By - Jon Brown

Distribution Overcurrent Protection
August 23-24, 2016 | Chicago, IL

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This course focuses on the application of protective devices to distribution systems including device coordination, reach, location, and selection, with the goal of maximizing reliability impact and safety.  The training will utilize practical examples to reinforce the classroom concepts.  UCS training is vendor-neutral and focused on the technical engineering protection issues, not any specific manufacturer’s equipment or device.  In addition, advanced technology that offers a new tool for distribution and lateral faults will be discussed.

The course includes the following:

  • Review of modern distribution system overcurrent protection and sectionalizing practices
  • Overview of fault calculations, impedance, and the per-unit system
  • The impact of system design, equipment selection, and protection practices
  • Advanced technology that offers a new tool for dealing with distribution faults

Learning Outcomes

  • Define and describe the major concepts of distribution system protection
  • Explain considerations that impact reliability, and how the protection scheme impacts system performance
  • Discuss smart grid technologies that are impacted by the protection scheme
  • Gain a strong foundation on the basic concepts and equipment used in modern distribution system protection
  • Recognize challenges and opportunities for utilities in the future related to system protection and reliability
  • Discuss advanced technology that offers a new tool for dealing with distribution faults
  • Review a new tool for dealing with lateral faults


AP_LogoEUCI 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 Course

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

This course will feature PowerPoint presentations and  in-class exercises. 


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Featuring a tour of S&C Electric Company’s Advanced Technology Center*

Tour Timings 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Boxed Lunch will be provided.

*Due to the proprietary nature of the tour, the tour will not be open to equipment manufacturers as determined by EUCI.

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.  :: Registration

2:30 – 5:30 p.m.  :: Course Timing

I.  Distribution Protection Fundamentals
  • Distribution Systems
  • Types of Faults
  • Selective Coordination
  • Minimizing Customer Impact
  • Fault Calculations
II.  Protective Equipment and Characteristics
  • Time-Current Characteristic Curves
  • Fuses
    • Minimum Melt
    • Total Clear
  • Reclosers
    • Fast and Slow Curves
    • Hydraulic and Electronic
    • Control Settings and Types
  • Relay-Controlled Circuit Breakers
    • Types of Breakers
    • Electromechanical Relays
    • Microprocessor-based Relays
    • Phase and Ground Relays
  • Sectionalizers
    • Applications
    • Role in Protection Scheme
    • How they Operate
  • Specialized Protective Devices

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

7:30 – 8:00 a.m.  :: Continental Breakfast

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

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

III.  Device Coordination and Application
  • Identifying Sectionalizing Points
  • Device Load and Interrupting Ratings
  • Protection Zones and Reach
  • Coordination Margins
  • Coordination Between Devices
  • Equipment Protection
  • Distributed Generation Protection
IV.  Reliability and Power Quality Impacts
  • Reliability Indices
  • Sectionalizing for Reliability
  • Power Quality Issues

V. Protection Problems and Solutions

VA. Advanced Technology Now Offers a New Tool for Dealing with Distribution Faults

Advanced technology now offers a new tool to ascertain whether distribution faults are permanent or transient without repeatedly reclosing back into faults that turn out to be persistent, thereby subjecting the system to multiple high magnitude faults. While of significant value solely as a method to extend the life of substation transformers by reducing cumulative I2T let-through damages, this technology also provides additional benefits by enabling a number of communication independent Smart Grid functions that enhance feeder reliability and improve power quality. This paper will discuss PulseClosing® technology and then focus on its ancillary benefits:

  • This new technology reduces cumulative I2T damage by 95%, eliminating voltage sags produced by reclosing into faults, reducing conductor movement/galloping and reducing stresses on splices, cables and other vital Distribution equipment.
  • This new technology eliminates Mag Inrush, which can exceed 30 to 35 times full load current on small single phase transformers.
  • This new technology allows these new devices to automatically recover from miscoordination with no dependence on communications, allowing any number of the new devices in series to properly segment a fault even where Time Current Coordination cannot be obtained.
  • This new technology averts the needless momentaries associated with conventional Fuse Savings when a conventional recloser can’t beat the fuse.
VB:  A New Tool for Dealing with Lateral Faults

A new tool is now available for dealing with Lateral Faults that applies proven technology in a radically new way to reduce costs while minimizing momentaries and improving system reliability.  The presentation looks into the problem of how faults on the lateral lines are hurting the utility’s reliability and costing both the utility and their customer’s money.  We will compare & contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the only two historical approaches for dealing with Lateral Faults; i.e., “Fuse Blowing” versus “Fuse Saving” strategies. We will then discuss a new approach, a Lateral Reclosing Protection Scheme that leverages a new cutout mounted recloser. This new tool is a battery-free, self-powered and fully user configurable Vacuum Recloser with up to four shots to lockout that installs in a conventional cutout body greatly simplifying installation and significantly reducing costs while offering the best of both worlds in terms of Fuse Savings versus Fuse Blowing philosophies.  This presentation will cover the features and functions of this new product that combines the simplicity of a fuse with the technology of a recloser to enhance reliability and reduce momentaries.

