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Power Plant Electrical Distribution Systems

Gary W Castleberry, PE

Course Outline

This one-hour course provides an introduction to the design of electrical distribution systems found in electrical power generation plants. The type of equipment utilized in the electrical distribution systems is discussed in terms of its design, function, role and backup capabilities.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

Upon completion of this course one should be able to understand the role of the following equipment in a power plant distribution system: Main electrical generator, isolated phase bus duct, step-up transformer, station auxiliary transformer, non-segregated phase bus duct, station startup transformer, medium voltage switchgear, secondary unit substations, and motor control centers. Along with the role of each type of equipment, one should understand how the equipment is utilized to provide reliable power to the station.

Course Introduction

Modern power plants have an extensive electrical distribution system to provide reliable power to all of the support equipment in the power plant. The utility operating the power plant is in the business of generating electrical power twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Since electrical power can not be economically stored the plants must be online to produce power when the electrical demand is present. In this regard, the power plants must be highly reliable. Backup power sources within the plant must be ready to supply needed power within moments. This course will provide an overview of these systems and the relationships between the different systems.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file Power Plant Electrical Distribution Systems. You need to open or download above documents to study this course.

Course Summary

This course has provided an overview of the major electrical distribution equipment in an electric generating power plant. The role of the generator, main transformers, medium voltage, and low voltage switchgear was explained. Although each power plant is different in its design, they are surprisingly very similar in their electrical distribution systems. Hopefully, this course has provided a sense of the magnitude of the scope in providing electricity to the consumer every day of the year.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.