Distribution Systems Testing, Application, and Research (DSTAR) is a consortium of electric utilities sharing the results of distribution research, focusing on providing its member utilities with results that are directly applicable to everyday distribution design, operation, and maintenance. DSTAR offers utilities a cost-effective and responsive means of addressing urgent problems that require near-term solutions. By cooperatively funding research with other utilities, each member utility substantially leverages its investment.
To meet the need for modern engineering software tools, DSTAR has developed over 15 applications that are designed to be used with minimal training. These applications can be easily customized to the equipment and practices used by each member utility, allowing the ultimate user (for example, a design technician with limited engineering expertise) to apply the program with maximum efficiency and minimum complexity. Most importantly, the development of these applications has been guided directly by the engineer and technicians, from several DSTAR member utilities, who use the software. Their experience and understanding of the technical issues is reflected in the design and layout of each software tool. This unique collaborative structure has resulted in software applications that are used frequently and have undergone numerous changes to improve capability and usability.