Program 15

Ongoing.


Software applications in this program may have been updated in the subsequent program. Please check here to see complete list of enhancements:


Project 4 - Development of Engineering Mobile Apps

The DSTAR e-Handbook was released in 2002 as a series of tables and formulae compiled to aid field engineers in performing necessary engineering calculations. In addition to its static content, the handbook contains links to standalone Portable Document Format (PDF) documents that contain forms that can perform calculations directly. The latest enhanced and expanded edition (Edition 5) of the handbook was released on December 2012.

As mobile technology has become ubiquitous over the decade since the initial release, opportunities now exist to use mobile devices as an updated e-Handbook. The goal of this project is migration of several popular e-Handbook calculators from Adobe Reader PDF forms to mobile apps.

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Tagged: P4-15, P15, Equipment Testing/Evaluation, System Protection, Engineering Guidelines, Engineering Analysis Software, Industry Perspectives / White Papers, Operational Efficiency, DER Impact

Project 6 - Impact and Practical Limits of PV Penetration on Distribution Feeders

The work in this project would help utilities answer questions such as: how much PV is too much, or what can be done to accommodate more PV (e.g. voltage regulation improvements)? To answer these questions, simulations will be run on real distribution feeders with increasing levels of PV generation, and various steady-state and dynamic voltage conditions will be checked. In order to establish a set of general conclusions and practical guidelines, the simulations will study the sensitivity of maximum allowed PV with respect to:

  • Location of PV plants within the feeder (e.g. clustered near a substation, at the end of a feeder or near a voltage regulation device),
  • Feeder type based on load served (residential, commercial, industrial) and customer density (rural, urban),
  • Geographical location of feeder (e.g. coastal vs. inland, flat plains vs. mountainous) and
  • Voltage regulation devices on the feeder (e.g. capacitor banks, load tap changers).

The result would be a comprehensive report that describes the modeling process, prescribes rules-of-thumb for PV penetration level, and develops design specifications for an screening/analysis tool that could be developed in a follow-on phase.

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Tagged: P6-15, P15, Equipment Testing/Evaluation, DER Impact, Engineering Guidelines, Engineering Analysis Software, Operational Efficiency, Industry Perspectives / White Papers, System Protection

Project 7 - LED Street Lighting

DSTAR has identified a need to address the challenges faced by utilities in assessing available test data and characteristics of LED street lighting systems relative to deployment specific conditions. There is a significant amount of lighting testing performed by vendors, utilities and independent laboratories. However the metrics, test methods and approaches are sometimes difficult to use for comparative analysis, and often application specific creating difficulty in determining suitability for other applications. Further, most available LED lighting data does not address the life cycle costs associated with the transition to LED street lighting which is a key component of the decision making process along with assessment of the technical suitability.

As the range of potential products of interest is large, the analysis will focus on sodium replacement applications. The intention will be to develop and use processes that are repeatable and easily adapted for use in analyzing a broader range of products of interest to DSTAR members in the future. The proposed services will be approached as two phases:

Phase 1 - LED Lighting Lifecycle Cost Analysis.
This phase will focus on a methodology and calculation tool to assess lifecycle costs associated with LED street lighting installations.

Phase 2 - LED Lighting Technical Metrics Analysis and Recommendations for Product Selection
This phase will focus on the technical metrics of the lighting products – adequacy of available data, consistency issues in the how the data are generated, and how to specify and use vendor data in assessing suitability of products for specific deployment applications.

The current project is scoped to address activities described under phase 1.

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Tagged: P7-15, P15, Equipment Testing/Evaluation, DER Impact, Engineering Guidelines, Engineering Analysis Software, Operational Efficiency, Industry Perspectives / White Papers, System Protection

Project 8 - Impulse Testing of Electronic Controllers

This proposes to build upon the results of Project 14-4 (Surge Protection of Electronically-Controlled Devices Installed in Distribution Systems) which addressed the following issue:

"With the increased use of electronic control devices, the performance of the distribution system is more safe, reliable, and efficient while on the other hand, these control devices have become a new source of concern. Many of these electronic control devices have failed during normal operation. Power surges and overvoltages are considered the most likely cause. This situation has led to some confusion within utilities as to the required best practices relative to equipment grounding, surge protection, and installation practices. In the meantime, little guidance is provided by the manufacturers of these control devices to keep their products safe and reliable."

Project 14-4 evaluated the performance of capacitor controller installations to lightning strikes for different pole installations provided by several DSTAR members. The transient performance of the selected installations was simulated with the time-step simulation program known in the industry as the Alternate Transients Program (ATP). The flexibility of the ATP software enabled representation of a half-a-dozen DSTAR configurations as well as the ability to evaluate alternate designs or “what-if” configurations. Based on some unknown critical circuit and equipment parameters, it was recommended that the decisive results be “spot-checked” with full-scale testing.

The current project (P15-8) is a logical extension of the Project 14-4. Field impulse testing will be performed at Alabama Power's test facility to verify the simulation findings from P14-4. Based on the availability of time and resource, this project will also perform field tests on other electronic equipment, distribution equipment, and other common configurations.

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Tagged: P8-15, P15, Equipment Testing/Evaluation, DER Impact, Engineering Guidelines, Engineering Analysis Software, Operational Efficiency, Industry Perspectives / White Papers, System Protection