Basic Concept and Definition of “Load” in Power Systems

The term “Load” in electrical power system engineering can have several meanings. Here are basic definitions of the term “Load”.

  1. A device, connected to a power system, that consumes power.
  2. The total power (active and/or reactive) consumed by all the devices connected to a power system.
  3. A portion of the system that is not explicitly represented in a system model, but rather is treated as if it were a single power-consuming device connected to a bus in the system model.
  4.  The power output of a generator or generating plant.


Where the meaning is not clear from the context, the terms, “Load Device”, “System Load”, “Bus Load”, and Generator or Plant Load, respectively, may be used to clarify the intent.


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