Aging power delivery infrastructures by H Lee Willis; Randall R Schrieber; Gregory V Welch

By H Lee Willis; Randall R Schrieber; Gregory V Welch

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And limitations in its full equipment usage due to such partial failures adds stress and often "uses up" contingency capability. A power transformer loaded to 85% at peak, whose tap changer is locked into one position, is subject to voltage regulation problems that can easily reduce its ability to handle load by more than 15%. The contingency margin (85%-100%) that the typical N-l method assumes is there, is in fact gone. Configuration complexity At high utilization levels a system needs additional switching flexibility to accommodate its need to backup equipment operating at high loading levels with other equipment that is also already operating at high loading levels.

N-l methods do not provide any analysis of: • How likely is it that backup will be needed? • How reasonable is the feasible plan for each contingency situation? Is the planner is actually building a "house of cards" by expecting "too many things to go right" once one thing has gone wrong? • How much stress might the system be under during such contingency situations, and what are the long-term implications for both equipment life and operating feasibility of the system? , multiple failures) and how bad could the situation become when that is the case?

There is plenty of evidence that this trend is widespread. S. Not all urban utilities follow this pattern, but a majority seems to match this profile. This is not to say that the utility's engineers preferred this higher loading level or that management and operators were entirely comfortable with the high loadings. But it was accepted, not as an emergency situation, but as the "normal" plan for serving peak demand. High loadings: a complicated interaction with design These higher loading levels were not accepted without a good deal of preparation and often only with changes to the system to keep it, at least ostensibly, within engineering criteria.

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