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Reference Library

What are good references for a Power Engineer? by davidbeach
Posted: 10 Dec 06 (Edited 2 Jan 12)

There are many good references that an Electrical Power Engineer might want to keep handy.  Where a work is primarily available from a single source I have tried to include a web site where it is available; where a work is generally available I have not listed a source but I have found all of them at except the Clarke and Wagner & Evens works.  The reference library includes:

General Power
For those working in the ANSI world, the IEEE Color Book Series are excellent references.  Go to and enter "color books" (minus the quotes) in the search box.  These are available in both hard cover and PDF format.

The Color Books are:
IEEE Std 141-1993 (R1999) (The Red Book - Power Distribution)
IEEE Std 142-2007 (The Green Book - Grounding)
IEEE Std 241-1990 (R1997) (The Gray Book - Commercial Buildings)
IEEE Std 242-2001 (The Buff Book - Protection and Coordination)
IEEE Std 399-1997 (The Brown Book - Power Systems Analysis)
IEEE Std 446-1995 (The Orange Book - Emergency and Standby Power)
IEEE Std 493-1997 (The Gold Book - Reliable Design)
IEEE Std 551-2006 (The Violet Book - Short-Circuit Currents)
IEEE Std 602-2007 (The White Book - Health Care Facilities)
IEEE Std 739-1995 (The Bronze Book - Energy Management)
IEEE Std 902-1998 (The Yellow Book - Maintenance, Operations, and Safety)
IEEE Std 1015-2006 (The Blue Book - Low-Voltage Circuit Breakers)
IEEE Std 1100-2005 (The Emerald Book - Electronic Equipment)

A good Power System Analysis text can answer many questions.  There are many different books with this same title; authors to look for include Grainger & Stevenson (and each individually), Gross, Glover, Bergen & Vittal, Das.  Also Electric Power Systems by B.M. Weedy

The historical Gold Standard of Power System Analysis books are volumes 1 and 2 of Edith Clarke's Circuit Analysis of A-C Power Systems.  Unfortunately these are long out of print and not readily available.

A more intense treatment in the analysis of what can go wrong is Paul Anderson's Analysis of Faulted Power Systems

Conrad St. Pierre self publishes A Practical Guide to Short-Circuit Calculations which is available at

Another fault calculation book, but likely to be as elusive as the Clarke and Wagner & Evans books is Fault Calculations by C.H.W. Lackey.

A somewhat dated but still quite useful book, if you can handle the asking price (US$250 in the US, US$275 elsewhere), is the Electrical Transmission and Distribution Reference Book, originally by Westinghouse and now being produced by ABB, available at  While not thoroughly updated for several decades, the present edition does include a PDF version of the book, allowing full word searches.

Industrial Power System Handbook by Donald Beeman. A bit dated, but another classic book packed full of information. You will find this one referenced many times in other books and papers.

Industrial Power System Grounding Design Handbook is a recent book by J.R. Dunki-Jacobs with co-authors Frank Shields and Conrad St. Pierre

Another comprehensive book, often mentioned, is the McGraw-Hill Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers.  The latest version is the 15th edition, the first was published in 1907.

A source of what might otherwise be hard to find informations is available from ABB at

A comprehensive page of links can be found at

Schneider Electric has a series of papers known as the Cahiers Techniques.  There are 17 papers on various topics, all with an IEC slant.  Available at

Somewhat more limited in scope, just motors and such, is Blador Motor's Cowern Papers available at

Symmetrical Components
One concept that shows up repeatedly in the above volumes will be Symmetrical Components.

The original reference to Symmetrical Components is a paper by C. L. Fortescue titled Method of Symmetrical Co-ordinates Applied to the Solution of Polyphase Networks.  This paper, and four other classic papers could be found at  Fortunately the Fortescue paper is still there, but only one of the other four also remains.

The historic reference on Symmetrical Components is Symmetrical Components by Wagner and Evans.  Like the Clarke books above, this one may be difficult to come by.

A more readily available book is Symmetrical Components for Power Systems Engineering by J. Lewis Blackburn.

The Anderson Analysis of Faulted Power Systems book mentioned above has considerable material on symmetrical components.

Power System Protection
The standard text seems to be J. Lewis Blackburn's Protective Relaying: Principles and Applications.

A more "classic" work is C. Russell Mason's The Art and Science of Protective Relaying available for download at

A more substantial tome is Paul Anderson's Power System Protection.

Available as a free download is Alstom's Network Protection & Automation Guide, for further information see  Where to find this seems to move around a fair amount, so it may be best just to go the Alstom web site for your area of the world and search for "Network Protection and Automation Guide".  Registration is required.

