Sunteți pe pagina 1din 36


Design Considerations of Distribution Feeders; Radial and loop types of primary
feeders, voltage levels, feeder loading; basic design practice of the secondary distribution
DC & AC Distribution Systems - Classification of Distribution Systems-
Requirements & Design features of Distribution systems-voltage drop in DC
distribution system-Radial and Ring Main Distributor. Voltage drop in AC distribution-
power factors referred to receiving end, power factors referred to respective load points.
Numerical Problems.


Feeders are the conductors which are of large current carrying capacity. The
feeders connect the substation to the area where power is to be finally distributed to the
consumers. No tappings are taken from the feeders. The feeder current always remain
constant. The voltage drop along the feeder is compensated by compounding the
The part of the electric utility system that is between the distribution substation
and the distribution transformers is called the primary system. It is made of circuits
known as primary feeders or primary distribution feeders.
The following figure shows a one-line diagram of a typical primary distribution

A feeder includes a main or main feeder, which usually is a three-phase four-
wire circuit, and branches or laterals, which usually are single-phase or three-phase
circuits tapped off the main. Also sublaterals may be tapped off the laterals as necessary.
In general, laterals and sublaterals located in residential and rural areas are single
phase and consist of one-phase conductor and the neutral. The majority of the
distribution transformers are single phase and are connected between the phase and
the neutral through fuse cutouts.
A given feeder is sectionalized by reclosing devices at various locations in such a
manner as to remove the faulted circuit as little as possible so as to hinder service to as
few consumers as possible. This can be achieved through the coordination of the
operation of all the fuses and Reclosers.


The different factors that are to be taken into account for effective and efficient
distribution feeder are the following :
(i) The total network area and load density
(ii) The number of primary feeders and its circuit distance
(iii) The number of outages, and time duration, per year
(iv) The number of planned or scheduled outages (for maintenance power cut etc.) and
outage time per year
(v) The alternate or standby arrangement for the important loads in the area
(vi) The secondary and sub-system
(vii) The number of main (primary) substations, the number of transformers to be
(viii) The secondary substations and LT system


The primary feeders are mainly classified into two types. They are
(i) Radial type primary feeder
(ii) Ring type primary feeder

(I)Radial-Type Primary Feeder:

The simplest and the lowest cost and therefore the most common form of
primary feeder is the radial-type primary feeder as shown in Figure. The main primary
feeder branches into various primary laterals that in turn separate into several
sublaterals to serve all the distribution transformers. In general, the main feeder and
subfeeders are three-phase three- or four-wire circuits and the laterals are three phase
or single phase. The current magnitude is the greatest in the circuit conductors that
leave the substation. The current magnitude continually lessens out toward the end of
the feeder as laterals and sublaterals are tapped off the feeder.
Usually, as the current lessens, the size of the feeder conductors is also reduced.
However, the permissible voltage regulation may restrict any feeder size reduction,
which is based only on the thermal capability, that is, current-carrying capacity, of the
But radial electrical power distribution system has one major drawback that in
case of any feeder failure, the associated consumers would not get any power as there
was no alternative path to feed the transformer. In case of transformer failure also, the
power supply is interrupted. In other words the consumer in the radial electrical
distribution system would be in darkness until the feeder or transformer was rectified.
The reliability of service continuity of the radial primary feeders is low. A fault
occurrence at any location on the radial primary feeder causes a power outage for every
consumer on the feeder unless the fault can be isolated from the source by a
disconnecting device such as a fuse, sectionalizer, disconnect switch, or reclouser.

