By - Jon Brown

Overhead Distribution Systems
June 15-16, 2016 | Newport Beach, CA

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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.

Who Should Attend

  • Maintenance and operations staff
  • Distribution contractors
  • Engineering and design consultants
  • Non-distribution engineers
  • Distribution operators
  • Utility staff and others that needs an understanding of the overhead distribution 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, they 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 system
  • Explore challenges in system operation
  • Review utility approaches to improving reliability
  • Discuss methods and practices for modernizing the overhead distribution system


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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

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

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Distribution – What is it?
  • Review of power system from generator to customer
  • Major parts of a distribution system
    • Feeders
    • Branch lines
    • Overhead
    • Underground
    • Network
How Distribution Systems Work – Part I
  • Voltages
  • Single phase and three phase
  • Transformers
  • Typical system configurations
    • Feeders – radial and looped
    • Descending hierarchy
How Distribution Systems Work – Part II
  • Power quality
  • Reliability
  • Voltage regulation
  • System protection
Design Considerations
  • Equipment
    • Poles – types, selection
    • Conductors/wires – types, selection
    • Devices/ Pole attachments
    • Transformers
    • System regulation
  • Construction – what is that?
    • Pole types, sizes
    • Primary configurations
    • Guys and anchors
    • Equipment
  • Construction – why is it built like that?
    • Codes, statutes
    • Industry standards
    • Individual utility standards
    • Line crew considerations
  • Construction – why is that line there?
    • System loads
    • Reliability
Operating Considerations
  • System protection
    • What it is
    • Line devices
    • Modeling and real world
  • Reliability
  • Safety
    • Stray voltage
    • Line crews


Thursday, June 16, 2016

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

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

Overhead vs Underground
  • Understanding underground distribution
  • Why isn’t everything underground?
  • Comparing costs
  • Comparing pros and cons
Challenges in operating distribution systems
  • Public perceptions and pressures
  • Distributed generation
  • Disruptive loads
Utility approaches to improving reliability
  • Storm hardening
  • System reconfigurations
  • Automated switching
  • Automated outage reporting
  • On-line outage status
Modernizing the system
  • Microgrids
  • Predictive technology
  • Line sensors
  • System modeling
  • R&D projects


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 9 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.


Marriott Newport Beach
900 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

To reserve your room, please call 1-949-640-4000
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.


The room rate is $189.00 single or double plus $10 resort fee plus applicable taxes.


A room block has been reserved for the nights of June 12 – 15, 2016.



Make your reservations prior to May 12, 2016. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


Event Standard RateAttendees

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