Distribution Test Feeders

Power and Energy Society



IEEE PES Distribution System Analysis Subcommittee's
Distribution Test Feeder Working Group

The Working Group began as an informal Task Force with four radial test feeders that were originally presented at the 1991 Winter Power Meeting. A fifth test feeder was added to focus on transformer connections. The paper was presented at the 2001 Winter Power Meeting and should be published in the Transactions. You can find several papers on IEEE Xplore from panel sessions at various IEEE PES conferences up through 2009 where results for the test feeders were compared. Search for papers by Kersting, Dugan, and Carneiro, Jr., as well as others. At the 2009 IEEE PES PSCE a roadmap was described for the future test cases the WG is developing. Two new test cases were introduced at the 2010 T&D Conference in New Orleans and are now posted.

The original test feeder paper and data are provided below. The zipped data files require Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel to read them.  

  • Original Test Feeder Paper (PDF)

  • Line and Cable Data (XLS)

  • 4-Bus Test Feeder Cases:
    These test the capability of a program to represent transformers of various configurations, full three phase lines, and unbalanced loads. Since the problems are so small, very close agreement with the test feeder results is expected. A good match would have an error less than 0.05%.
  • Other Test Feeder Cases:
  • These systems were originally created in 1992 and approved by the DSA Subcommittee during the 2000 PES Summer Meeting. These systems were designed to evaluate and benchmark algorithms in solving unbalanced three-phase radial systems. Each of these represent reduced-order models of an actual distribution circuit.
    • 13-bus Feeder (XLS and DOC)
    • This circuit model is very small and used to test common features of distribution analysis software, operating at 4.16 kV. It is characterized by being short, relatively highly loaded, a single voltage regulator at the substation, overhead and underground lines, shunt capacitors, an in-line transformer, and unbalanced loading.

    • 34-bus Feeder (XLS and DOC) This feeder is an actual feeder located in Arizona, with a nominal voltage of 24.9 kV. It is characterized by long and lightly loaded, two in-line regulators, an in-line transformer for short 4.16 kV section, unbalanced loading, and shunt capacitors.
      17 Sept 2010: Error regarding branch 858-864 corrected

    • 37-bus Feeder (XLS and DOC) This feeder is an actual feeder in California, with a 4.8 kV operating voltage. It is characterized by delta configured, all line segments are underground, substation voltage regulation is two single-phase open-delta regulators, spot loads, and very unbalanced. This circuit configuration is fairly uncommon.

    • 123-bus Feeder (XLS and DOC) The IEEE 123 node test feeder operates at a nominal voltage of 4.16 kV. While this is not a popular voltage level it does provide voltage drop problems that must be solved with the application of voltage regulators and shunt capacitors. This circuit is characterized by overhead and underground lines, unbalanced loading with constant current, impedance, and power, four voltage regulators, shunt capacitor banks, and multiple switches.This circuit is "well-behaved" with minimal convergence problems.
      15 Sept 2010: Node 49, Phase C load changed from 25 kvar to 20 kvar.
    • 16 Sept 2010: Matrices for Config 2 and 4 corrected.
      03 Feb 2014: Added line configuration for line 51-151.

    • Additional Input Files
      04 Jan 2012: Test feeders in RDAP text format. Provided by Bill Kersting.

    • Additional Input Files
      22 Sep 2014: Test feeders in PSCAD format. Provided by Tomas Yebra and Mayssam Amiri (University of Manitoba).

  • Test Feeder Cases Added 2010:
    • Comprehensive Test Feeder.This tests the capability of a program to represent a wide variety of components in one circuit.
    • 01 Apr 2014: New solutions and model files available after agreement between WindMil and CYME.

    • 8500-Node Test Feeder. Will your algorithm scale up to large problems? Try it on this test feeder. 2500 primary (MV) buses, 4800 total buses including secondaries (LV) and loads. 1-, 2-, 3-phase and split-phase circuits yielding over 8500 total node points.

    • Neutral-Earth-Voltage (NEV) Test Feeder. This tests the capability of a program to represent very detailed models of a distribution system. Based on a real system, it contains among other things a segment of line with 4 circuits sharing a common neutral. Connections to earth must be modeled.

  • Test Feeder Cases Added 2011:
    • PSCE Paper describing DG Protection Test Case
      McDermott, T.E.
      "A test feeder for DG protection analysis"
      2011 IEEE/PES Power Systems Conference and Exposition (PSCE) pp.1,7, 20-23 March 2011
      29 Sept 2014: Substation short-circuit MVA should be 36.61, not 16.61 as listed in paper.

    • Short Circuit Test Cases. This tests the capability of a program to calculate short-circuit currents using all types of short circuits at each node. The models use the original radial test feeder models (13-, 34-, 37-, and 123-node systems. They have been validated using multiple software packages given the same assumptions.

  • Test Feeder Cases Added 2014:
    • 342-Node Low Voltage Network Test System. The majority of end-use customers in North America are served by radially operated distribution feeders. But in areas where there is a high load density and a need for very high reliability, Low Voltage Network (LVN) systems have been built. LVNs are fundamentally different in design and operation from typical radial distribution feeders and these differences require different methods for computational analysis. The network test system is representative of low voltage network systems that are deployed in urban cores in North America. The power system in an urban core and can be a combination of spot networks and grid networks. Note that this system is NOT an actual circuit, but rather representative of the LVN systems.

    • Example model: Example model provided by Kevin Schneider in GridLAB-D format (used for validation). LVTN Model
  • Test Feeder Cases Added 2015:
    • European Low Voltage Test FeederThe current test cases are focused on North American style systems; however it is common outside of North America to see low-voltage distribution systems, both radial and meshed. It is important to make sure that tools support both dominant styles of distribution system configuration. This test case seeks to fill a benchmark gap by presenting a number of common low-voltage configurations. This circuit also introduces quasi-static time series simulations.
    • Corrections:
      24 Feb 2016: Updated Load_profile_2.csv (wrong file was attached).

  • Additional Test Cases:
  • The following are working group suggestions for open-source feeder models. These models are not designed to stress powerflow solving algorithms (as the radial test feeders were originally designed to do), but rather as representative feeders for researchers to use in case studies. Links to the models are provided by the working group, but while the models have been validated by members of the working group, the group itself has not validated them.

    • EPRI Test Circuits. These models were designed as part of EPRI's Green Circuit project database. The models have been sanitized for public consumption, and are available for public use. The models are representative of actual small-, medium-, and large-circuits from various utilities. These models are in OpenDSS format. Descriptions of each feeder are available in the Readme.txt.

    • Taxonomy of Prototypical Feeders. These models were created as part of a PNNL project to develop a nationally representative set of radial distribution feeders. The models have been sanitized for public consumption, and are available for public use. These models represent 24 actual utility feeders from five different climate regions. Additional resources are available for populating the models with representative loads and other technologies in the GridLAB-D format. Descriptions of each feeder are available in the Taxonomy_Feeder_Development.pdf. New: PG&E prototypical feeders are now available. These circuits were provided by PG&E engineers for use by the research community. See README for more details.

This information is subject to change, even after publication. It is also copyright by the IEEE and may not be re-distributed under any circumstances.

Please report any comments or problems to one of the following:

Chairperson: Jason Fuller
Secretary: Yin Xu
Bill Kersting
Roger Dugan
Sandoval Carneiro, Jr..

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