Conventionally electricity is generated in large central units that are connected to the high-voltage transmission system. The distribution networks are being used for delivering the electricity to the customers. Most electric distribution systems are designed, protected, and operated on the premise that there is a single source of electric power on each distribution feeder at any given time. Because interconnecting Distributed Resources (DR) (known as Distributed Generation DG) violates this basic assumption, there are special requirements for connecting to utility distribution systems.

These technical requirements can be complex, blending traditional distribution engineering practices with added attention to power quality concerns, safety, and installation needs for advanced DR technologies. There are also many economical issues to be addressed because of the interconnection of different types of DG's. Distributed generation (DG) has the potential to play an important role in a future sustainable energy system.

Properly applied distributed generation, installed on a significant scale, can have very positive effects on the environment, energy efficiency, security of supply and price of electricity paid by consumers. However there are still barriers, technical and non-technical, that are limiting the introduction and use of DG.


The main objective of this course is to provide up-to-date knowledge about the technical and economical issues relating to the distribution generation. In addition to an introduction to various generating technologies, a more detailed part will be included discussing various applications of power electronics. The impacts of DG to the distribution system will be presented. The focus will be on electrical issues such as grid connection, protection, control, and power quality. In addition, the economical and regulatory issues will be addressed.

  1. Review the available standards for distributed generation interconnection.
  2. Understand the operation of different power sources; traditional and non-traditional.
  3. Modeling and simulation of power distribution systems to investigate different DG interfacing.
  4. Understand impact of DG on distribution system performance, reliability, safety, protection and quality.

Course prerequisites

Basic understanding of modeling of power system elements and analysis techniques is required. Familiarity with a programming language and/or a simulation package such as EMTDC/PSCAD and MATLAB is desirable.

Main topics and delivery plan

Lectures Topic Sub-Topics
3 DG Definitions and Standards, DG potential
  • Definitions and terminologies; current status and future trends
  • Technical and economical impacts
3 DG Technologies
  • DG from renewable energy sources
  • DG from non-renewable energy sources
6 Distributed generation applications, Operating Modes
  • Base load; peaking; peak shaving and emergency power
  • Isolated, momentary parallel and grid connection
6 DG interconnection, Interconnection Requirements
  • Characteristics of DG interface: Rotating machines
  • Characteristics of DG interface: Static power converters
  • General protection requirement; effect of transformer connections
6 Power Quality Issues, Reliability
  • Voltage regulation; harmonics from DG; improving distribution system PQ via the DG interface
  • Improving reliability with DG; Adverse impacts of DG on utility reliability
6 Protection Issues, Islanding,
  • Utility Issues
  • Protective relays coordination
  • Islanding prevention techniques
  • Safety of personnel; utility-generator load match frequency; utility re-closing; synchronizing
6 DG Cost Issues
  • Energy (kWh), demand (kW), power factor penalties and utility standard cost, connection and operating costs and charges; life cycle cost and rate of return analysis


  1. R. Dugan, M. McGranaghan, S. Santoso and H. Beaty, Electrical Power System Quality, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0-07-138622-X.
  2. N. Jenkins, R. Allan, P. Crossley, D. Kirschen and G. Strbac, “Embedded Generation”, The Institute of Electrical Engineering, 2000, ISBN 0-85296-774-8
  3. E. Acha, V. Agelidis, O. Anaya-Lara and T.J. Miller, Power Electronics Control in Electrical Systems, Newnes, 2002, ISBN 0-7506-5126-1.


For more information, please contact directly the course coordinator Prof Ehab F. El-Saadany.