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After reading this Module , you should be able to


• Provide classification of distribution systems
• Discuss design considerations • Provide an analysis of AC and DC distribution systems

The part of the electrical-supply system existing between

the distribution substations and the distribution
transformers is called the primary system. It is made of circuits, known as primary feeders or

primary distribution feeders. The most commonly used
nominal primary voltage is 11 kV.

which require highly reliable service. may be of a grid or mesh type.The secondary distribution system receives power from the secondary side of distribution transformers at low voltage and supplies power to various connected loads via service lines. . and therefore. The secondary distribution System is the final sub-system of the power system. business centers and military installations. The secondary distribution systems are generally of the radial type except for some specific service areas such as hospitals.

Figure : Radial secondary distribution system configuration .

The current loading of a feeder is uniform along the whole of its length since no tappings are taken from it. For this purpose. The design of a feeder is based mainly on the current that is to be carried. Feeders are the conductors that connect substations to consumer ports and have large current carrying capacity. careful consideration is required for the design of feeders and distributor networks. .Good voltage regulation is the most important factor in a distribution system for delivering good service to the consumer.

These can be easily recognized by the number of tappings.Distributors are the conductors. which are taken from them for the supply to various consumer terminals. which run along a street or an area to supply power to consumers. . The current loading of a distributor is not uniform and it varies along the length while its design is largely influenced by the voltage drop along it.

Service Main and Sub Main The service mains are the conductors forming connecting links between distributors and metering points of the consumer's terminal. The term sub main refers to the several connections given to consumers from one service main. Figure 14. .1 shows the layout of a distribution system.


It has been established that 70% of the total losses occur in the primary and secondary distribution system while transmission and sub-transmission lines account for only 30% of the total losses.5%.5% of the generation capacity and the target level is to bring it down to 7. Distribution losses amount to 15. Therefore the primary and secondary distribution systems must be planned with care to ensure losses within acceptability limits .

and high current.Inadequate Size of Conductor : The rural load is usually scattered and fed by radial feeders. Feeder Length In practice. 11 kV and 415 V lines in rural areas are hurriedly extended radially over long distances to feed loads scattered over large areas. This results in high line resistance. . low voltage. leads to high I 2R losses in the line. and therefore.

This again leads to higher line losses. Therefore. . Consequently. the DT should be located at the load center to keep the voltage drop within permissible limits. in order to reduce the voltage drop in the line transmitting power to consumers located farthest from the line. the farthest customers obtain an extremely low voltage even though a reasonably good voltage level is maintained at the secondary transformer.Location of Distribution Transformers Often the distribution transformers are not located centrally in relation to the intended customer.

results in higher currents drawn for the same output leading to higher losses. in case of an induction motor. This can be overcome by adjusting the tap changer at power transformer and at distribution transformer. its performance is adversely affected. if available. . A reduced voltage.Low Voltage Whenever the voltage applied to an induction motor deviates from rated voltage.

Use of Over-rated Distribution Transformers Studies on 11 kV feeders have revealed that often the rating of distribution transformers (DTs) is much higher than the maximum kVA demand on the LT feeder. it is clear that the rating should be judiciously selected to keep the losses within the permissible limits. . An overrated transformer produces an unnecessarily high iron loss. From the above.

A low power factor contributes towards high distribution losses.65 to 0. if the power factor is low.Low Power Factor In most of the LT distribution systems. it is found that the power factor varies from as worse as 0. For a given load. the current drawn is high. consequently the losses proportional to a square of the current. line losses owing to the poor power factor can be reduced by improving the power factor by using shunt capacitors for the purpose. Thus. .75. will be more.

. HV distribution system 2.The following methods are adopted for the reduction of distribution-system losses: 1. Reactive-power compensation . Feeder reconfiguration 3. Construction of new substation 5. Grading of conductor 4.

the losses in the LV distribution can be minimized. By adopting HV distribution.1 . The present situation is that LV lines are extended. irrespective of voltage drops. The only practice and feasible solution is to eliminate or minimize LV lines by switching over to single. no purpose will be served by prescribing low kVA-km loading limits for LV lines.phase high voltage distribution. HV Distribution System The low-voltage distribution system contributes a majority of the total distribution losses because of poor voltage regulation . Hence. up to the full capacity of the DT and sometimes over and above the transformer capacity. .

Feeder reconfiguration allows the transfer of loads from heavy loaded feeders to moderately heavy loaded feeders.2 . Such transfers are effective in improving the voltage profile along the feeders and effecting reduction in the overall system power losses. Feeder Reconfiguration It is defined as the process of altering the topological structure of distribution feeders by changing the open/closed status of the sectionalising and tie switches. .

the conductor used for radial distribution feeders is of uniform cross-sectional area. the load magnitude at the substation is high and it reduces as we proceed to the tail-end of the feeder. This indicates that the use of a higher-sized conductor. the use of different conductor cross-sections for intermediate sections will lead to a minimum capital investment cost and line loss. Grading of Conductor In normal practice. which is capable of supplying load from the source point. . However. is not necessary at the tail-end point. Similarly.3.

several possible solutions are to be studied.4. by constructing a new substation at load centres. Therefore. These solutions may include various connection schemes of the substation and several feasible locations . the line osses will be reduced due to an improvement in the voltage profile and a reduction in the length of the lines. Construction of New Substation If a new substation is to be constructed and connected to an existing network. The optimum site for a substation is defined as that location which will result in minimum cost for construction and minimum losses. .

The problem of reactive power compensation can be attempted by providing static capacitors. by increasing the field current of the synchronous machine in condenser mode at the generating stations. . This procedure is not effective because the power-system losses will be further increased due to the increase of reactive power in the transmission system. The method presently used to compensate the reactive power component is to increase the reactive power by increasing the terminal voltage of the generator (or). Reactive Power Compensation Voltage-reactive power control function has a pivotal role to play in the distribution automation.5.

Shunt compensation (capacitors are placed in parallel with load) . Series compensation (capacitors are placed in series with line) 2.An alternative method for compensating the reactive power is the use of capacitors in distribution systems at customer points. Shunt capacitors supply the amount of reactive power to the system at the point where they are connected. 1. There are two methods of capacitor compensation viz.

. thereby enhancing the system capacity and reducing losses. whereas in shunt capacitors it is proportional to the square of the voltage. whether they are series or shunt in a power system is to generate reactive power to improve power factor and voltage.The fundamental function of capacitors. In series capacitors. the reactive power is proportional to the square of the load current.