Power DISTRIBUTION Engineering Courses (PDEC)

Introduction to Distribution Systems and Power Circuit Analysis

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 500

4.5 Days

2.7 CEUs

Provides engineers with a fundamental understanding of electric circuit analysis with application to power distribution systems. Presents an introduction to the various types of distribution system configurations, equipment and loads. Discusses concerns such as: reliability, power quality, voltage drop, voltage regulation, power factor correction and capacitor applications. Reviews the fundamental methods used in the steady state analysis of AC circuits as applied to power distribution systems including: linear circuit elements, complex numbers, matrices, network solution methods, three-phase power systems, the per unit system, symmetrical components and fault currents. The main objective of this course is to improve participants’ understanding of distribution system insulation coordination and surge arrester applications that provide overvoltage protection from events such as switching and lightning surges.


Distribution Transformers, Grounding and Protection

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 540

3 Days

1.8 CEUs

Presents an overview of factors to consider when selecting and applying pole-top and pad-mounted distribution transformers. Course covers types of primary and secondary systems, allowable connections, connections to be avoided, loading equations for sizing transformers with single- and three-phase load, regulation and secondary fault currents, voltage imbalance and unsymmetrical loading, peculiarities with open-wye, open-delta banks, phase-to-ground voltages in ungrounded secondary systems, floating wye-delta bank, switching overvoltages, ferroresonance and tank heating and fundamentals of fuse application to pole-top units. Distribution system grounding: types and characteristics, currents and overvoltages during faults. Overcurrent protection devices and applications: relays, circuit breakers, reclosers, sectionalizers, switches and fuses.


Distribution Surge Protection

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 550

1.5 Days

0.9 CEUs

This course provides engineers with a fundamental understanding of surge arrester applications for the overvoltage protection of electric power distribution systems. The material is especially suited for those who design and specify distribution systems and equipment. Lightning phenomena and impact on distribution system insulation, surge arresters and applications will be covered.


Understanding System Losses

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 563

3 Days

1.8 CEUs

Utility management is assessing the effects of system losses in both the operation and planning of electric systems. This course provides transmission and distribution planning engineers, and rate design engineers from utilities and regulatory commissions, a better understanding of the nature and characteristics of electric system demand and energy losses. Participants will learn methods for effectively modeling, analyzing, allocating and reducing these losses, including loss evaluation techniques, methods for simplifying the loss calculation, principal causes of losses (transformers and lines) and program requirements to reduce them effectively. This course will benefit transmission and distribution planning engineers and rate design engineers from utilities and regulatory commissions.


Substation Engineering and Design

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 590

4.5 Days

2.7 CEUs

This course provides compressive content and background on the many features involved in substation design, from conceptual layout to detailed design, procurement and maintenance of substations. Topics include design parameters, bus arrangements, drawings, specifications, electrical clearances, lightning protection, structures, grounding design, protection, monitoring and maintenance. This course is valuable to new and seasoned designers as an overall view of the substation design process.


Distribution Planning and Reliability Assessment

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 600

2 Days

1.2 CEUs

Emphasis is placed on methods and criteria employed to select alternatives and trade-off analysis required for distribution planning in regulated and restructured markets. Real-life examples will be used for both the distribution planning and reliability case studies. The student will have the opportunity to conduct case studies using PSS®E programs. The course is designed for engineers, new to the distribution area, who wish to gain a firm grasp of basic distribution planning concepts. With a sound foundation in planning concepts, the course then prepares the attendee to understand the realities of planning in the new competitive market.


Distributed Generation and Energy Storage Applications on Power Systems

-Presented by Nova Energy Specialists

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 620

2 Days

1.2 CEUs

Distributed generation is becoming a key component of current and future energy strategy in the U.S. and throughout the world. This course provides a detailed review of dispersed photovoltaic, solar, wind, fuel cell and conventional dispersed generation technologies, as well as the theory of operation, economic factors and technical impact on utility distribution systems. Topics include interfacing and optimal location of dispersed generation, protective relaying and system interconnection issues, islanding, voltage flicker effects, power quality effects, design, location and sizing. Intended for engineers involved in solar, wind, fuel cell, ICE, microturbine and other generation technologies.


Low-voltage Secondary Networks

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 630

3 Days

1.8 CEUs

The need to maintain the high reliability of low-voltage networks is very important. An understanding of the fundamentals of network system design, protection and operation is required by engineers and technicians. This course covers fundamentals of network system design and operation, network relay characteristics and settings, fuse and cable limiter characteristics and coordination, primary system grounding and relaying, application of primary side fuses, overvoltages during capacitive backfeed, arcing fault characteristics and protection schemes for 480-volt spot networks, cogeneration and closed transition load transfers on spot networks and network protector test sets for relay and protector testing. Also included is material on forward and backfeed voltages through open protectors, impedance characteristics of different secondary cable configurations and grounding in transformer vaults. Discusses real-life problems and solutions. Each attendee receives a computer program for calculating the impedances and sheath/neutral currents for three-phase circuits made with single-conductor cables with multi-wire or flat-strap concentric neutrals or lead sheaths. Also provided is a program for calculating current division in three-phase, low-voltage cable circuits with multiple conductors per phase arranged in any configuration. Students can use a Low-voltage Spot Network Simulator to explore the concepts taught in class with an option to purchase the simulator at a reduced price. Designed for engineers and technicians involved in planning, design and operation of low-voltage spot network systems.


Power Distribution System Economics

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 650

2 Days

1.2 CEUs

Teaches engineers how to develop practical solutions to effectively minimize overall distribution system costs by use of macroscopic and microscopic electric utility economic model analysis. Reviews and analyzes the overall aspects of the electric utility system cost structure, the relationship of these costs to the distribution system, and the application of project cost analysis to various types of distribution alternatives. This course is intended for distribution engineers involved with all aspects of system design, operation and equipment specification.


Distribution Automation Analysis for the Smart Grid - NEW!

Course ID

Course Length

Continuing Education Units

PDEC 655

4.5 Days

2.7 CEUs

Provides participants with up-to-date information, knowledge and tools to make the most out of the growing opportunities for automating the distribution grid by the introduction of intelligent devices. The course covers in detail the devices available to the distribution planning engineer to gain an unprecedented level of understanding, control and monitoring of the distribution grid, as well as the tools and methods for their optimal application in the system.