Professional Certificate of Competency in Power Distribution

Course Duration
  • 3 Months
Course Study
Study Mode
  • Online
  • Online Electrical Engineering
Course Location
  • Online
Course Code
Course Code
Course Intakes
  • 11 June 2024
  • 5 November 2024
Course Type
Course Type
  • Professional Certificate
  • Electrical Engineering
Course Fees

Course Overview

This professional development course is designed for engineers and technicians who need to gain a practical understanding of power distribution, switchgear, power cables, transformers, power factor correction, earthing, lightning protection, and network studies.

Course Benefits

  • You may be eligible to claim CPD points through your local engineering association.
  • Receive a Certificate of Completion from EIT.
  • Learn from well-known faculty and industry experts from around the globe.
  • Flexibility of attending anytime from anywhere, even when you are working full-time.
  • Interact with industry experts during the webinars and get the latest updates/announcements on the subject.
  • Experience a global learning with students from various backgrounds and experience which is a great networking opportunity
  • Gain a practical understanding of power distribution, switchgear, power cables, transformers, power factor correction, earthing, lightning protection, and network studies.
  • Understand practical aspects on power distribution fundamentals, determine short-circuit ratings quickly and effectively, and assess the influence of fault levers on switchgear ratings.
  • Learn the application of single core cables versus three-core cables and protection of power transformers.
  • Study ways of assessing and specifying the correct grounding/earthing throughout the electrical network and calculate the Power Factor Correction (PFC).
  • Learn to use computer simulation software to solve and predict power network problems.

Course Details

This is a practical course in power distribution, focusing on medium voltage (1kV- 36kV) power considerations, switchgear, power cables, transformers, power factor correction, earthing, lightning protection, and network studies.

This course will help you understand practical power distribution fundamentals, determine short-circuit ratings quickly and effectively, and assess the influence of fault levers on switchgear ratings.

We will cover how to select the correct type of switchgear for the right application, and evaluate the advantages of modern state-of-the-art switchgear protection for your applications, including preventative maintenance information. You will also learn how to identify the different applications for various cable insulation types and how to specify correct power cable installation methods.

This course will also help you understand when and how to use single core cables versus three-core cables, as well as how to use and protect power transformers correctly. We will cover the ways of assessing and specifying correct grounding/earthing throughout your electrical network, and how to determine the need for Power Factor Correction (PFC) for your environment.

On top of this, you will learn how to assess the economic justification for installing PFC equipment, correctly specify PFC equipment and be aware of practical consequences, and confidently use computer simulation software to solve and predict power network problems.

The course is composed of 12 modules, covering topics such as correctly implementing the right type of switchgear for the appropriate application, economically selecting and installing the best-suited power cable for a specific use, implementing successful maintenance strategies and procedures, and effectively using software techniques to solve problem areas in your power network.

Module 1: Introduction

  • History and growth of power distribution
  • Benefits of 3-phase AC power system
  • Typical characteristics of an industrial distribution system
  • Voltage classification
  • Multiple voltage levels in power distribution
  • Types of distribution arrangements and redundancy
  • Expandability

Module 2: Distribution System Planning

  • The need for system planning
  • Approach to system planning
  • Data collection
  • Protection of future growth of electricity demand
  • Location of key assets
  • Selection of basic system parameters
  • Planning of electrical system configuration
  • Equipment ratings/sizing
  • Selection of appropriate equipment
  • System studies needed for planning
  • Software packages used for system studies

Module 3: In-plant Generation and its Integration with Plant Power Systems

  • Why in-plant generation?
  • Cost of power interruptions in critical processes
  • Types of in-plant generation
  • Parallel operation of in-plant generator with external source
  • In-plant power generation sources
  • Integrating in-plant generation with plant distribution

Module 4: Transformers

  • Transformer theory
  • Construction
  • Cooling
  • Voltage control
  • Power transformers and distribution transformers
  • Installation of transformers
  • Fire protection measures for large transformer installations
  • Troubleshooting

Module 5: Switchgear

  • Indoor and outdoor construction
  • Comparison
  • Metal enclosed switchgear basics
  • Major components
  • Safety features
  • Protection
  • Switchgear ratings
  • Typical switchgear example

