Aging power delivery infrastructures by Willis, H. Lee; Schrieber, Randall R

By Willis, H. Lee; Schrieber, Randall R

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Equipment in the top ranking (that of most concern) in both categories will get the most attention. 2 is a matrix for the 894 medium voltage breakers in a particular power system, showing how many are in each combination of four categories of condition and four categories of criticality. , 900 breakers over twenty years of operation, all 723,000 poles in the system). But the data and evaluations for any one breaker’s condition or one pole’s level of deterioration and losses of strength are subject to a good deal of uncertainty.

The overall, executive management perspective is thus, “The power delivery system is a physical asset that we purchase and maintain to provide good customer service and stockholder Aging Power Delivery Infrastructures 33 profits. ” Changes in cultural “standards” may be needed Many of today’s power delivery planning, engineering and operating concepts were developed by or for vertically integrated utilities in a regulated, non-competitive industry. Some are quite inappropriate for a business-driven utility environment.

As a result, systems that meet the N–1 criteria can be less reliable than needed engineers might expect, even though the N–1 criteria “guarantees” there is a way to back up every unit in the system. This is much more likely to happen in modern power systems than it was in traditional, regulated power systems, due to changes in utilization and design made in the period 1990–2000, and the more volatile operating environment of de-regulation. The reason is that modern power systems are much “leaner” than those of thirty or forty years ago, when N–1 was first developed and applied.

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