(i)Radial type primary feeder with tie and sectionalizing switches:

The following Figure shows a modified radial-type primary feeder with tie and
sectionalizing switches to provide fast restoration of service to customers by switching
unfaulted sections of the feeder to an adjacent primary feeder or feeders. The fault can
be isolated by opening the associated disconnecting devices on each side of the faulted
(ii) Radial type primary feeder with express feeder and backfeed:
The following Figure shows another type of radial primary feeder with express
feeder and backfeed. The section of the feeder between the substation low-voltage bus
and the load centre of the service area is called an express feeder. No subfeeders or
laterals are allowed to be tapped off the express feeder. However, a subfeeder is allowed
to provide a backfeed toward the substation from the load centre. In this Figure, each
dot represents a balanced three-phase load lumped at that location. 4
(iii)Radial type phase area feeder:
The following Figure shows a radial-type phase-area feeder arrangement in
which each phase of the three phase feeder serves its own service area. In this Figure,
each dot represents a balanced three-phase load lumped at that location.

(II)Loop-Type Primary Feeder:
The following Figure shows a loop-type primary feeder that loops through the
feeder load area and returns back to the bus. Sometimes the loop tie disconnect switch
is replaced by a loop tie breaker due to the load conditions. In either case, the loop can
function with the tie disconnect switches or breakers normally open (NO) or normally

Usually, the size of the feeder conductor is kept the same throughout the loop. It
is selected to carry its normal load plus the load of the other half of the loop. This
arrangement provides two parallel paths from the substation to the load when the loop
is operated with NO tie breakers or disconnects switches.
A primary fault causes the feeder breaker to be open. The breaker will remain
open until the fault is isolated from both directions. The loop-type primary-feeder
arrangement is especially beneficial to provide service for loads where high service
reliability is important. In general, a separate feeder breaker on each end of the loop is
preferred, despite the cost involved. The parallel feeder paths can also be connected to
separate bus sections in the substation and supplied from separate transformers. In
addition to main feeder loops, NO lateral loops are also used, particularly in
underground systems.
The drawback of radial electrical power distribution system can be overcome by
introducing a ring main electrical power distribution system. Here one ring network of
distributors is fed by more than one feeder. In this case if one feeder is under fault or

maintenance, the ring distributor is still energized by other feeders connected to it. In

this way the supply to the consumers is not affected even when any feeder becomes out
of service. In addition to that the ring main system is also provided with different
section isolates at different suitable points. If any fault occurs on any section, of the ring,
this section can easily be isolated by opening the associated section isolators on both
sides of the faulty zone transformer directly.

Primary-Feeder Voltage Levels

The primary-feeder voltage level is the most important factor affecting the
system design, cost, and operation. Some of the design and operation aspects affected by
the primary-feeder voltage level are
1. Primary-feeder length
2. Primary-feeder loading
3. Number of distribution substations
4. Rating of distribution substations
5. Number of sub-transmission lines
6. Number of customers affected by a specific outage
7. System maintenance practices
8. The extent of tree trimming
9. Joint use of utility poles
10. Type of pole-line design and construction
11. Appearance of the pole line

There are additional factors affecting the decisions for primary-feeder voltage-
level selection, as shown in Figure

In general, for a given percent voltage drop, the feeder length and loading are
direct functions of the feeder voltage level. This relationship is known as the voltage-
square rule. For example, if the feeder voltage is doubled, for the same percent voltage
drop, it can supply the same power four times the distance. However the feeder with the
increased length feeds more load. Therefore, the advantage obtained by the new and
higher-voltage level through the voltage-square factor, that is,
It has to be allocated between the growth in load and in distance. Further, the
same percent voltage drop will always result provided that the following relationship

Primary-Feeder Loading
Primary-feeder loading is defined as the loading of a feeder during peak-load
conditions as measured at the substation. Some of the factors affecting the design
loading of a feeder are
1. The density of the feeder load
2. The nature of the feeder load
3. The growth rate of the feeder load
4. The reserve-capacity requirements for emergency
5. The service-continuity requirements
6. The service-reliability requirements
7. The quality of service
8. The primary-feeder voltage level
9. The type and cost of construction
10. The location and capacity of the distribution substation
11. The voltage regulation requirements
There are additional factors affecting the decisions for feeder routing, the
number of feeders, and feeder conductor size selection, as shown in the following
(i)Factors affecting feeder routing decisions:

