Seminar: Francisco De Leon

“Modern Methods for Investment Deferral of Feeder Upgrades in Underground Distribution Systems”
Thursday, Oct. 1 at 1:00 pm
Via Zoom Teleconferencing
Email for Zoom Info

In Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept. 15–Oct. 15


Two methods are presented to defer capital investments in distribution systems. One is the conversion of critical alternating current (ac) distribution feeders into direct current (dc) feeders to increase the power transfer capacity by a factor as high as four. Current trends suggest that the return of dc transmission, distribution, and utilization is inevitable. Since a total system-level transformation to dc operation is not possible in a short period of time due to the needed huge investments and utility unreadiness, we recommend that feeders that are expected to exceed their limits in near future be converted to dc. The second method develops dynamic thermal rating for distribution feeders. Dynamic thermal rating for underground cables with balanced phase currents has been extensively studied in the literature. Paradoxically, distribution feeders operate inherently unbalanced and no publications are available for unbalanced thermal rating. Because of the lack of technology, utilities operate with very conservative safety margins using the maximum of the three-phase currents to determine the line loading. This practice leads to the significant underutilization of underground cables. To fill the gap we present a physically sound and accurate transient electro-thermal model of unbalanced three-phase distribution cables considering variations in the load and environment.


Dr. Francisco de León received the B.Sc. and the MSc (Hons.) degrees in electrical engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City, Mexico, in 1983 and 1986, respectively, and the PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, in 1992.

He has held several academic positions in Mexico and has worked for the Canadian electric industry. Currently, he is a Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University. He has published over 100 journal papers, graduated 26 PhD and 27 MSc students, directed the research of 16 postdoctoral fellows, and holds over a dozen patents.

His research interests include the analysis of power phenomena under non-sinusoidal conditions, the transient and steady-state analyses of power systems, the thermal rating of cables and transformers, and the calculation of electromagnetic fields applied to machine design and modeling.

Prof. de León is an IEEE Fellow, an Editor/Coordinator of the IEEE Power Engineering Letters, and currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery.