Distribution Systems Testing, Application, and Research (DSTAR) is a consortium of electric distribution utilities and utility organizations that collaboratively sponsor near-term, pragmatic distribution research and development.
Similar to the DEED program, DSTAR leverages funding for innovative electric industry research and development in today’s competitive utility environment. All research activities are envisioned and directed by DSTAR member utilities. Research typically includes equipment testing and product evaluation, niche software for standards and engineering support, and whitepapers and reports on pressing industry issues.
Listen to an informational webinar about DSTAR.
DEED joined DSTAR in 2010. As a result of its membership, all Association members may access current DSTAR research. DSTAR bundles multiple research projects into a “program” that typically lasts about 1.5 -2 years. Association members may access DSTAR’s program 13, 14, and 15 research projects. A few older, valuable projects have also been given to DEED for the benefit of Association members and are noted below.
DSTAR periodically publishes a newsletter to provide an overview of the DSTAR program and research being conducted. View prior issues.
New Projects Available in 2018
During the Fall 2017 DEED Board Meeting, the board of directors approved the purchase of several informative DSTAR Project Reports. See the project titles and links below:
- Ferroresonance Guidelines for Modern Transformer Applications, Project 2-4
- Floating Wye-Delta Overhead Bank Overvoltages, Project 5-2
- Transformer Scrap/Repair Decision Software (TSRDS), Project 7-3
- Transformer Seasonal Loading Analysis Guidelines, Project 8-10
- Economic Overhead Conductor Software (EOCS), Project 9-5
- Transformer Owning Cost Software (TOCS), Project 10-4
- Changing Nature of Loads and the Impact on Utilities, Project 12-6
- Current Limiting Fuse Application Guidelines, Project 12-7
DSTAR Distribution e-handbook
Distribution engineers and technicians frequently use one or more "paper" handbooks to find vital engineering information or refer to tables in these handbooks to obtain simple calculated values. The goal of the DSTAR Data e-Handbook is to create a dynamic electronic document that consists of information commonly used by electric utility engineering and operations personnel. Covering a variety of distribution engineering topics, the DSTAR e-Handbook is intended to be an authoritative source of information. The material included in the e-Handbook has been obtained from existing distribution handbooks, manufacturer information, standards documents, results from DSTAR software programs, and surveys of the DSTAR membership.
Download DSTAR e-Handbook (executable file).
Secondary Electrical Design Software (SEDS)
The Secondary Electrical Design Software (SEDS), has been successfully used by the DSTAR membership to perform electrical calculations, such as voltage drop and flicker, for multi-tiered, single-phase and three-phase secondary systems. SEDS employs a drag and drop-style user interface that is very simple to use and affords users tremendous flexibility. Improvements to the three-phase load database, some GUI enhancements, bulk editing importing of data, and the handling of seasonal coincidence factors were added in 2012.
Distributed Generation Impact on Distribution Systems, Project 8-8
This project resulted in a white paper report which describes the various distributed generation technologies and summarizes their impact on distribution system design, operation, and protection. The evaluation includes the following topics: Characteristics of "distributed resources" technologies; Why and where DR are or might be applied; How they may affect distribution system performance; Impact on system reliability; Current interconnection standards activities; How DR Impacts can be minimized; Future concepts where DR can be used to help the distribution system. View the final report.
Best Practices for Storm Response on U.S. Distribution Systems, Project 11-7
This report examines the practices, procedures and experiences of U.S. utilities during major storm occurrences with the goal of understanding and conveying what went right and what went wrong during the build-up, restoration and ramp-down phases. View the slides from the September 17, 2013 webinar.
Association members (login required) may access Program 13, 14, and 15 research which includes the following projects.
Program 15 Projects
View program 15 project descriptions here.
- Administrative Projects and Software Maintenance, Projects 15-1 and 15-2
- DSTAR Website Improvements, Project 15-3
- DSTAR Mobile Applications, Project 15-4: View the mobile applications
- Marketing and BD, Project 15-5
- PV Impacts, Project 15-6: Listen to a webinar on this project from 11/14/2016
- LED Lighting, Project 15-7: Listen to a webinar on this project from 1/10/2017
- Impulse Testing, Project 15-8
Program 14 Projects
View program 14 project descriptions here.
- Administrative Projects, Projects 14-1 thru 14-3
- Surge Protection of Electronically-Controlled Devices Installed in Distribution Systems, Project 14-4
- Cable Pulling Assistant Software Enhancement, Project 14-5
- Best Practices for Integration of Utility Communications, Project 14-6
- Survey of Best Practices for Copper Theft Deterrence, Project 14-7
- Motor Problems Resolution and Avoidance – Update CRN Publication, Project 14-8
- Best Practices to Improve Reliability, Project 14-9: Listen to a webinar on this project from 12/8/2016
- Cable Electrical Parameters Software (CEPS) Enhancements, Project 14-10
Program 13 Projects
View program 13 project descriptions here
- Commercial Load Estimation Program, Project 13-2
- Inspection and Maintenance Survey, Project 13-3
- Secondary Electrical Design Software (SEDS) Enhancements, Project 13-4
- Harmonic Load Impact and Mitigation, Project 13-5
- Centralized vs. Distributed Feeder Automation, Project 13-6
- Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR): Testing, Methods, and Results, Project 13-7
- SEDS-Based Lighting Tool, Project 13-8
- PV Impact on Distribution Systems, Project 13-9
- Smart Grid Impact On Distribution Reliability, Project 13-10
- Software Updates, Project 13-11
Advisory Committee Representative
Paul Jakubczak, Director of Enterprise Services for the city of Gastonia, N.C., is DEED’s representative to the DSTAR Advisory Committee.