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Electric Power Distribution Reliability and Quality

Electric Power Distribution Reliability, 2nd Edition
Power engineering is the oldest and most traditional of the various areas within electrical engineering, yet no other facet of modern technology is currently undergoing a more dramatic revolution in technology or business structure. Perhaps the most fundamental change taking place in the electric utility industry is the move toward a quantitative basis for the management of service reliability. Electricity, produced and delivered to customers through generation, transmission and distribution systems, constitutes one of the largest consumer markets in
the world.“Power quality” is an ambiguous term that means many things to many people. From a customer perspective, a power quality problem might be defined as any electric supply condition that causes appliances to malfunction or prevents their use. From a utility perspective, a power quality problem might be perceived as noncompliance with various standards such as RMS voltage or harmonics. If there is not enough spare transformer capacity, a decision must be made whether or not to overload inservice transformers and accept the resulting loss-of-life. Accepting loss-of-life will improve reliability for the moment, but will increase the probability that the overloaded transformers will fail at a future date. Understanding these issues requires a basic knowledge of transformer ratings and thermal aging.

Distribution Reliability and Power Quality
Like much of the electric utility industry, several political, economic, and technical changes are pressuring the way distribution systems are built and operated. Deregulation has increased pressures on electric power utilities to cut costs and has focused emphasis on reliability and quality of electric service. The great fear of deregulation is that service will suffer because of
cost cutting. Regulators and utility consumers are paying considerable attention to reliability and quality. Customers are pressing for lower costs and better reliability and power quality.
The book contains a new chapter that was not in the 2004 handbook entitled “Reliability and Power Quality Improvement Programs” that was developed with Lee Taylor of Duke Power. This includes practical advice on developing programs to improve power quality and reliability.
Many utilities use reliability indices to track the performance of the utility or a region or a circuit. Regulators require most investor-owned utilities to report their reliability indices. The regulatory trend is moving to performance- based rates where performance is penalized or rewarded based on quantification by reliability indices. Some utilities also pay bonuses to managers or others based in part on indices.

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