Technical Papers
Jan 25, 2024

Structural Resilience of Pole-Mounted Substations Subjected to Flooding: Generalized Framework and a Malaysian Case Study

Publication: ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering
Volume 10, Issue 2

Abstract

Substations are vital components of electricity supply, representing a weak point in a power network due to their vulnerability to flood events. Pole-mounted substations can effectively mitigate inundation failures by elevating electrical equipment. However, the supporting structures of such substations often are not designed to withstand flood flows, and thus are prone to structural failure. This paper proposes a generalized framework to quantify the structural failure probabilities of pole-mounted substations and to assess their structural resilience to flooding. The generalized framework was applied to a case-study location in Malaysia, where serious flood events are common and pole-mounted substations abound. The study first identifies and quantifies the flood effects on the poles, including pure hydrodynamic forces, the impact of floating debris, debris damming effects, and scouring. The quantified flood effects then are compared with the structural capacity of a typical pole-mounted substation structure and its foundation, to derive a capacity threshold curve for structural failure. The failure probability is illustrated via fragility curves for different flood depths and risk curves for different flood and wind return periods, to assess further the substation’s structural resilience. The aforementioned curves are based on a stochastic distribution of flood depths and velocities represented by a normalized Weibull function. This approach can be adapted easily to depict flood conditions for any given location. Overall, the results of this paper can help stakeholders, including those designing and managing substation structures, to quantify, assess, and further enhance the flood resilience of power-supply networks.

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Data Availability Statement

All data, models, or code that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for PhD Studentship. We also sincerely thank Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Malaysia for the public data on substation design, as well as Sarawak Energy Berhad, Malaysia for permitting the photo use for this work.

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Go to ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering
ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems, Part A: Civil Engineering
Volume 10Issue 2June 2024

History

Received: May 26, 2023
Accepted: Nov 1, 2023
Published online: Jan 25, 2024
Published in print: Jun 1, 2024
Discussion open until: Jun 25, 2024

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Ph.D. Student, Dept. of Solids and Structures, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK (corresponding author). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0387-266X. Email: [email protected]
Associate Professor, Dept. of Solids and Structures, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7686-7490. Email: [email protected]
David M. Schultz [email protected]
Professor, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email: [email protected]
Sarah Mander [email protected]
Associate Professor, Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, Univ. of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. Email: [email protected]
Chin Kim Gan [email protected]
Associate Professor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Melaka 76100, Malaysia. Email: [email protected]
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Univ. of Cyprus, Nicosia 20537, Cyprus. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4274-529X. Email: [email protected]

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