- The present thesis is about the electric power distribution system
for the city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. The distribution system
of Mecca started suddenly, grew haphazardly and developed quickly
with a load factor as high as 38%. Lack of planning, records and
training plus insufficient experience of management evolved a highly
muddled distribution system in the most important city of the world.
Non-acceptance and appreciation of new ideas, and a negative attitude
for research and development convinced the management that the
situation is impossible. The present thesis is an attempt to explain
that the situation is not impossible to improve, --the entire power
distribution system of the city can be renovated. A patient consideration
of the new technical concepts can be helpful. Spending money and
resources on a constructive program is an investment which pays
dividends. Economizing by discarding the worth of the need, may
create drastic problems which may be very difficult to handle in the
future and cost much more by lost revenues, goodwill and stability
of the organization.
Planning in town electrification and peering into the future is
like touching a nerve center in a body. Every town and city has its
own specific demands. The specified requirements of different towns
should be separately considered, properly analyzed, thoroughly
checked and the planning should also take into account the future, --
which will be brighter electrically, as well. Mecca, which is uniquely
Holy, is also unique as far as electrification is concerned. Its
pilgrimage with an influx of a million people every year for a few
days, and then their mass transfer from one distribution district to
another presents a unique situation. To meet such a situation the
distribution system should have been well planned, thoroughly
engineered and kept highly flexible. On the other hand the system is
deteriorating very fast due to several reasons--two of which are fast
development of the load and the false economy by the power company.
Although the Mecca distribution system is in great disorder, the
pressures and the prevailing philosophies to renovate it under the
present circumstances make it highly challenging, yet it is not an
impossible project. A little extra thoroughness now, can avoid a lot of future grief. The only effective way to avoid future operating
problems lie in the consistent exercise of persistence in giving careful
attention to details even though some of them may seem quite
unimportant to the uninitiated.
It is imperative that a clear understanding of the distribution
systems and modern practices be developed, before a renovation
program can be undertaken. To cope with this requirement, the
author has discussed this topic explicitly for occasional reference to
help the practicing engineer. A thorough knowledge of distribution
materials and equipment is equally vital to help in the selection for
the possible changes, and a workable reference has also been compiled
to assist the engineer and the management in this process.
Principles of protection and broad guidelines for selection of protection
equipment are also included to help the operating engineer realize
the philosophies associated with this job. However, the area of protection
is specialized and often complex and it is neither safe nor fair
to the operating engineer to expect him to do it as a side line--as such
details are avoided.
The renovation project may be carried out by the existing staff
whose knowledge and experience can be used to advantage. However,
as new concepts and materials will be introduced a thorough training
of the technical staff is suggested. Programs for splicers training,
fire fighting, safety precautions, record preparation and maintenance
are described and ways are explained to make the job comprehensive
and attractive to workers.
Training and continued education are also suggested for the
engineers. A lot depends on how the engineer tackles his technical
and administrative problems., A knowledge of human factors in
engineering and technology, and modern management tools are also
necessary for the engineer for efficient decision making. A utility
engineer must be well equipped with the modern engineering developments
and have a broad spectrum of knowledge and training. To help
the engineer to understand his duties in rendering his services to the
organization, duties and capacities of different engineers are discussed.
This may also help the organization to appreciate and realize
the engineering services, and make better selections of personnel in
For the successful operation of a fast expanding utility much
can be gained by a thorough analysis and control of the problems
which are at hand and which may be confronted in the near future.
These problems are discussed clearly and recommendations for
improvements are made. Renovation is a process of constant
struggle and achievement. Perserverence in thinking and constant
struggle for betterment are the gateway to improvement. And, a
change of attitude in itself is a great achievement.