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Power system analysis

Mott MacDonald has a long history designing and optimising power systems. We take care of every aspect to minimise capital and operating expenditure and provide key expertise to support decision making.

Mott MacDonald has comprehensive expertise and many years of experience in designing and optimising power systems while taking into account every relevant parameter to minimise capital and operating expenditure.

Key areas

  • Concept design and options engineering for power systems
  • System modelling and performance assessment for design confirmation
  • Control and protection options to optimise system performance and reliability.


Types of systems and analysis: we model utility and industrial networks up to the highest voltages to analyse system behaviour and how systems should be controlled and protected to maximise reliability and availability. This covers insulation co-ordination issues and steady state, fault level and transient analyses. We also plan the technical and financial aspects from concept to completion.


We select the most appropriate tool from a range of power systems software to maximise benefit to the system design, including:

  • Captor
  • Cyme
  • DigSilent – PowerFactory
  • EDSA
  • ETAP
  • IPSA
  • PSS/Adept
  • PSS/e
  • PTW

Harmonic distortion

As power electronic device ratings increase, the issue of harmonic distortion has become more prominent. Mott MacDonald is skilled in using models as a tool to design systems that avoid these harmonic problems from the outset and, where necessary, include remedial measures such as filters. When acting as design overseers we provide expert advice on system distortion issues and recommend fit-for-purpose remedial measures.


System transients on all types of plant are essential where stability issues due to voltage and frequency dips can occur. Large motor starting and short circuit recovery are key system design issues. We have experience of these issues and in the assessment of the best solutions for new build and retrofit projects. Switching and lightning surges also have to be predicted, analysed and catered for in the design of new systems, and sometimes in existing networks.

Control and protection

Control and protection issues have to be considered at the design stages and knowledge of system behaviour is a pre-requisite when taking these issues into account.


Our system analysis experts possess in-depth understanding of these functions and how they are best applied to systems.


Our services in power systems design and modelling cover:

  • Creating the options
  • Assessing their performance using system models as appropriate
  • Costing the feasible options
  • Optimising them technically and financially

This work is undertaken not only as part of large power systems projects but also on small systems where design integrity and cost effectiveness are vital. Embedded generation and connection issues are a speciality, covering all generation types.

The process

The first step in power system projects is assessing the design requirements and what type of modelling is required. Assessing what data is available and what assumptions will be required are also vital and require a high level of systems expertise. Early designs and analysis are rooted in the practicalities of good engineering practice, facilitating a smooth design process after the concept design stage is complete.


Analyses are carried out at the detailed design stage to ensure that the effect of any changes is tracked and modified if required to make the performance acceptable.


Our expertise is often applied to existing systems to assess the possibilities for extension or modification and to determine whether technical requirements – such as fault levels – are within ratings or that DOL motor starting can be carried out.

Customer benefits

This is a specialised field undertaken by a few consultants.

Savings/value added demonstrated

We provide the right solution for the right applications.

Selected project examples

We have undertaken over 100 projects worldwide.

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