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Efficiency maximization of electric distribution system is a means to meet a short -term growth of load demand. Loss in distribution system costs utilities a sizable amount of money and need be minimized to release the capacity of generating units as well as the capacity of distribution transformers. For most developing countries, loss in distribution system goes beyond the recommended value, which is 6%. In a recent paper by author Yalisho Girma, loss in distribution system in the case of Textile Factory was investigated using simulation method and found to be 7.4%.
"Reduction of distribution system losses helps the utilities to connect short term growth of load demands without investing on more generating units" Yalisho Girma said.
In his paper, Yalisho Girma showed how losses occurring in distribution system can be minimized both at design stage and after design stage. During design stage, selection of efficient distribution transformer (amorphous core type transformer), selection of less resistive conductor (copper), optimal location of distribution transformers and use of as high voltage as possible could be considered. Other loss reduction techniques, as mentioned by the author, include connection of shunt capacitor (reactive power compensation), use of balanced three phase loads, placement of harmonic filters and demand side management. Among the loss reduction methods cited above, use of shunt capacitor was perhaps the most commonly used method, not only for reducing loss, but also for boosting voltage profile and improving power factor.
In his paper, Yalisho Girma showed how to determine the capacity of shunt capacitors to be connected at the candidate bus bars. He also showed that placement of shunt capacitors in the case study area saved a power loss of 37.5kw, which is equivalent to annual energy saving of 328.5Mwh. Analysis of power loss in the presence of load unbalancing was also treated and the results obtained reveals that the loss in presence of load unbalancing is greater than the one in the case of balanced load condition.
Yalisho Girma Instructor, department of Electrical & computer engineering, Arbaminch University, Ethiopia