Decentralised electrical distribution network in power plants

Pekka Mannila, Matti Lehtonen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


A centralised network is a dominating network solution in today's power plants. In this study a centralised and a decentralised network were designed in order to compare them economically and technically. The emphasis of this study was on economical aspects, but also the most important technical aspects were included. The decentralised network requires less space and less cabling since there is no switchgear building and distribution transformers are placed close to the consumption in the field of a power plant. MV-motors and distribution transformers build up a ring. Less cabling and an absent switchgear building cause considerable savings. Component costs of both of the networks were estimated by using data from fulfilled power plant projects and turned out to be smaller for the decentralised network. Simulations for the decentralised network were done in order to find a way to carry out earth fault protection and location. It was found out that in high resistance earthed system the fault distance can be estimated by a relatively simple method. The decentralised network uses a field bus, which offers many new features to the automation system of a power plant. Diversified information can be collected from the protection devices in order to schedule only the needed maintenance duties at the right time. Through the field bus it is also possible to control remotely a power plant. The decentralised network is built up from ready-to-install modules. These modules are tested by the module manufacturer decreasing the need for field testing dramatically. The work contribution needed in the electrification and the management of a power plant project reduces also due the modules. During the lifetime of a power plant, maintenance is easier and more economical.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-5640-2
ISBN (Print)951-38-5639-9
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • power plants
  • power distribution
  • distribution networks
  • power generation
  • decentralisation
  • field buses
  • MV-rings
  • relays
  • protection
  • fault detection


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