Distribution Systems


The last mile in service starts with the first step: ETAP

From design through distribution, more power companies trust ETAP

Distribution planners and operators have been looking towards creative solutions in order to improve reliability and the quality of service for their customers. Important incentives have included reducing and minimizing outages, maintaining acceptable voltage and reactive power profiles, optimizing and balancing the feeders, managing the effect of distributed energy resources (DER) while keeping the cost of improvements under control.

However, distribution planning and operations have a larger magnitude of challenges than those facing transmission systems. This is greatly due to the larger size of distribution networks, constantly evolving customer networks, lack of real-time information and lack of a consistent and up to date operating model.

Traditionally, distribution operators rely on IT information system solutions to manage their distribution business. IT solutions such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Outage Management Systems (OMS) and Customer Information Systems (CIS) are important parts of managing an effective distribution operations business, but they lack a comprehensive set of data for the distribution planning and management problems.

An effective and successful Distribution Management strategy must be based on an integrated system approach that provides a unified platform, as well as a unified user-interface for all of the tools required for reliable and effective distribution system planning and operations.

There are a number of advantages by utilizing an integrated tool:

  • Network model can be automatically created and synchronized from multiple data sources such as GIS, OMS, CIS, etc.
  • Network model can be easily synchronized between the planning and distribution management tools due to a unified interface
  • No need transfer data using external files and reduced effort to maintain interoperability between multiple databases especially in a multi-vendor environment
  • Improved power system life-cycle management
  • Reduced software maintenance cost by utilizing a single software
  • Reduced effort maintaining multiple databases by synchronizing the changes bi-directionally

User-friendly network topology builder allows you to build a single line feeder presentation or import information from other IT data sources such as GIS. Automatic correction of voltage and phase inconsistencies ensure that the data is sanitized and corrections are synchronized back to the source GIS databases. Substation templates assist in faster model creation as well as data entry. Built-in conversion tools allow you to easily import existing models from third party databases.

Advanced up-to-date software algorithms combined with detailed modeling capabilities allow ETAP to solve very large systems including layers like transmission, sub-transmission, primary, secondary and load distribution, all in one electrical model. ETAP can easily handle 100,000’s of electrical junctions and solve the network in seconds while maintaining calculation accuracy and fidelity. Intuitive and user friendly graphical interface with full spectrum power system applications provide a robust and mature platform for reliability and capacity assessment for distribution planners and operators.

ETAP assists in the management and optimization of distribution network operations for reliability and economic purposes and can be configured as stand-alone system or integrated with distribution SCADA and/or outage management systems for full distribution management system (DMS) capabilities. ETAP utilizes all information available from distribution automation and automated metering to improve feeder load models and operations solutions.

Based on modular state-of-the-art components using the latest hardware and software technology, ETAP is designed to meet current and evolving industry standards. With over 20 comprehensive analysis modules for distribution systems, ETAP is the ultimate tool for Smart Grid Distribution Management & Microgrid Systems. ETAP is an integrated and interactive program for simulating, analyzing and optimizing distribution power system performance. Our portfolio of software modules include:

  • Geospatial & Single Line Feeder Diagrams
  • Distribution Load Flow
  • Balanced or Distribution Short Circuit (ANSI & IEC)
  • Reliability Assessment
  • Time Domain Power Flow
  • Voltage Stability Analysis
  • Dynamic Stability Analysis with User-Defined Dynamic Model Editor & Compiler
  • Optimal Power Flow
  • Optimal Capacitor Placement
  • Switching Optimization
  • Underground Raceway Thermal Analysis
  • Substation Ground Grid Design & Analysis
  • Protective Device Coordination (Overcurrent & Distance)
  • Distribution Line Derating & Capacity Assessment
  • Distribution Line Impedance Calculation including Mutual Coupling
  • Distributed Energy Resource (DER) modeling such as Photovoltaic Generators, Wind Turbine Generators, etc.

ETAP provides distribution planning and operations engineers with comprehensive tools for the design, simulation and operation of reliable utility networks all in one tool. Transition your planning model into operations using ETAP Real-Time platform. Understand and control your power system operations using ETAP Integrated Distribution Management System (DMS) through capabilities such as:

  • State Estimation
  • Network Topology Processing (Logical and Geospatial)
  • Real-Time Distribution Load Flow
  • Predictive Distribution Network Analysis & Optimization
  • Volt/Var Optimization & Control (VVOC)
  • Fault Management & Service Restoration
  • Switching Sequence Management
  • Demand Response & Load Management
  • Short-Term Load Forecasting
  • OMS / GIS Interface
  • Common Information Model (CIM) Interface

Contact us for more information about converting your transmission system model into ETAP and migrating to the premier software used by electrical distribution utilities and their consultants world-wide.