Analytic considerations and design basis for the IEEE distribution test feeders

Document Type


Publication Date



Center for Cyber-Physical Systems; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


For nearly 20 years, the Test Feeder Working Group of the Distribution System Analysis Subcommittee has been developing openly available distribution test feeders for use by researchers. The purpose of these test feeders is to provide models of distribution systems that reflect the wide diversity in design and their various analytic challenges. Because of their utility and accessibility, the test feeders have been used for a wide range of research, some of which has been outside the original scope of intended uses. This paper provides an overview of the existing distribution feeder models and clarifies the specific analytic challenges that they were originally designed to examine. Additionally, this paper will provide guidance on which feeders are best suited for various types of analysis. The purpose of this paper is to provide the original intent of the Working Group and to provide the information necessary so that researchers may make an informed decision on which of the test feeders are most appropriate for their work.

Publisher's Statement

© 2017 IEEE. Publisher's version of record:

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Power Systems