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Panorama from San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, CA, by Gregg M. Erickson.


Power Distribution System Analysis (ECE 5984)

Course Overview

This course covers the fundamentals of electric power distribution systems. With increased deployment of distributed generation, controllable loads and metering devices, it has become more and more important for researchers and power industry professionals to better understand power distribution systems. This course commences with an overview of distribution networks, including their components, typical topologies, and operational strategies. It continues with the characteristics and representations of electric loads. Key components in distribution grids, including unbalanced line segments, voltage regulators, and three-phase transformers will be studied. These topics will be further integrated into the power flow analysis for unbalanced distribution networks. It also discusses recent advances on approximate grid models and convex relaxations for optimal power flow.

Textbook and Additional References

  • W. H. Kersting, Distribution System Modeling and Analysis, 4th Ed., CRC Press, 2017.
  • T. Gonen, Electric Power Distribution Engineering, 3rd Ed., CRC Press, 2014.


Special thanks to Kevin Schneider (PNNL) and Hao Zhu (UT Austin) whose material helped me build the following slides.

  1. Power Distribution Systems Overview
  2. Load allocation across a feeder
  3. Approximate feeder analysis
  4. Series impedance of distribution lines
  5. Shunt admittance of distribution lines
  6. Distribution line models
  7. Load models
  8. Voltage regulation
  9. Three-phase transformer models
  10. Distribution feeder analysis
  11. DistFlow and LinDistFlow for single- and multi-phase feeders
  12. Modeling DERs
  13. Distribution grid optimization under uncertainty
  14. Mixed-integer optimization models for distribution grids
  15. Center-tapped transformers and secondaries
  16. Introduction to GridLab-D