Project Summary

The purpose of this report is to provide guidelines regarding operational, engineering, and financial management strategies for calculating, identifying, and reducing electric cooperative system losses.

Value to Electric Cooperatives

Although energy losses are inherent to grid operations, studies have shown that there is room for improvement in most cases. Losses cannot be avoided, but they can be minimized by combining advanced technologies with improved operational procedures and effective policies and regulations.

This report provides information on:

  • Industry practices and methods used by cooperatives to calculate losses in electric T&D systems,

  • Processes to determine where losses occur,

  • Measures and techniques to reduce system losses,

  • Methods for performing economic evaluation of loss-reduction strategies,

  • The effect of emerging technologies on electric system losses, and

  • Two case studies of effective cooperative loss analysis and reduction programs.

Analyzing distribution system losses requires analytical tools. In addition to the report, three spreadsheet tools were developed to help co-op staff analyze losses and evaluate loss-reduction techniques. The tools are a Loss Evaluation Tool, a Cost-Benefit Tool, and a Decision Matrix. The functionality of each tool is described in Section 8 of the report.

Audience

Engineering

Keywords

Losses, efficiency, load balancing, optimization, voltage conversion, transformers, feeder reconfiguration, power factor correction

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