Solutions | Advanced Distribution Grid


Electricity distribution is the final stage in the delivery of electricity to end users. A distribution system’s network carries electricity from the transmission system and delivers it to consumers. Typically, the network would include medium-voltage (less than 50 kV) power lines, electrical substations and pole-mounted transformers, low-voltage (less than 1 kV) distribution wiring and sometimes electricity meters.

A key limitation in the distribution of electricity is the difficulty in storing significant quantities of electrical energy and in controlling voltage and VAr (volt-ampere reactive) flow. A sophisticated system of control is required to ensure the distribution VAr supply very closely matches the VAr demand. If distribution VAr supply and demand are not in balance, generation plants and transmission equipment must supply and transmit the required VArs. Regional unbalances of power or VAr supply/demand can cause inefficient operation which, in the worst cases, can lead to a major regional blackout.

Beckwith Electric designs and manufactures various Volt/VAr Management products to minimize losses and voltage variations in the distribution system, thus providing maximum power delivery capacity to the end user. Our line of transformer & regulator controls and digital capacitor bank controls provides the following efficiencies:

  • Reduced System Losses
  • Improved System Stability
  • Reduced System-Wide Losses
  • Increased Power Delivery Capacity (kW)
  • Minimized Voltage Variations
  • Maintaining Satisfactory Delivery Voltage
  • Reduced Maintenance Costs
  • Reduced/Deferred Capital Expenditure
  • Reduced Operating Costs
  • Flattened Voltage Profiles
  • Volt /VAr Management Functions such as Conservation Voltage Control (CVC)

Reduction of system power losses is fundamental. Studies have shown that losses in the distribution system approach 8 to 10% and that correct and proper capacitor bank placement and operation can reduce these losses in the distribution system by as much as 10 to 25% or more.

If the annual load of a distribution system was 35.000GWh/yr, 8% losses would equate to 2800GWh/yr. At a cost of $0.05/kWh, the 2800kWh/yr would be a gross $140 million dollars wasted annually! Plus the associated loss of power delivery capacity! If proper and correct Volt/VAr Management Functions, including placement and operation of switched capacitor banks in the distribution system, can conservatively save 15% of those losses, then by rapid assessment it can be seen that annual savings from installing pole top cap banks exceeds 20 million (15% of $140 million = $21 million).

Loss reductions of this magnitude can defer or offset the need for additional generation by freeing up power delivery capacity.

Voltage drop on distribution lines also has a major effect on customer voltage levels. Distribution line capacitor “kVArs” have an influence on this circuit voltage profile that is 3 to 5 times greater than equal variations in kW loads. (with line x/r ratio = 4, 1kw produces a 1 volt drop while 1 kVAr produces a 4 volt drop). With less voltage variations, better voltage delivery to customers can be achieved.

Beckwith Electric also designs and manufactures various intertie, generation and transformer protection relays, that allow the interconnection of distribution systems and the connection of distributed generation. Such interconnections create the capability for more efficient and reliable distribution and transmission systems.

Beckwith’s familiarity with control products and their applications allows our team to rapidly and efficiently assist you with the selection and use of the proper product or engineered system to provide the right solution now and in the future. Beckwith products are specifically designed to meet the challenges of the above applications. We constantly learn and evolve from Standards participation, input from clients and our vast number of installations – 1000’s of units worldwide.

For additional company or product information, please browse our website or contact us at (727) 544-2326.

View All Product Solutions

B-1500 Battery Backup Power

B-1638 Battery Backup Power

M-0067E Tapchanger Control

M-0115A Parallel Balancing Module

M-0121 / M-0169A Auxiliary Current Transformer Units

M-0124 Surface-Mounting Adapter Kit

M-0127A/M-0170A Overcurrent Relay

M-0188A Syncrocloser® Check Relay

M‑0193B Syncrocloser® Unit

M‑0194 Generator Control Unit

M-0329B LTC Backup Control

M-0359 Syncrocloser® Check Plus Relay

M-0362 Voltage Isolation Transformer

M-0388 Syncrocloser® Check Relay

M-0390 Syncrocloser® Check Plus Relay

M-0404 Step Transformer

M-2001C Digital Tapchanger Control

M-2001D Digital Tapchanger Control for Transformers and Regulators

M-2025B Current Loop Interface Module

M-2025D Current Loop Interface Module

M‑2026 AC‑DC Control Power Backup Supply

M‑2027 Control Power Backup Supply–AC Only

M-2050 Surface Mount Adapter Kit

M-2051/M-2052 Flush Mount Connection Harness Kit

M-2053 Flush Mounting Adapter Panel Bracket

M-2054 Surface Mount Adapter Kit

M-2501B Autodaptive® Capacitor Control

M-2900A Control Cabinet

M-2901 Surface Mounting Kit

M‑2948 Tap Position Sensor

M-2979 Recloser Control Cabinet

M-3311A Transformer Protection Relay

M-3401 Load Shedding Relay

M-3410A Small Generator Relay

M-3425A Comprehensive Generator Relay

M-3520 Intertie Protection Relay

M-4172 Digital Motor Bus Transfer System For Low Voltage (LV) Switchgear Applications

M‑4272 Digital Motor Bus Transfer System

M-5329 Three-Phase LTC Backup Control

M-5625 Syncrocloser® Digital Synchronizing System

M-6200A Digital Voltage Regulator Control

M-6280A Digital Capacitor Bank Control

M-6283A Three Phase Digital Capacitor Bank Control

M-7651A D-PAC (Protection, Automation and Control System for Power Distribution Applications) 

M-7679 R-PAC (Protection, Automation and Control System for Recloser, Switch, Sectionalizer and Advanced Distribution Automation Applications)