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Breakdown for LV distribution network cost?

Lewis Waswa's picture
Consultant, EED Advisory Limited

Energy Consultant at EED Advsory Limited || Ph.D Candidate 

  • Member since 2020
  • 26 items added with 9,586 views
  • Mar 18, 2021

I am working on a conductor size selection models for distribution networks. Does anyone have an idea or data that could point to the particular costs of  the respecive distribution components and their relative proportions of the overall costs? Articles, links would be welcome.

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The standardised LV distribution cables form network through link boxes in cities and large towns.  This distribution network carries electricity from the point where transmission leaves off (at 66/33 kV level).  The standard distribution covers 66/33/22/11 kVs and 0.4/0.230 kV besides them.  The permissible range of frequency band is 49.95 to 50.05 Hz with the union Government regulating grid frequency and States would pay more when they draw power at low frequencies. Radial, Loop or Network are the three types of distribution system designs and a combination is also possible.

The cost of supply is the cost by the utility for one unit supply of electricity at consumer’s meeting point.  In India, the industrial and commercial consumers are charged higher tariff to subsidize agricultural and domestic sectors. Worldwide, there are two systems of Cost of Supply (CoS) – Embedded CoS (ECpS) and Increment/Marginal CoS (MCoS) – the former uses accounting costs on the books of accounts of the utility whereas, the latter estimates resource costs of the utility in providing each additional unit to its consumer base. Understandably, a large volume of reliable data is essential in either cases which is not available in India.  Therefore, the majority of DISCOMS opt for Simplified/Average Cost of Supply (ACoS) approach to estimate voltage wise cost.  In this case, major cost elements applicable to all categories of consumers connected to the same voltage level are considered. 


Since you are a junior research engineer, I prefer to go through {} or any similar link of manufacturing and construction companies. This will give you flavors of real world of electricity .

Lewis Waswa's picture
Lewis Waswa on Mar 22, 2021

Thanks for the link. Maybe I should shed some light on what I am basically look at. These installation guides are important without doubt; but they definitely change in the light of increasing penetration of EVs, PVs and wind resources on LV distribution. Do you have any standards that are now applicable in distribution industry given the changing load models and loads? I will appreciate such content as it will help one to understand the lay of the land. 

Distribution conductors, just like transmission wires, are selected on the basis of anticipated performance and suitability for that voltage. 

Among criteria used to select conductors: 

  1. Voltage (generally below 35 kV; sub-transmission 46 kV) 
  2. Average spans 
  3.  Environmental conditions of service 
  4.  Hardware fittings (vibration dampers) 
  5. Sag and Tensions needed 

EPRI may have some recent studies on conductors which may be obtained. 

Wiremakers such as Southwire, Alcoa may also have data. 

Lewis Waswa's picture
Lewis Waswa on Mar 22, 2021

Thank you for the redirection. 

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