By - Jon Brown

Fundamentals of Overhead Distribution Systems
June 14-15, 2018 | Baltimore, MD

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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 1.0 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.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

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?

  • 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

Friday, June 15, 2018

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

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

Operating Considerations

  • System protection
    • What it is
    • Line devices
    • Modeling and real world
  • Reliability
  • Safety
    • Stray voltage
    • Line crews

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 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.


Hilton Baltimore
401 W Pratt St, Baltimore, Md 21201

To reserve your room, please call 1-443-573-8700
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Click here to book online

Room Rate:

The room rate is $209 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of June 13-14, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to May 23, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


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