By - Jon Brown

Fundamentals of Overhead Distribution Systems
April 6-7, 2020 | San Antonio, TX

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This course will introduce and provide non-technical people with the basics of the overhead distribution system and all the general components that make up the system. Issues that are involved in the design, construction, operation, reliability, protection and maintenance of overhead distribution, as well as safety awareness will be discussed.  It will allow people who are not distribution engineers to know enough to oversee projects or simply have a better understanding of the system.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review the power system from generator to customer and where distribution fits in
  • Discover how a distribution system works and system configurations
  • Expand on the functions of the system through reliability, power quality, protection and voltage regulation
  • List the various equipment components that make up the system
  • Review the what, the why, and the how of system construction
  • Discuss the operation considerations of protection, reliability and safety
  • Explain the differences in a comparison of overhead and underground systems
  • Explore challenges in system operation
  • Review utility approaches to improving reliability
  • Discuss methods and practices for modernizing the overhead distribution system



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.1 CEUs for this event.


Review Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this course.


Monday, April 6, 2020

8:00 – 8:30  a.m. :: Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Distribution – What is it?

  • The power system from generator to customer
  • Major types of distribution systems
    • Overhead
    • Underground
    • Network
  • Typical distribution system configurations
    • Feeders
    • Branch lines
    • Descending hierarchy

How Distribution Systems Work – Electrical Part I

  • Voltages, amps, resistance
  • Single phase and three-phase
  • Power and impedance

How Distribution Systems Work – Electrical Part II

  • Power quality
    • Voltage drop, flicker, harmonics
    • Power Factor
  • Voltage regulation

Design Considerations – What is That?

  • Major materials
    • Poles, crossarms, conductors, equipment
  • Smaller materials
    • Primary and secondary materials
    • Nuts, bolts, washers, and more
  • Pole top assemblies
    • Horizontal and vertical configurations
    • Alternate construction configurations
  • Guying
    • Guy attachments, guy wire, anchors
  • Transformers
    • What they are – how they work
    • Three-phase configurations
    • Photo quiz
  • Special electrical equipment
    • Regulators, auto transformers, capacitors, metering

Design Considerations – Why is it Built That Way?

  • Codes and regulations
    • National Electrical Safety Code (NESC)
    • Other regulatory agencies
  • Mechanical and electrical
    • Equipment sizing
    • Conductor sag, tension, clearance
  • Operations
    • Utility and industry standards
    • Line crew considerations
  • Storm hardening
    • Definitions
    • Stronger or more resilient?

Design Considerations – Why Are Those Lines Where They Are?

  • System analysis
    • Load flow and power quality
    • Line and equipment loading
  • System planning
    • Projecting future new loads
    • Modeling the future system               
  • Other considerations

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Operating Considerations – What Does it Take to Keep the Lights On?

  • System protection
    • What line faults are
    • Devices used to handle fault conditions
    • System protection schemes
  • Special situations
    • Distributed generation
    • Disruptive loads
  • Public perceptions and pressures

Improving Reliability – What are Utilities Doing?

  • Switching and protective devices
  • Automated switching and reconfigurations
  • Automated outage reporting
  • Storm hardening

Modernizing the System – Can Old Dogs Learn New Tricks?

  • Energy sector R&D
  • Utility programs

Safety – Saving the Most Important Topic for Last

  • Electrical considerations
    • Public safety
    • Employee safety
    • Stray voltage


Wes Spencer, Senior Project Engineer, POWER Engineers, Inc.

Wes is a Senior Project Engineer for POWER Engineers, St. Petersburg, FL and holds a BSEE from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology.

Wes has over 40 years of experience with distribution systems including over 20 years with a Florida utility, private consulting, and working with POWER Engineers. He has developed standards, taught distribution design, directed line crews, and led multiple complex design projects. He has served in leadership positions on numerous technical committees.  He is currently technical lead for major distribution projects with POWER Engineers.

Rod Ratcliff PE, Consultant, POWER Engineers, Inc.

Rod is a Project Engineer for POWER Engineers, Fort Worth, TX and holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

During his 10 year career as a consultant in the Power Systems Utility industry Rod has served in a wide variety of power systems engineering design fields including: Low Voltage Electrical System Design, Arc Flash Studies, Substation Design and Ground Testing, Transmission Line Design, Transmission Line SCADA Control and Metering, Overhead and Underground Distribution Line Design, Distribution System Studies and Planning, as well as Reports and Studies for Need, Placement, and Planning of New Substations and New Transmission Lines as required by the Public Utility Commission(PUC). Presently, Rod works in the field of Distribution Design and is also involved in corporate internal training.


Sheraton Gunter Hotel

205 East Houston Street

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Reserve your room:

please call 1-210-227-3241

click here to book online

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of April 5 – 6, 2020

Room rate through EUCI:

$209.00 single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to March 16, 2020.


Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

EventEarly Bird Before
Friday, March 20, 2020
Standard RateAttendees
Fundamentals of Overhead Distribution SystemsUS $ 1195.00 US $ 1395.00

Register 3 Send 4th Free!

Any organization wishing to send multiple attendees to these conferences may send 1 FREE for every 3 delegates registered. Please note that all registrations must be made at the same time to qualify.

Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before March 06, 2020 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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