Module 6: Circuit breakers

  • Types of circuit breakers
  • Comparison of various breakers
  • Construction of typical circuit breaker
  • Fault detection of cable installations
  • Major components and auxiliary systems

Module 7: Low voltage distribution

  • LV switchgear types
  • LV circuit breakers
  • Releases for LV circuit breakers

Module 8: Cables

  • Types and construction of cables
  • Basic design, selection, and sizing
  • Insulating materials for LV and HV cables
  • Accessories for cable installation
  • Fault detection of underground cable installations
  • High voltage power transmission using cables

Module 9: Fundamentals of protection

  • Need for protective apparatus
  • Basic requirements
  • Components of protection systems
  • Protection in distribution systems
  • Protective relays for circuit breaker application
  • Role of fuses in LV and MV distribution
  • Protection integrated in LV devices
  • Importance of settings and coordination of protective relays
  • Time and current grading

Module 10: Earthing and safety

  • Electrical shock – why does it happen?
  • Touch and step potential (voltage)
  • Direct and indirect contact
  • Role of electrical insulation in safety
  • Avoiding electric shock-different approaches
  • Earthing of power supply and its safety implications
  • Role of earthing of equipment enclosures in human safety
  • Earthing in outdoor installations
  • Lightning safety
  • Lightning protection of structures

Module 11: Power quality

  • What is power quality?
  • Need for improving power quality
  • Variations in voltage amplitude and reasons
  • Equipment sensitivity
  • Handling voltage abnormalities
  • Tackling voltage fluctuations and flicker
  • Effect of power interruptions and needs of equipment
  • Redundancy and automation
  • Power factor and power factor improvement by capacitor banks

Module 12: Asset Management and power system automation

  • Asset records
  • Condition Based Maintenance (CBM)
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)
  • Insulation deterioration
  • Diagnostic techniques
  • Problems that may be found during switchgear maintenance
  • Defect management
  • Growth of automation in power industry
  • What is SCADA?
  • Requirements for the SCADA master station
  • Requirements for SCADA remote units
  • Issues relating to SCADA deployment
  • Power system automation and its functions
  • Power system automation architecture
  • Communications with Network Control Center

To obtain a certificate of completion for EIT’s Professional Certificate of Competency, students must achieve a 65% attendance rate at the live, online fortnightly webinars.  Detailed summaries/notes can be submitted in lieu of attendance.  In addition, students must obtain a mark of 60% in the set assignments which could take the form of written assignments and practical assignments. Students must also obtain a mark of 100% in quizzes.  If a student does not achieve the required score, they will be given an opportunity to resubmit the assignment to obtain the required score.

For full current fees in your country go to the drop down filter at the top of this page or visit the Fees page.

Payment Methods

Learn more about payment methods, including payment terms & conditions and additional non-tuition fees.

Braam Burchardt is the Principal Member of the consulting firm, Burchardt Technical Services cc, which he established in 1998.  He is also the owner of an electrical construction company, RB Electrical.  In the past two decades Braam has worked on major mining projects for Rio Tinto, both in South Africa and abroad.

Learn about our instructors.

You are expected to spend approximately 5-8 hours per week learning the course content. This includes attending fortnightly webinars that run for about 90 minutes to facilitate class discussion and allow you to ask questions. This program has a 65% attendance requirement in the live webinars in order to graduate from the program.  If you are unable to attend the live webinars, you have the option of watching the recording of completed webinars and sending a summary of what you have learnt from the webinar to the Learning Support officer.  The summaries go towards your attendance requirement for the program.

This program is run online on an intensive part-time basis and has been designed to fit around full-time work. It will take three months to complete.

We understand that sometimes work commitments and personal circumstances can get in the way of your studies, so if at any point you feel that you are struggling with the pace of the course or finding a particular module challenging, you are encouraged to contact your designated Learning Support Officer for assistance.

Registrations are open for our upcoming intakes. Please ensure you book your place at least one week before the start date of the program.

Hear from our students

  Excellent response and help. Instructor was very knowledgeable.  
  As a person new to the field, I was able to gain good useful information from this course. I felt all of the material was valuable.  
  Throughout this course, I have been able to see power systems in a completely different way, and I have gained a lot of new knowledge from this course that will help in the growth of my career.  
  Extremely satisfied. Lecture material and supplemental material was quite a good level and very practical/industry approach.  

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