(ii) Factors affecting number of feeders:

(iii) Factors affecting conductor size selection:

Basic Design Practice Of The Secondary Distribution System

The part of the electric utility system that is between the primary system and the
consumers property is called the secondary system. Secondary distribution systems
include step-down distribution transformers, secondary circuits (secondary mains),
consumer services (or service drops), and meters to measure consumer energy
Generally, the secondary distribution systems are designed in single phase for
areas of residential customers and in three phase for areas of industrial or commercial
customers with high-load densities.
The types of the secondary distribution systems include the following:
1. The separate-service system for each consumer with separate distribution

transformer and secondary connection

2. The radial system with a common secondary main, which is supplied by one
distribution transformer and feeding a group of consumers
3. The secondary-bank system with a common secondary main that is supplied by
several distribution transformers, which are all fed by the same primary feeder
4. The secondary-network system with a common grid-type main that is supplied by a
large number of the distribution transformers, which may be connected to various
feeders for their supplies.

The following Figure shows the one-line diagram of a radial secondary system. It
has a low cost and is simple to operate.

Distribution systems can be classified as follows:
i) Type of Current
Distribution system can be classified into two according to the type of current
used. These are:
(a) AC distribution system, and
(b) DC distribution system
AC distribution system: The electrical power is always generated, transmitted, and
distributed in the form of AC. The main reason for adopting the AC system over a DC
system for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electrical power is that the
alternating voltage can be conveniently changed to any desired value with the help of
transformers, since a transformer is a device used for the step-up or step down of the
voltage to the required levels. Alternating voltage can be increased to the economical
value required for transmission (high voltage) and can be reduced to a safe value for
distribution (low voltage) of electrical power. The AC distribution is classified as
primary and secondary distribution systems.
DC distribution system: Though electrical power is completely generated,
transmitted and distributed as AC. certain applications like electro-chemical works,
variable speed operation of DC motors, etc., absolutely need DC. Hence, for these
applications, AC is converted into DC at the substations and distributed either by a two-
wire or a three-wire system.
In general, AC distribution is adopted because it is simpler and cheaper than the
DC distribution system.

ii) Type of Construction

Distribution systems can be classified into two according to the type of
construction procedure used. These are:
(a) Overhead system
(b) Underground system
The overhead system is employed for distribution because it is cheaper than the
underground system and the underground system is employed only when the overhead
system is restricted by local laws.

iii) Type of Service

Distribution systems can be classified into four according to the services they
best cater to. These are
(a) General lighting and power
(b) Industrial power
(c) Railway
(d) Streetlight etc.

iv) Number of Wires

Distribution systems can he classified into three according to the number of
wires used. These are
(a) Two wire
(b) Three wire
(c) Four wire
For distribution purposes, overhead AC systems are universally employed. Three
phase, three-wire systems are used for power loads and three-phase, four-wire systems

are used for both lighting and power loads. In case of DC supply systems, a three-wire

distribution is usually preferred due to its advantages over a two-wire system.

v) Scheme of Connection
Distribution systems can be classified into three according to their schemes of
Connection. These are:
(a) Radial distribution system
(b) Ring or loop distribution system
(c) Interconnected distribution system



Good voltage regulation is the most important factor in a distribution system for
delivering good service to the consumer. For this purpose, careful consideration is
required for the design of feeders and distributor networks.
Feeders: These are the conductors that connect substations to consumer ports and
have large current-carrying capacity. The current loading of a feeder is uniform along
the whole of its length since no tappings are taken from it. The design of a feeder is
based mainly on the current that is to he carried.
Distributors: These are the conductors, which run along a street or an area to supply
power to consumers. These can be easily recognized by the number of tappings which
are taken from them for the supply to various consumer terminals. The current loading
of a distributor is not uniform and it varies along the length while its design is largely
influenced by the voltage drop along it.
Service Main and Sub Main: The service mains are the conductors forming connecting
links between distributors and metering points of the consumer's terminal.
When the distributor is connected to substation on one end only with the help of
feeder, then the system is called radial distribution system. The feeders, distributors
and service mains are radiating away from the substation hence name given as radial
system. There are combinations of one distributor and one feeder, connecting that
distributor to the substation. In the Fig., distributor 1 is connected only at one end to
substation through a feeder at point A. Similarly the other feeder is feeding the
distributor 2, only at one point B.

