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The challenges of electricity utilities in the modern era relate to meeting customer expectations for continuity and quality of supply whilst adhering to most demanding regulatory standards and ensuring economical and profitable operations.

A major slice of the service quality, regulatory and economic issues faced by the electricity utilizes at present have been identified to stem from deficiencies in thedistribution networks. This includes issues relating to reliability and quality of supply, efficiency and economics of operations. Hence power utilities in the world assign a great importance for effective planning of their distribution networks to achieve techno-economic optimization.

Distribution system planning has therefore evolved to become an essential and integral part in utility planning process as a distinct specialization with its own concepts, techniques and methodologies. Several leading service providers and academic institutions have developed advanced GIS based software tools and solutions for distribution network planning and design. These software solutions offer sophisticated systems with integrated network modeling, engineering analysis, mapping, graphics and data management capabilities. This has significantly contributed towards advancement of distribution system planning as a separate area of specialization to effectively meet modern day challenges of the utilities.

ADEA Power Consulting Pty Ltd is a pioneering and a leading consulting services provider offering a range of specialized services to power utilities for distribution system planning.

Bottom-Up Approach

Traditional electricity utility planning procedures were primarily based on a ‘top down’ approach, where future system developments were determinedon a top down view of the system based on macro level analysis. This has led to a scenario where emphasis for optimization has been placed at higher level systems; generation, transmission and grid substations.In many utilities, distribution network planning has been carried out at a secondary level to match with the higher level system developments already planned. As a result, many problems can be seen in the distribution networks in many utilities. These include high losses,low levels of reliability, inadequate network capacity and uncontrolled expansion.

In the bottom up approach, the direction of the traditional planning process is reversed. The approach is based on micro level analysis carried out on the distribution system and integrated in upward direction to identify and formulate optimal techno-economic solutions.

Distribution networks extend to every geographic location covered by the utility providing final and penultimate interface between the utility and the customer. Therefore distribution system is considered the most appropriate system to capture actual and localized system requirements. This includes identification of customer requirements and issues, assessment of localized demands and growth patterns, network issues etc. For example, demand growth will be different in different areas and certain areas need high reliability levels. Effective planning process therefore begins from distribution system. System requirements are analyzed at micro level and network developments are planned in upward direction to address overall system requirements in an optimized manner. This micro level analysis, upward integration and optimization is only possible by the use advanced software solutions available for distribution network modeling and analysis.


ADEA staffs have introduced and developedmethodology for application of thebottom-up approach in electricity network planning in early 1990s. This approach has been developed as an effective way to optimize electricity network developments in an integrated manner. It is now used as a standard practice by many electricity utilities and accepted by the multilateral financing and development institutions including the World Bank, ADB and UNDP.

ADEA Power Consulting Pty Ltd offers expertise and skills of highly experienced staffs to plan electricity distribution system using the bottom-up approach, in order to provide optimal and cost effective solutions for development of the networks.

Scope of Services

ADEA,based on its expertise, innovative approach and experience offers a complete range of specialized consulting services for distribution system planning, which include the following;

Advisory Support

  • Establishment of distribution planning process
  • Evaluation of existing planning and operational systems and recommendations for improvements
  • Review and independent assessment of utility distribution network development projects and plans – for regulators and financing institutions.
  • Preparation of feasibility reports

Turnkey Assignments

  • Carry out distribution network survey and load surveys
  • Automated mapping and development of GIS applications for electricity networks
  • Distribution network modeling using leading state of art software tools
  • Distribution network analysis including load flow, fault, reliability, contingency, power quality, motor starting, optimal switching, capacitor placement analysis studies.
  • Demand forecasting using appropriate methodologies using available data. This includes econometric modeling, trend analysis, micro area and requirement based demand forecasting techniques.
  • Planning and designing distribution network developments
  • Preparation of network development master plans
  • Identification and formulation of network development projects
  • Preparation of project reports
  • Undertaking special studies including rural and urban electrification planning, power quality, loss reduction, network rehabilitation, reliability improvement, demand side mangment, distributed generation. Integration of renewable energy generation and system automation studies

Our engineers are able to use and provide capacity building for leading state of art software systems to carry out distribution system planning assignments including;SynerGEE Electric, PSSSincal, ETAP, Milsoft and CYMDIST.



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