Fundamentals of Electrical Transmission and Distribution

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This guide covers the major topics likely to be encountered by the transmission and distribution power systems engineer engaged on international project works. Each section is self-contained and gives a useful practical introduction to each topic covered. The guide is intended for graduate or technician-level engineers and bridges the gap between learned university theoretical textbooks and detailed single-topic references. It therefore provides a practical grounding in a wide range of transmission and distribution subjects. The aim of the guide is to assist the project engineer in correctly specifying equipment and systems for his particular application. In this way manufacturers and contractors should receive clear and unambiguous transmission and distribution equipment or project enquiries for work and enable competitive and comparative tenders to be received. Of particular interest are the sections on project, system and soft ware management since these subjects are of increasing importance to power systems engineers. In particular the guide should help the reader to understand the reasoning behind the different specifications and methods used by different electrical supply utilities and organizations throughout the world to achieve their specific transmission and distribution power system requirements. The second edition includes updates and corrections, together with the addition of two extra major sections covering distribution planning and power system harmonics.

As this guide is particularly designed to help those running projects to correctly specify, the approach has been to make frequent reference to applicable national and international standards. This is because basing specifications on such standards will ensure consistency of bids, and generally will enable bidders to offer the most economic prices for technically compliant offers. The skill of the project engineer and manager comes in applying the standards most effectively to the particular requirements of the project.

In the period between the publication of the second and third editions the work of updating electrical standards by the committees of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has proceeded apace. Moreover, within Europe the development of European Norms (ENs) has resulted in the revision and alignment of many national standards -- often to result in complete consistency with the corresponding IEC standard. This has meant that every section in Transmission and Distribution Electrical Engineering has had to be carefully checked to ensure that the frequent references to standards are correct and the relevant content updated where appropriate.

Developments in the recognized approach to earthing and bonding have resulted in a complete rewrite of the relevant section, and legislation changes have necessitated updates to the section on electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

Recent trends in protection equipment and SCADA have needed to be mentioned and developments in the requirements of both users and public utilities in the area of power system quality have justified the expansion of the coverage of this increasingly important area of supply system engineering.

Achieving these changes, so as to continue to make this the standard reference text for practitioners in this field, would not have been possible without time-intensive research.

The world's remaining large-scale hydropower sources tend to be far from population centers and base load nuclear power plants are purposely sited in low population density areas. Further, there is also an increasing awareness of the need for security of supply by having a diversified portfolio of energy sources feeding a national grid rather than having to be reliant upon one energy source or supplier. Such sources include an important contribution from small-scale and widely-distributed renewable energy generators such as wind turbines.

Both these factors, for very different technical and financial reasons, have led to an increasing use of DC power transmission systems and AC/DC converter links. At the same time, competitive market factors have led power supply companies to further optimize the use of their existing networks. Closer control of power flow and matching power supply and demand across transmission and distribution networks has led to the need for smart metering and smart grid control systems. Both HVDC systems and smart grids have, therefore, been given new attention by the addition of two new sections into this edition.

Sections have been expanded to cover some of the other effects of increased application of distributed generation on distribution system design.


The publication this guide is timely and should prove to be of value to a wide range of learners with interests in the electrical power industry.

Today, the challenges for those undertaking transmission and distribution system new-build projects, existing system extensions, or refurbishment and life extension of older equipment are as great as ever. In particular, they include emphasis on reaching a decision on the most applicable financial and economic options as well as the most intelligent technical engineering solutions.

Obtaining the maximum value from transmission and distribution infra structure, integrating intermittent renewable energy sources into the grid using the latest technologies, and the technical challenges associated with transport of electricity from remote power sources to population centers, are well covered in this new edition with the addition of two new sections on high voltage direct current (HVDC) systems and smart grids.

Such an educational repository based on a blend of theory and sound practical experience is likely to prove invaluable to current practitioners as well as those who have recently joined the profession.

We see this guide as being useful to clients and contractors as well as others such as industry regulators, environmentalists, and government officials. This guide enables those in the field of transmission and distribution electrical engineering to have a well-founded understanding of the key principles, the methodologies, and the current best practice to be implemented.


Sections of this guide:

  1. System Studies
  2. Drawings and Diagrams
  3. Substation Layouts
  4. Substation Auxiliary Power Supplies
  5. Current and Voltage Transformers
  6. Insulators
  7. Substation Building Services
  8. Earthing (Grounding) and Bonding
  9. Insulation Coordination
  10. Relay Protection
  11. Fuses and Miniature Circuit Breakers
  12. Cables
  13. Switchgear
  14. Power Transformers
  15. Substation and Overhead Line Foundations
  16. Overhead Line Routing
  17. Structures, Towers and Poles
  18. Overhead Line Conductor and Technical Specifications (coming soon)
  19. Testing and Commissioning (coming soon)
  20. Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
  21. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)
  22. Project Management
  23. Distribution Planning
  24. Power Quality -- Harmonics in Power Systems
  25. Power Quality -- Voltage Disturbances
  26. High Voltage Direct Current Transmission
  27. Smart Grids
  28. Fundamentals (coming soon)
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