This course deals with the essential aspects of distribution system engineering, starting with estimation of the loads on the network to the detail design of the distribution system networks. The contents of this course are divided into three categories; Planning, design and operation. In the planning part load forecasting, and planning strategies as well as distribution automation are discussed. The design part includes the design of sub-transmission lines, distribution substations, and primary and secondary systems design considerations. The operation part includes the voltage drop and power loss calculations, voltage regulation and application of capacitor to distribution systems.


  1. To provide a good understanding of different distribution system elements
  2. To introduce state of the art techniques in planning and automation of distribution systems
  3. To train distribution engineers on how to operate optimally the distribution networks
  4. To enhance the design aspects of distribution system components.

Course prerequisites

Basic knowledge of power systems engineering is required, optimization techniques, statistics and electric circuits.

Main topics and delivery plan

  1. Load characteristics and load forecast
  2. Distribution system planning, automation and control
  3. Sub-transmission and substation design
  4. Primary and secondary system design
  5. Distribution system performance and operation
Lectures Topic Sub-Topics
6 Load characteristics and load forecast
  • Basic definitions- load definitions, load factor definitions, diversity principle in distribution systems
  • Load Forecast- factors affecting load forecasting methods, small areas load forecasting, spatial load forecasting methods, simulation, trending and mixed load forecasting methods
9 Distribution system planning, automation and control
  • Short term planning
  • Long term planning
  • Dynamic planning
  • Structure of distribution automation
  • Essential component of distribution automation
  • Automation of distribution system components
  • Load management
6 Sub-transmission and substation design
  • Sub-transmission networks configurations
  • Substation bus schemes
  • Distribution substations ratings
  • Service areas calculations
  • Substation application curves
6 Primary and secondary system design considerations
  • Primary circuit configurations
  • Primary feeder loading
  • Secondary networks design
  • Economic design of secondaries
  • Unbalance loads and voltage considerations
9 Distribution system performance and operation
  • Voltage drop calculation for distribution networks
  • Power loss Calculation
  • Application of capacitors to distribution systems
  • Application of voltage regulators to distribution systems


  1. T. Gonen, Electric Power Distribution System Engineering, McGraw-Hill, 1986, ISBN 0-07-023707-7
  2. Westinghouse Electric Corporation: Electric Utility Engineering Reference Book – Distribution Systems, Vol. 3, East Pittsburgh, Pa, 1965.
  3. Anthony J. Pansini "Guide to electrical power distribution systems", Tulsa, Okla.: Pennwell Pub. Co., 1996.
  4. James J. Burke "Power distribution engineering: fundamentals and applications", M. Dekker, New York, 1994.
  5. Luces M. Faulkenberry "Electrical power distribution and transmission", Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1996.


For more information, please contact directly the course coordinator Prof Magdy Salama.