Due to such system, if the fault occurs either on feeder or a distributor, all the
consumers connected to that distributor will get affected. There would be an
interruption of supply to all such consumers. Similarly the end of the distributor nearer
to the substation will get heavily loaded than the end which is too far away from the
substation. Similarly the consumers at the distant end of the distributor would be
subjected to the voltage variations and fluctuations, as the load on the distributor
changes. The system is advantageous only when the generation is at low voltage level
and the substation is located at the centre of the load.

Advantages of Radial System:
The various advantages of radial system are,
1. Simplest as is fed at only one end.
2. The initial cost is low.
3. Useful when the generation is at low voltage.
4. Preferred when the station is located at the centre of the load.

Disadvantages of Radial System:

Apart from its advantages, this system is suffered from the following disadvantages,
1. The end of distributor near to the substation gets heavily loaded.
2. When load on the distributor changes, the consumers at the distant end of the
distributor face serious voltage fluctuations.
3. As consumers are dependent on single feeder and distributor, a fault on any of
these two causes interruption in supply to all the consumers connected to that
4. Low reliability factor.


Another system of distribution which eliminates the disadvantages of the radial
system is used in practice called ring main distribution system.
In such system, the feeder covers the whole area of supply in the ring fashion
and finally terminates at the substation from where it is started. The feeder is in
closed loop form and looks like a ring hence the name given to the system as
ring main system. This is shown in the Fig.

The feeder in the ring fashion is divided into number of sections as AB,
BC, CD, DE and EA. The various distributors are connected at A, B, C, D
and E. Each distributor is supplied by the two feeders and hence the design is
similar to the two feeders in parallel on different paths. Hence if there is any fault on
any part of the feeder, still the consumers will keep on getting the continuous supply.
For example, if the fault occurs at point P in the section AB of the feeder, still the
consumers connected to the distributors at A and B will get supply from the sound
feeder sections AE and BC. The part AB of the feeder can be isolated and repaired. The

feeder can be fed at one or more feeding points. Thus the disadvantages of radial system
are eliminated in this system. The great saving in copper is another major advantage of
the ring main system.

Advantages :
Less conductor material is required as each part of the ring carries less
current than in the radial system.
Less voltage fluctuations.
It is more reliable.
Disadvantage :
It is difficult to design when compared to the designing of a radial system.




Page 16
Page 17
Page 18

Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26

1) 2-wire d.c. distributor cable AB is 2 km long and supplies loads of 100A, 150A, 200A
and 50A situated 500 m, 1000 m, 1600 m and 2000 m from the feeding point A. Each
conductor has a resistance of 001 per 1000 m. Calculate the p.d. at each load point if a
p.d. of 300 V is maintained at point A.
The Fig. shows the single line diagram of the distributor with its tapped currents.

2) The load distribution on a two-wire d.c. distributor is shown in Fig. The cross-
sectional area of each conductor is 027 cm2. The end A is supplied at 250 V. Resistivity
of the wire is = 178 cm. Calculate (i) the current in each section of the conductor
(ii) the two-core resistance of each section (iii) the voltage at each tapping point.

3) A 2-wire d.c. street mains AB, 600 m long is fed from both ends at 220 V. Loads of
20 A, 40 A, 50 A and 30 A are tapped at distances of 100m, 250m, 400m and 500 m from
the end A respectively. If the area of X-section of distributor conductor is 1cm2, find the
minimum consumer voltage. Take = 17 106 cm.

