Objectives and Value
DSTAR is focused on providing its member utilities with results which can be readily applied to everyday distribution system design, operation, and maintenance.
Member benefits include:
- Useful engineering software applications
- Comparative test results and application guidelines
- Perspectives on, and critical analysis of current industry issues
- Reducing operating and engineering costs
- Maximizing system asset utilization
- Improving system reliability
- Leveraging the stretched utility workforce
- Sharing knowledge and best practices
DSTAR projects enable members to operate more efficiently, reliably, and safely.
With increasing industry focus on operational efficiency, demand reduction, and smart grid technologies, DSTAR commissioned a suite of projects aimed at: understanding the loss profile of member utilities; improving utility energy efficiency; and assessing the impact of the changing nature of loads on distribution operations.
DSTAR-developed software allows utilities to procure and apply transformers, considering the transformer life, and economic impacts of loading practices. Members have reported significant capital investment savings due to reductions in transformer over-sizing.
Pioneering DSTAR research has shed much light on the complex phenomenon of ferroresonant overvoltages. DSTAR produced guidelines for its members specifying applications where arresters can safely eliminate ferroresonant overvoltage concerns. As a result, member utilities have been able to reduce failures, improve reliability and save money.
Distribution utilities in the U.S. are vulnerable to the devastating and expensive impacts of major storms. A recent study by DSTAR examined the practices and experiences of U.S. utilities during storm occurrences to understand and convey the best practices and lessons learned. Members reported that the results are extremely interesting and useful for their operations.