REQUIREMENTS OF A DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
A considerable amount of effort is necessary to maintain an electric power supply within the requirements of various types of consumers. Some of the requirements of a good distribution system are : proper voltage, availability of power on demand and reliability.
One important requirement of a distribution system is that voltage variations at consumer’s terminals should be as low as possible. The changes in voltage are generally caused due to the variation of load on the system. Low voltage causes loss of revenue, inefficient lighting and possible burning out of motors. High voltage causes lamps to burn out permanently and may cause failure of other appliances. Therefore, a good distribution system should ensure that the voltage variations at consumers terminals are within permissible limits. The statutory limit of voltage variations is ± 6% of the rated value at the consumer’s terminals. Thus, if the declared voltage is 230 V, then the highest voltage of the consumer should not exceed 244 V while the lowest voltage of the consumer should not be less than 216 V.
Power must be available to the consumers in any amount that they may require from time to time. For example, motors may be started or shut down, lights may be turned on or off, without advance warning to the electric supply company. As electrical energy cannot be stored, therefore, the distribution system must be capable of supplying load demands of the consumers. This necessitates that operating staff must con-tinuously study load patterns to predict in advance those major load changes that follow the known schedules.
Modern industry is almost dependent on electric power for its operation. Homes and office buildings are lighted, heated, cooled and ventilated by electric power. This calls for reliable service. Unfortunately, electric power, like everything else that is man-made, can never be absolutely reliable. However, the reliability can be improved to a considerable extent by ( a) interconnected system ( b) reliable automatic control system ( c) providing additional reserve facilities.