4) A 2-wire d.c. distributor AB is fed from both ends. At feeding point A, the voltage is
maintained as at 230 V and at B 235 V. The total length of the distributor is 200 metres
and loads are tapped off as under :
25 A at 50 metres from A ; 50 A at 75 metres from A
30 A at 100 metres from A ; 40 A at 150 metres from A
The resistance per kilometre of one conductor is 03 . Calculate :
(i) currents in various sections of the distributor
(ii) minimum voltage and the point at which it occurs
The Fig. shows the distributor with its tapped currents. Let IA amperes be the
current supplied from the feeding point A. Then currents in the various sections of the
distributor are as shown in Fig.
5) A 2-wire d.c. distributor 200 metres long is uniformly loaded with 2A/metre.
Resistance of single wire is 03 /km. If the distributor is fed at one end, Calculate :
(i) the voltage drop upto a distance of 150 m from the feeding point
(ii) the maximum voltage drop
6) A 250 m , 2-wire d.c. distributor fed from one end is loaded uniformly at the rate of
16 A/metre. The resistance of each conductor is 00002 per metre. Find the voltage
necessary at feed point to maintain 250 V (i) at the far end (ii) at the mid-point of the


7) A 2-wire d.c. distributor AB 500 metres long is fed from both ends and is loaded
uniformly at the rate of 10 A/metre. At feeding point A, the voltage is maintained at
255 V and at B at 250 V. If the resistance of each conductor is 01 per kilometre,
determine :
(i) the minimum voltage and the point where it occurs
(ii) the currents supplied from feeding points A and B

8) A 800 metres 2-wire d.c. distributor AB fed from both ends is uniformly loaded at the
rate of 125 A/metre run. Calculate the voltage at the feeding points A and B if the
minimum potential of 220 V occurs at point C at a distance of 450 metres from the
end A. Resistance of each conductor is 005 /km.
9) A 2-wire d.c. distributor ABCDEA in the form of a ring main is fed at point A at 220 V
and is loaded as under :
10A at B ; 20A at C ; 30A at D and 10 A at E.
The resistances of various sections (go and return) are : AB = 01 ; BC = 005 ; CD =
001 ; DE = 0025 and EA = 0075 . Determine :
(i) the point of minimum potential (ii) current in each section of distributor
The Fig.(i) shows the ring main distributor. Let us suppose that current I flow in
section AB of the distributor. Then currents in the various sections of the distributor are
as shown in Fig (i).


The actual distribution of currents is as shown in Fig. 13.37 (ii) from where it is
clear that C is the point of minimum potential.

C is the point of minimum potential.

(ii) Current in section AB = I = 2904 A from A to B
Current in section BC = I 10 = 2904 10 = 1904 A from B to C
Current in section CD = I 30 = 2904 30 = 096 A = 096 A from D to C
Current in section DE = I 60 = 2904 60 = 3096 A = 3096 A from E to D
Current in section EA = I 70 = 2904 70 = 4096 A = 4096 A from A to E

10) A single phase a.c. distributor AB 300 metres long is fed from end A and is loaded as
under :
(i) 100 A at 0707 p.f. lagging 200 m from point A
(ii) 200 A at 08 p.f. lagging 300 m from point A
The load resistance and reactance of the distributor is 02 and 01 per kilometre.
Calculate the total voltage drop in the distributor. The load power factors refer to the
voltage at the far end.

11) A single phase distributor one km long has resistance and reactance per conductor
of 01 and 015 respectively. At the far end, the voltage VB = 200 V and the current is
100A at a p.f. of 08 lagging. At the mid-point M of the distributor, a current of 100 A is
tapped at a p.f. of 06 lagging with reference to the voltage VM at the mid-point.
Calculate :
(i) voltage at mid-point
(ii) sending end voltage VA
(iii) phase angle between VA and VB

Page 36