Quantifying the impact of investments on distribution system wind resilience using area outage rate curves

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Ahmad, Arslan
Major Professor
Dobson, Ian
Wang, Zhaoyu
Alipour, Alice
Committee Member
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Electrical and Computer Engineering
Electricity is an essential requirement for modern societies, and its importance continues to grow with time. In order to facilitate economic growth and social harmony, uninterrupted access to electricity is critical. However, power outages are inevitable due to the wide geographical spread of power systems and their exposure to various weather elements. Outages in the distribution system are the most common and can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Resilience analysis is vital to mitigate the impact of large and infrequent power outages, which are mostly caused by extreme weather events. Improving the resilience of distribution systems is crucial since most of the damage caused by extreme weather events is in the distribution system. Utility companies invest in these systems to make them more resilient. To study the impact of these investments on the resilience metrics of small, medium, and large events, we first create “Area Outage Rate Curves” that describe the impact of wind hazards on the outage rates in different areas of the distribution system. These curves are calculated using observed weather and outage data. We develop these curves by correlating the observed wind speeds at each weather station with the outage rates of the nearest distribution system area. Resilience events and their metrics of size and customer impact are extracted from the outage data. Decisions about improving the distribution system can be made based on these metrics. Investments in overhead lines would have shifted the area outage rate curves, and we calculate the corresponding impacts on the resilience metrics of small, medium, and large-scale events. To test our approach, we utilize historical outage data from a distribution system and wind speed data from weather stations within that system. The developed techniques and the use of area outage rate curves can be applied to any distribution system with an outage management system and can assist in making informed decisions about improving the system’s resilience.