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Power Quality

Training Courses

Reliability of electricity supply

LPQIVES is co-financed by:

LPQIVES is a programme of:

LPQI is part of:
Module 5

Reliability of electricity supply

The aim of this module is to provide the user a detailed overview of the reliability of electricity
supply problems, by supplying a guidance for the choice of the scheme for the electrical grids and
of the emergency and standby power systems, by giving the users a comprehensive description of
static and rotating UPS features. In the last sections of this module users can find additional
informations about the new emerging technologies as well as some good engineering practices.

1.1 General aims

This module’s general aim is to provide the attendants the basic knowledge about the concept of
reliability, and some tools for the choice of the scheme and features of power systems and to
evaluate the reliability of the choosen system.
The aim is achieved through 8 didactic sections, as follows:
− Section 1: Definitions and Standards;
− Section 2: Mathematical methods to evaluate reliability;
− Section 3: Basic schemes of electrical grids; choice of the schemes;
− Section 4: Emergency and standby power systems;
− Section 5: Static and rotating UPS systems;
− Section 6: Emerging Technologies;
− Section 7: Good engineering practices;
− Section 8: Case study.

1.2 Target groups

This module’s target group includes: designers, experts, installers, users, grid operators, and all
those who wish to expand their knowledge in reliability of supply.


The pathway of learning consists of a 2 days course, subdivided in sections (with different
duration), with these contents and related aims.

1st day
Contents Definitions (reliability, redundancy, etc…); mathematical methods to evaluate
reliability; basic schemes of electrical grids (simple radial system, ring scheme,
etc…); rules for the choice of the schemes.
Aims The aim of the first day lessons is to introduce the basic knowledge related to
reliability of supply. After an introductory section with all the related definitions,
the successive lessons provide the users some tools for a correct choice of the
power supply scheme.
2nd day
Contents Emergency and standby power systems; static and rotating UPS systems;
emerging Technologies; good engineering practices; case study.
Aims The second day lessons aim is to provide the attendants some practical
informations and tools on the the choice of the emergency and standby power
systems. The last sections of the course will be dedicated to UPS’s and new
emerging technologies.

Below there’s a detailed overview of the course contents.
2.1 Pathway of learning flow chart

Time progression


General notes:
− each day there will be one coffee break (30 mins) which will divide the lesson in two parts no
longer than 2,5 hours;
− at the beginning of the course the lecturer will explain course aims and at the end he will verify
their fulfilment through a knowledge test;
− the course will be divided in theoretical and practical sections;
− at the end of the lessons, a user satisfaction survey will help the lecturer in monitoring the course

First day:

30 mins Participants registration and course introduction

30 mins Section 1: Definitions

− Availability and continuity
− Reliability (see IEC IEV ref. 191-12-01)
− Redundancy
Modality: Lesson

60 mins Section 2: Mathematical methods to evaluate reliability

Modality: Lesson

60 mins Section 3: Basic schemes of electrical grids

− Simple radial system
− Ring scheme
− Double radial scheme
− Meshed scheme
− Compound scheme
Modality: Lesson

30 mins Coffe break

90 mins Choice of the schemes

− Parameters and basic conditions
− Scheme of the grid as a link between supplies and loads
− Characteristics of the installation
− Independence
− Bottlenecks
− Uniform availability and limit of tight of the components
− Redundancy of protections
− Resilience and flexilility – capability of replacement
− Reserve power
− The system supply section and end section
− The functions “standard” and “preferential”
Modality: Lesson and discussion

Second day

60 mins Section 4: Emergency and standby power systems

− Descriptions and applications of available systems
− Basics
− Engine-Driven Generators
− Turbine-Driven Generators
− Mechanical-Stored Energy System
− Inverter/battery Systems
− Introduction Uninterruptible Power Systems
Modality: Lesson
60 mins Section 5: Static and rotating UPS systems
− General description of the technology
− Main Characteristics and limitations
− Applications
− UPS Structures
− Energy storage (battery)
− Standards
Modality: Lesson and discussion

30 mins Coffe break

30 mins Section 6: Emerging Technologies

− Fuel cells
− Supercapacitors
− Superconductors
Modality: Lesson and discussion

60 mins Section 7: Good engineering practices

− Grounding
− Protection
− Maintenance
Modality: Lesson and practical training

30 mins Section 8: Case study

Modality: Lesson and practical training

60 mins Final discussion; end of the course; user’s satisfaction questionnaire;

Confirmations of attendance

Teaching methods are summarized in three main moments:
− knowledge transfer (Lesson)
topics exposure by the lecturer with the help of slides and eventually other electronic tools
(animations, data sheets, didactic movies…);
− deepening/learning verification (Discussion)
general discussion stimulated by the lecturer (also during the lesson) to verify knowledge
transfer and to eventually deepen particular topics;
− practical training (and eventually laboratory activities)
group work (~ 6 persons/group) for topics deepening, practical problems solution and case
studies overview under the supervision of the lecturer.

