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There has been great interest in the integration of dispersed generation units at the distribution level. This requires new analysis tools for understanding system performance. This paper presents an adaptive distributed power flow solution method based on the compensation-based method. The comprehensive distributed system model includes 3-phase nonlinear loads, lines, capacitors, transformers, and dispersed generation units. The numerical properties of the compensation-based power flow method are compared and analyzed under different situations, such as load unbalance, sudden increase of 1-phase loads, degree of meshed loops, number of generator nodes, and so on. Based on these analyses, an adaptive compensation-based power flow method is proposed that is fast and reliable while maintaining necessary accuracy. It is shown that this adaptive method is especially appropriate for simulation of slow dynamics.