consumers to the sum of the maximum power demands of individual

consumers comprising the group both taken at the same point of supply for the same time. Therefore, the coincidence factor (FC) is


coincident max demand sum of individual max demands

Thus, the coincidence factor is the reciprocal of diversity factor; that is,

Fc =


i =1


Primary Feeder Load Data Load, kW Time 12 A.M 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 noon 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 P.M. Street Total Residential Commercial lighting Demand 100 200 200 500 100 200 200 500 100 200 200 500 100 200 200 500 100 200 200 500 100 200 200 500 100 200 200 500 100 300 200 600 0 400 300 700 0 500 500 1000 0 500 1000 1500 0 500 1000 1500 0 500 1000 1500 0 500 1000 1500 0 500 1200 1700 0 500 1200 1700 0 500 1200 1700 0 600 1200 1800 100 700 800 1600 100 800 400 1300 100 1000 400 1500 100 1000 400 1500 100 800 200 1100 100 600 200 900 100 300 200 600



Load Diversity

It is the difference between the sum of the peaks of two or more individual loads and the peak of the combined load. Therefore, the load diversity (LD) is

LD ( Di ) D g
i =1

Contribution Factor

Defines Ci as the contribution factor of the ith load to the group maximum demand. It is given in per unit of the individual maximum demand of the ith load. Therefore,

D g = c1 D1 + c 2 D 2 + c 3 D 3 + c n D n

Fc =





FC =

i =1

ci D

i =1


Loss Factor

It is the ratio of the average power loss to the peak-load power loss during a specified period of time. Therefore, the loss factor (FLS) is


average power loss power loss at peak load

Here is an approximate formula to relate the loss factor to the load factor:

F LS = 0 . 3 F LD + 0 . 7 F LD
Where FLS = loss factor, pu FLD = load factor, pu.

Plotting the Load Duration Curve

The load duration curve is the plot of load demand v.s. the period or time for which the load persists on the system. Usually the duration of the load is expressed as percentage of the total time. Example #1: Draw the daily load duration curve for certain substation that has the following demand data during 24 hours. Period Load in (MW) 0 to 7 to 9 to 7 9 11 20 100 45 11 to 13 70 13 to 16 40 16 to 22 85 22 to 24 30

The following Table helps drawing the required curve:

1- Build a Table that has 3 columns and number of rows equal to the number of the periods in your given data. 2- The first column contains the load demand in a descending order.

3- The second column contains the total time for which each load persists. 4- The third column contains the percentage of each load duration or period to the total time. 5- Draw the curve according to the firs column (on the vertical axis) and the second column (on the horizontal axis). 6- Then you may approximate your curve following the ordinary methods of curve fitting. As follows: Load demand in (MW) 100 85 70 45 40 30 20
120 100
Load in (MW)

Duration of the load Duration of the load in (hrs) in (% of the total time) 2 8.33 2+6=8 33.30 8+2=10 41.67 10+2=12 50.00 12+3=15 62.50 15+2=17 70.83 17+7=24 100.00
Daily Load Duration Curve

80 60 40 20 0 8.33 33.3 41.67 50

% Time




The area under the above curve (when calculated Time (in hrs) X Load in (MW)) is equal to the load energy in (MWh).


Load factor The ratio of the average demand over a time interval to the maximum demand over the same time interval.
FLD = Pavg Ppeak

The load factor always falls between 0 and 1. It indicates how peaked the load curve is. Maximum coincident demand The maximum coincident demand for a time interval is the maximum of the sum of the demands imposed by a group of loads over that time interval. The maximum coincident demand is also called the peak demand. We will use Ppeak to represent this. The difference between maximum demand and maximum coincident demand is that the former refers to a single load and the latter to a group of loads. Consider sub X that supplies 5 feeders. At 17:15-17:30, the demand on each feeder was Example 1: F1: 120 kW F2: 80 kW F3: 100 kW F4: 110 kW F5: 90 kW Total: 500 kW

F1 F2 F3 F4 F5

If this was the maximum total loading for the day at this substation, we would say that The maximum coincident demand seen at Sub X for Monday occurred between 17:15 and 17:30 and was 500 kW, i.e., Mondays peak demand at Sub X was 500 kW. Maximum non-coincident demand The sum of maximum demands on the individual groups over a time interval, without restriction that the maximum demands occur at the same time. We will use Pncpeak to represent this.


Example 1: Consider sub X again. Feeder 1 sees its daily peak at 16:45-17:00 and it is 150kW. Feeder 2 sees its daily peak at 18:00-18:15 and it is 150 kW. Feeder 3 sees its daily peak at 16:30-16:45 and it is 110 kW. Feeders 4 and 5 all see their daily peak between 17:15 and 17:30 and are 110 kW and 90 kW, respectively. Summarizing, F1peak: 150 kW F2 peak: 150 kW F3 peak: 110 kW F4 peak: 110 kW F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F5 peak: 90 kW Total: 610 kW The total is 610 kW. So we would say that The maximum noncoincident demand seen at Sub X was 610 kW. Note: the maximum non-coincident demand is always larger than the maximum coincident demand, and comparing the two provides an indication of the extent to which diversification of usage is helping to reduce the peak for the load group. Load diversity Load diversity is the difference between the noncoincident maximum demand and the coincident maximum demand. In the above example, the load diversity is 110 kW. LD = Pncpeak - Ppeak =610 Demand Factor The demand factor DFk for device or group k is the ratio of the maximum coincident demand Ppeak,k to the total connected load for device k.

DFk =

Ppeak , k Lk

The total connected load Lk for device k is the sum of the ratings of all load components.


The total connected load Lk is an upper bound for the non-coincident maximum demand: - Total connected load depends only on connected equipment. - Non-coincident maximum demand depends on how equipment is operated. Note that 0<DFk<1.0. So what does a small demand factor mean? Lots of load but peak is small, nonsimultaneously. therefore load operates

What does large demand factor mean? Peak is close to total connected load therefore most of load operates simultaneously. Utilization factor Utilization factor for device k, UFk, is often computed for transformers or feeders. It is the ratio of the maximum coincident kVA demand on the component to the rating of the component:

FUk =

Ppeak , k Rating k

The utilization factor provides an indication of how well the component is being utilized. Example 3: Consider that a transformer serving five feeders is rated 550kVA and that the maximum coincident demand on the transformer for the year is 525kW at a power factor of 0.9. What is the utilization factor?

525 / 0.9 583.3 FU = = = 1.061 550 550

Components with high utilization factors (close to or greater than 1) may need to be replaced or reinforced in the near future.


Diversity factor The diversity factor for device or group k, FDk, is the ratio of the maximum noncoincident demand to the maximum coincident demand:

FDk =

Pncpeak , k Ppeak , k

If we know the diversity factor, and we know the maximum noncoincident demand (from each customers bill), we may compute the maximum coincident demand from

Ppeak , k =

Pncpeak , k FDk