During all the sections, the lecturer will always attend, with teaching and/or activity coordination


The didactic tools which will be used by the lecturers will be:
− Blackboard
− Video-projector
− Notebook
− Microphone

The lecture room will be suitable to allow the use of all the above listed didactic tools and to enable
group work for the attendants.
Each user will receive, during the registration, a folder containing:
− course program;
− lecture notes containing all or part of the lecture slides;
− LPQIVES knowledge database access personal key.

All this didactic material, and eventually some additional electronic tools, will be available also in
electronic format at:
The folder will also include a user satisfaction questionnaire and a knowledge test (which will be
both filled and submitted at the end of the course).


The user’s existing knowledge should include:

Basic Medium High
Mathematical analysis •
Statistic •
Electrical circuits •
Power systems •
Power quality •


At the end of this course the user will have learned the basic aspects related to the key concept of
reliability along with some practical informations and tools on the choice of the scheme to adopt for
power supply and on the choice of the emergency and stand-by supply.


PR-00017, Gellerson, M, Munasinghe, M, Economic criteria for optimising power system
reliability levels, Bell Journal of Economics, Vol 10, issue 1
The standards of reliability of electricity supply have previously been determined on a rule-of-thumb
basis. This paper presents a generalized simulation model for optimizing the reliability level by comparing
the social benefits and costs of changes in power system reliability. The supply side costs of increasing
system reliability can be determined from straightforward engineering considerations. On the demand
side, the benefits to electricity users consist of cost savings from averted power failures or outages which
may be measured by the disruption of the output streams owing to idle input factors and spoilage. The
theory is applied to the case study of Cascavel, Brazil to determine a range of optimum reliability levels
for long-range electric power distribution system planning. The principal outage costs are incurred by
industrial and residential consumers.
PR-00013, Pierce, L, Transformer Design and Application Considerations for
Nonsinusoidal Load Currents, IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, 01/06/1996
Transformer design and application considerations for nonsinusoidal load currents
PR-00014, Yin, W, Failure mechanism of winding insulations in inverter-fed motors, IEEE
Electrical Insulation Magazine, Nov/Dec 1998
The failure of magnet wires under repetitive pulses as seen in inverter-fed motors cannot be attributed to
a single factor but is a result of the combined effects of partial discharge, dielectric heating, and space
charge formation. Voltage overshoots produced by PWM drives may be above discharge inception
voltage. Partial discharge may therefore be present in inverter-fed motors. In addition to partial
discharge, pulses with a fast rise time and high frequency enable the insulation to generate local
dielectric heating, which increases the local temperature. The degradation rate of the insulation is
therefore increased. Furthermore, the fast rise and fall of pulses make it possible for space charges to
accumulate in the winding insulation and on its surface
PR-00010, Gellings, C, Electric Infrastructure to power a digital society, IEEE Power
Engineering Review, Jan 2002
EPRI initiated an ambitious program designed to ensure that high-quality digital-grade electric power can
be delivered reliably to meet the needs of a digital society.
PR-00019, Dugan, R, McDermott, T E, PQ, reliability and DG, IEEE Electrical Insulation
The distributed generation (DG) owner's reliability, measured by the sustained interruption indices,
should improve markedly if DG has been installed and operated properly. However, because this is just
one customer out of hundreds or thousands on the feeder, the improvement does not show up the
utility's traditional reliability indices. There can be a positive or negative impact on the utility-level indices
in these cases: DG can reduce the number or the duration of sustained interruptions if automated
switches are available to restore power in DG-supplied islands or to DG-supported alternate feeds; the
loss of fuse-saving on laterals can significantly degrade the utility-level indices. There is little opportunity
for DG to affect the PQ of other customers, as measured by the indices for voltage sags, which are
related to faults and interruptions. DG can still have adverse impacts on harmonics and steady-state
voltage regulation, which are other aspects of PQ. Utilities should consider tracking ASIFI, ASIDI, and
other indices that are based on load size rather than the number of customers. As a supplement to the
traditional reliability indices, these would better show the positive impacts of DG, assuming DG owners
tend to be larger customers.
PR-00022, Eaton, D, Hammond, P, Rama, J, Neutral shift, IEEE Industry Applications, Nov-
Five years of continuous operation with adjustable speed drives.
Case study of a compressor drive in a refinery.
PR-00024, Tschaetsch, H-U, Kopplung zweier MS-Netze in Ulm optimiert Leistungsbedarf,
ETZ, 5/2004
Two networks of regional utilities located in Ulm (Baden-Württemberg) and Neu-Ulm (Bavaria) on either
side of the Danube river were coupled via a MV DC-link to enable an interchange of electrical energy.
The reason for linking two synchronous networks via an inverter instead of a variable transformer or
something like that was that both active and reactive power flow had to be controlled independently, and
because the inverter acts as a very fast electronic switch separating the two grids in case of short circuit
on one side. So the short circuit current carrying capabilities on either side could remain as they were.

