Improving the intersect of the power distribution system and the built environment in developing countries
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Power distribution systems, specifically where they intersect with the built environment, are highly underemphasised versus generation in power planning. In a time of technology advances and cost declines in distribution automation and related technologies, this is an area of high potential for improving energy efficiency. This is particularly of impact in developing countries where urbanisation is rapidly increasing. Evidence shows that the same missed opportunities and sub-optimal distribution planning techniques are repeatedly found across multiple geographies. In this research, tools were developed to rank these problems and create solutions. These tools were endorsed by power industry executives from three countries. Following this, the tools were applied in a developing corridor near the Thailand-Cambodia border where power density is increasing, in order to develop power system solutions for live infrastructure projects. The solutions include technologies such as distributed generation, microgrids, digital monitoring systems, CCHP units, and power storage. The solutions from the live example were then honed and endorsed in an interview with Thai power sector experts. The final research and tools developed were confirmed capable of producing actionable solutions for planners across the public and private sectors, who focus on power distribution in urbanising, developing counties.