VI.  Regulatory and Financial Considerations
  • Benchmarking against other utilities
  • Regulatory standards and compliance
  • Internal and external rate justification


Dave Kearns, Application Director, Smart Grid Technologies, S&C Electric Company

Dave has accumulated over thirty years experience in distribution engineering, project management, automated switchgear applications, and Distribution Automation sales/marketing from both sides of the utility industry. He has also authored and presented numerous papers at various industry forums, including DistribuTECH and the IEEE T&D Conferences on a variety of DA related topics and projects.

Current responsibility with twenty years experience has been as Application Director, SG Technologies for the Northeast Region for S&C Electric Company. He was also involved in the initial development and marketing of the IntelliTEAM® Switching System during a short stint at EnergyLine Systems, which was purchased by S&C in 1999. Responsibilities also include sales and marketing support for IntelliTEAM® applications in the Pacific Rim.

Other principal project involvement with S&C, primarily in Distribution Automation, included esponsibility for the commercial launch of Scada-Mate® Switching Systems, Remote Supervisory Pad Mounted Gear and the Micro-AT Source Transfer Control. While at S&C, his responsibilities also included working with numerous customers in the development of a wide variety of D/A applications, along with direct participation in the original development of IntelliTEAM® with EnergyLine, S&C and Commonwealth Edison of Chicago. Prior to S&C, Mr. Kearns has three years experience as Product Manager for VacPac Switching Systems with Kearney Company in Portland, OR. Preceding that, Dave had fifteen years experience in distribution engineering with Kentucky Utilities, the last position as Lexington District Engineer responsible for all overhead and underground distribution design and construction for a metropolitan area of 200,000, comprising 33% of total KU demand and 25% of total company revenue.

University of Kentucky, BSEE, 1971

Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Vice Chair, EEI Working Group focused on Distribution Technology
Member, DistribuTECH Advisory Committee

James K. Niemira, PE, is a Principal Engineer of S&C Electric Company in the Power Systems Solutions organization.  He has over 30 years of professional experience in the electric power industry.  Present responsibilities include oversight of design work in the Engineering Services Department including substation physical design, protection and control system design, SCADA and communications, and review of analytical studies.  Mr. Niemira has done design work, field start-up, and commissioning of renewable energy power plant substations and data center substation sites, expansions of existing substations, battery energy storage systems, and protective relay schemes on medium voltage distribution systems.  He is intimately involved in distribution system protection and automation projects involving S&C’s HSFCS (High-Speed Fault Clearing System) equipment, substation design, and collector system design for renewable energy generation sites (wind and solar).  His expertise includes power system analysis, power equipment application, and technical instruction: overcurrent coordination, power system protective relaying, fault studies, arc flash, switching transient studies using the EMTP and ATP; analysis for thermal up-rating of substations, and grounding studies.  He is active in the IEEE/PES Power System Relaying Committee and is a Member of the PSRC Main Committee.  He is co-author and presenter of seminars including Short-Circuit Analysis, Distribution Overcurrent Protection and Coordination, Power Quality, and Capacitor Switching Transients, SCADA, Fundamentals of Wind Power Plant Design, and Fundamentals of Power System Relaying.  He has been a guest lecturer at various universities for courses on design of wind power generation plants, protective relaying of power systems, electric power distribution system protection, and SCADA.  He is author of a text book chapter on protective relaying of renewable plants.

Mr. Niemira earned the BSEE degree from the University of Missouri at Rolla (now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology) and the Master of Engineering in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Mr. Niemira is a licensed professional engineer in 30 states.  He is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).  He is a member of the IEEE since 1985, and Senior Member since 2001.  He is a past Chair of the IEEE Power and Energy Society Chicago Chapter.  He is a Main Committee Member of the IEEE/PES Power System Relaying Committee. 

Michael Higginson is a Project Engineer in the Power Systems Solutions business unit of S&C Electric Company with over four years of experience in the electric power industry.  Michael’s primary responsibilities include power system analysis for utility, commercial, and industrial customers.  He has been involved in more than ninety projects involving power system analysis, commonly including load flow, short-circuit, protection coordination, arc flash, flicker, and generator interconnection studies.  He has focused on power system protection, including fault analysis and relaying. 

\Michael holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and is currently pursuing a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.  He is an Enrolled Professional Engineer Intern in the State of Illinois.


Hilton Orrington/Evanston
1710 Orrington Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

To reserve your room, please call 1-847-866-8700
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.


The room rate is $189.00 single or double


A room block has been reserved for the nights of August 21 – 23, 2016.


Make your reservations prior to July 24, 2016. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


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