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Understanding Electric Power Systems: An Overview of the Technology, the Marketplace, and Government Regulation Paperback – March 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0470484180 ISBN-10: 0470484187 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-IEEE Press; 2 edition (March 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470484187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470484180
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...translates highly complex and intricate material into a straightforward narrative, making it easy for the novice or layman to grasp highly technical electrical concepts." (Design-Build Dateline, March 2005)

"Anyone wanting a broad overview about…the electric power grid in the United States will find this book very easy to read and will come away with a good general understanding..." (IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine, January/February 2005)

"…a good book for nonelectrical engineers and electric power engineers alike as it provides a good summary of where we have been and how we got to where we are today-all in one brief reading." (IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, July/Aug 2004)

"Understanding Electric Power Systems is recommended for engineers, policymakers and students alike and can be a useful addition in the academic libraries for young researchers in electrical engineering.” (E-Streams, Vol. 7, No. 5)

"In consistently clear and simple language, without strident arguments or unrealistic projections, these authors have put together a thorough explanation (arguably the best one in print) of what the electric power supply industry is...and its relationship to the worlds of law, politics, and finance." (Electrical Apparatus, December 2003)

From the Back Cover

An inside look at the electric power industry

As today’s electric power systems grow ever more complex–and the risk of huge blackouts grows with it–it is important that policymakers and professionals in the industry, as well as students, gain a solid understanding of electric power systems and how they work. Written by two veteran power company managers and respected experts, Understanding Electric Power Systems offers a real-world view of these systems, how they operate, how they are structured, and how electricity is regulated and priced.

Understanding Electric Power Systems bridges the gaps between technology, government policy, economics and finance, business arrangements, and the Internet–helping the reader to understand the interrelationship of the many aspects of the provision of electric power supply. This comprehensive resource describes:

  • The physical nature of the various networks that make up the power system and how they work
  • The fuel and money networks that operate to finance and pay costs
  • The business and contracting networks involved in their operation
  • The legislative and regulatory networks which provide governmental control
  • The IT network involved in their physical and commercial operation
  • The various organizations that represent the many industry segments

For engineers, policymakers, and students alike, Understanding Electric Power Systems provides a high-level overview of how electric power is generated, transmitted, and controlled in the United States.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
The book is written for an American reader who might be a manager for an electric utility company, or for someone who might be involved in trading electricity. There is a slight defensive tone about the latter purpose, given the Enron fraud meltdown.

There is an elementary discussion of the physics involved in power generation and transmission. To give the reader a basic understanding of what actually happens. Including the physical limits of a transmission line on the amount of current that it can bear. As well as the transmission losses incurred when selling energy over long distances.

But much of the book deals at a higher level. Notably, explaining how to comply with government regulations, including the various regulatory bodies, where these might be at the Federal or state level. Not surprising, given the Enron scandal, which is still unfolding, and the heightened government scrutiny over the entire utility industry.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ingersoll Rand on August 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
As you can see from the information above, this book is aimed for the non-technical reader. It attempts to give that reader a familiarity with the technical aspects of the electrical power system in the US (first half of the book), and also to give the reader a good understanding of the regulatory issues involved (second half of the book).

I've read most of the first half of the book so far. It's not bad, BUT, I'm amazed that a book put out by the IEEE (that's Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) has as many annoying typos as this one has. Here are some examples:

1) The book consistently uses the abbreviation "m" to indicate one million, when of course the proper abbreviation is "M" (note the capital letter). This is not a minor point for a non-technical reader, because "m" is the proper abbreviation for one-thousandth, and is used in technical books such as this one all the time, to mean ONE-THOUSANDTH. I don't recall looking at another book of this type that makes this mistake.

2) One of the formulas in the book ends in the superscripted footnote "10". This superscripted "10" is placed directly to the right of the formula's rightmost variable, so it looks like that variable is to be raised to the 10th power.

3) One table in the book, which shows the cost of various fuels in dollars per "MMBTU", is difficult to understand, because the abbreviation "MM", which I believe is meant to stand for one million in this table, is not defined.

Yes, each of these examples appears to be minor, but for the non-technical reader trying to make sense of the technical text, the errors are, at the very least, annoying and misleading. I think the errors could have been corrected if the author or the publisher had employed a proper copy editor for about 8 hours.

It's a decent book, though; and the first half of the book pretty much fulfills its objective.
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