A newer work, somewhat more commercial that the Alstom book, but also a welcome succsessor to the works previously published by GE and Westinghouse is Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories' Modern Solutions for Protection, Control, and Monitoring of Electrical Power Systems, edited by Hector J. Altuve Ferrer and Edmund O. Schweitzer, III.  Available from SEL at  If you happen to take your copy to the Western Protective Relay Conference you might even get the editors' autographs.

A protection series with a British take is the four volume Power System Protection series available from

A couple more protection books from the IEC world are Power System Relaying (2nd ed) Stanley H Horowitz and Arun G. Phadke and Protection of Electricity Distribution Networks (2nd ed) by Juan M. Gers and Edward J Holmes.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has a downloadable book, Coordinated Power Systems Protection available at

Protection of generators is covered in Donald Reimert's Protective relaying for power generation systems.  This is available in both hardcover and e-book formats.

Distribution System Design
The USDA Rural Electrification Service has many publications available at  Of particular interest might be the Design Guide for Rural Substations (1724E-300).  Lots of other information about line construction and related subjects, browse the whole list.

Electric Power Distribution Handbook by T.A. Short.  A comprehensive book packed with everything you need to know about distribution systems. Comparable and an updated version of the Westinghouse "Green" Utility Distribution Handbook

Electrical Distribution System Protection by Cooper Power Systems. A practical guide to distribution system protection, also now available in an updated version.

Distribution System Modeling And Analysis by William Kersting is published by the CRC Press.

Rating of Electric Power Cables(1997) and Rating of Electric Power Cables in Unfavorable Thermal Environment(2005) by George J. Anders cover the cable rating field.

A British series on "Modern Power Station Practice" exists, but doesn't seem to be readily available.  This is an 11 volume set with the following volumes:
Volume A: Station Planning and Design
Volume B: Boilers and Ancillary Plant
Volume C: Turbines, Generators and Associated Plant
Volume D: Electrical Systems and Equipment
Volume E: Chemistry and Metallurgy
Volume F: Control and Instrumentation
Volume G: Station Operation and Maintenance
Volume J: Nuclear Power Generation
Volume K: EHV Transmission
Volume L: System Operation
Volume M: Index

Southwire has published three books on conductors, the Building Wire & Cable Handbook, the Power Cable Manual, and the Overhead Conductor Manual.  These seem to be available only by contacting a Southwire Rep.  They may also be available on the used book market.

Information on copper busbars, with a British slant, is available at

Information on aluminum conductors is available in the Aluminum Electrical Conductor Handbook at  Each chapter is its own PDF file.

The J&P Transformer Book has been mentioned in various posts as an excellent reference.  The book is about 950 pages long and will set you back US$275 for a new copy at Amazon.

ABB has four transformer books available at  The books are a Transformer Handbook, a Service Handbook for Transformers, a book on Testing of power transformers and shunt reactors, plus a new Short-circuit Duty of Power Transformers.

The IEEE/PES Transformer Committee is on line at  They have a transformer bibliography at

Other transformer books suggested by a Transformer Engineer who frequents this forum include Transformer Design Principles: With Applications to Core-Form Power Transformers by Feeney etal; Electric Power Transformer Engineering by James H. Harlow; Transformer Engineering: Design and Practice by Kulkarni & Khaparde; Large Power Transformers by Karsai, Kerenyi, and Kiss; and an older, out of print work, Transformer Engineering by Blume, Bayajian, etal.

Electrical Equipment
A book on the testing of all manner of electrical equipment is Paul Gill's Electrical Power Equipment Maintenance and Testing.

Manuals for many things old and electrical can be found at

Some books about circuit breakers include Vacuum Switchgear by Allan Greenwood; and Handbook of Switchgears by Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited.

Power System Commissioning & Maintenance Practice by Keith Harker and published in the UK by the IEE.

Power Electronics & Drives
Power Electronics: Converters, Applications and Designs by Mohen, Undeland, and Robbins.
Principles of Electric Machines and Power Electronics by P. C. Sen
Electrical Machines, Drives, and Power Systems by Theodore Wildi
An Introduction to Power Electronics by B.M. Bird, K.G. King, and D.A.G. Pedder

Electrical System Transients and Stability
Allan Greenwood's Electrical Transients in Power Systems
Rheinhold Rudenberg's Transient Performance of Electric Power Systems Phenomena in Lumped Networks
J.C. Das' Transients in Electrical Systems: Analysis, Recognitions, and Mitigation
Edward Wilson Kimbark Power System Stability, Volumes I, II, III

Thanks to the following Eng-Tips members for their contributions to this list:
prc, dbaird, Zogzog, umrpwr, ScottyUK, magoo2, BJC, RalphChristie, Busbar, SSLA, dpc, stevenal, umrpwr, sibeen

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