REP-00147, 2000, Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and
interruptions: 2. Long interruptions and reliability evaluation, Book
Chapter 2 of the book "Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and interruptions" (IEEE
Press, ISBN 0-7803-4713-7)
Observation of system performance
Standards and regulations
Overview of reliability evaluation
Basic reliability evaluation techniques
Costs of interruptions
Comparison of observation and reliability evaluation
Example calculations
REP-00148, 2000, Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and
interruptions: 3. Short interruptions, Book
Chapter 3 of the book "Understanding power quality problems - Voltage sags and interruptions" (IEEE
Press, ISBN 0-7803-4713-7)
Origin of short interruptions
Monitoring of short interruptions
Influence on equipment
Single-phase tripping
Stochastic prediction of short interruptions
REP-00114, 2001, Effect of UPS on system availability (white paper #24), Brochure
This note explains how system availability and up-time are affected by AC power outages and provides
quantitative data regarding up-time in realworld environments, including the effect of UPS on up time.
REP-00115, 2001, Battery technology for data centers and network rooms: battery
options, Brochure
The lead-acid battery is the predominant choice for Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) energy storage.
In 2002, over 10 million UPSs will be installed utilizing Flooded, Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA), and
Modular Battery Cartridge ( MBC) systems. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of
these three battery technologies.
REP-00124, 2002, Distributed generation impact on reliability and power quality indices,
Properly sited distributed generation (DG) can increase the feeder capacity limit, but this does not
necessarily produce an improvement in system reliability or power quality, as quantified by standard
indices. The DG may have a positive impact on reliability through faster system restoration following a
fault. The DG can also improve reliability for the owner, and may reduce the severity of voltage sags near
the DG. Indices normalized to the number of customers dilute these positive benefits. The DG often has
a negative impact on reliability indices through sympathetic tripping, required changes to utility
overcurrent device settings, and increased fuse blowing. The utility cannot assume DG automatically
improves system reliability, and action may be required to ensure that reliability does not actually
degrade for other customers
REP-00043, 2002, 4-1 Resilience, Reliability, Redundancy, Application note
Three R's concept. MTTF, MTBF
REP-00113, 2002, The different types of UPS systems (white paper #1), Brochure
Different types of UPS systems and their characteristics:
Each of these UPS types is defined, practical applications of each are discussed, and
advantages and disadvantages are listed. With this information, an educated decision
can be made as to the appropriate UPS topology for a given need.
REP-00061, 2003, Dependability and LV switchboards - ect 156, Application note
Dependability of commercial and industrial low voltage electrical installations. Switchboard
functions against failure of the LV distribution system, components, types of power systems.
REP-00062, 2003, Dependability of MV and HV protection devices - ect 175, Application
Methods to meet dependability objectives. Taking dependability into consideration
at the design stage, quality control, analysis of gained experience.
REP-00063, 2003, High availability electrical power distribution - ect 148, Application note
Design of electrical power distribution systems that provide continuous power supply (UPS, back-up
REP-00064, 2003, Introduction to dependability design - ect 144, Application note
Basic concepts of dependability: reliability, failure rate, maintainability, availability and safety.
REP-00065, 2003, Uninterruptible static power supplies and the protection of persons -
ect 129, Application note
Protection problems related to UPS systems. Suitable solutions for various scenarios.
REP-00092, 2003, Automatic transfering of power supplies in HV and LV networks - ect
161, Application note
Various types of transfer schemes, synchronous switching, interrupted circuit transfer, pseudo-
synchronous switching.
REP-00093, 2003, Electrical installation dependability studies - ect 184, Application note
Dependability studies: methodology, tools and examples.
The paper serves as a background note to Leonardo Application Guide note no. 4.3.1 about improving
reliability with standby power supplies. Compared to Leonardo application note it offers more detailed
information about UPS configuration; on line and off line systems and particular application of different
REP-00116, 2003, Battery technology for data centers and network rooms: safety codes,
Fire safety regulations and their application to UPS battery installations are reviewed. In some cases,
fire codes do not clearly recognize improvements in battery safety resulting from changing battery
technology. Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries are frequently deployed within data centers
and network rooms without the need for the elaborate safety systems that are required for Vented
(Flooded) Lead Acid batteries. Proper interpretation of the fire codes is essential in the design and
implementation of data centers and network rooms.
REP-00119, 2003, A business case for battery-free UPS in industrial applications,
Case study published by Piller. Compares LCC or battery-free and battery-based UPS.
REP-00120, 2003, From redundant sources to dual independent sources, Paper
In conventional computer centers, power protection was relatively straight forward, usually based
on a centralized UPS. However today's new needs require different UPS and low voltage distribution
solutions, including new architectures to maintain a high level of availability throughout all phases of
operation and maintenance on complex sites. The article presents the conditions for high availability
and a number of solutions that use the latest technology to optimize cost, footprint and availability.
REP-00121, 2003, Switch to high availability, Paper
Mission Critical equipment that supports data processing facilities such as telecommunications, banking,
Insurance, SAN and internet are sensitive crossover that cannot accept any loss of electrical supply.
Moreover the evolution of IT networks lead to a mix of telecommunication and data communication
equipment within these facilities. As a result the split of power between AC and DC products within these
new buildings is more or less unknown, even after the completion of the building. This is a new trend
which requires the power protection providers to think beyond traditional solutions, with the main
objective to address simple question from customers: "how to a permanent 24 hour x 365 days available,
quality power supply for mixed and evolving mission critical AC and DC equipment at optimum cost?"
Taking this into account we propose a method to meet this new demand in terms of architecture and
other key factors providing availability, flexibility, scalability, site management and cost effective
REP-00044, 2003, 4.3.1 Improving Reliability with Standby Power Supplies, Application
Introduction - categories of loads. UPS classification and appliacation.
REP-00122, 2003, Critical Power, Report/study
Text on reliability of power supply
Powering Public Networks
The Vulnerable Public Grid
A New Profile for Grid-Outage Risks
Powering Critical Nodes
Fueling the Digital Economy
Hard Power
Resilient Power
Tiers of Power
Adding Logic to the Grid: The Static Transfer Switch
Generation and Transmission
Distribution and Distributed Generation
On-Site Power
Stored Energy
Backup Generators
"Uninterruptible Power"
Monitoring, Control, and Reliability-Centered Maintenance
Resilient Design
Private Investment and the Public Interest
Assess Vulnerabilities
Establish Critical-Power Standards for Facilities Used to Support Key Government Functions
Share Safety- and Performance-Related Information, Best Practices, and Standards
Interconnect Public and Private Supervisory Control and DataAcquisition Networks
Secure Automated Control Systems
Share Assets
Enhance Interfaces Between On-Site Generating Capacity and ThePublic Grid
Remove Obstacles
REP-00013, 2003, 4-5-3 Schemes for Power Plants. Simplicity, Reliability, Redundancy,
When and Where, Application Note
Topology of power despatchning systems; radial, ring, meshed, compoud; features.
REP-00015, 2004, 4-5-6 Resilience. Resilient wiring systems, Application Note
Concept and principle of resilience. Resilient wiring systems.
REP-00016, 2004, 4-5-7 Generating sets dimensioning for stand by operation, Application
Brief on sizing factors, frequency and voltage behaviour
REP-00012, 2004, 4-5-2 Some practical aspects of DC and AC power supplies
optimisation, Application Note
Different methods to improve power availability: bateries, bateries monitoring and diagnostic systems,
transfer switches and their applications
REP-00045, 2004, 4-5-1 Resilient Power Supply in a Modern Office Building, Application
How to design electricity distribution system in an office building.