Liu Y, Wotherspoon L, Nair N-KC, Blake D. 2021. Quantifying the seismic risk for electric power distribution systems. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering. 17(2):217-232. doi:10.1080/15732479.2020.1734030.
The low voltage local electric power distribution systems that take power from the national grid and transport it to homes and businesses are generally more prone to disruption from natural hazards than the high voltage transmission systems that transport electricity around the country. This is because transmission systems tend to have fewer redundant circuit structures. However, seismic risk analysis for distribution systems is rare compared to the rich body of literature focussing on transmission systems. This paper proposes a seismic risk assessment framework for electric power distribution systems considering both the network topology and the functional vulnerability of distribution substations. This enables network owners and operators to evaluate the seismic vulnerability of their substation configuration and network topology, identify potential bottlenecks of the systems and thus inform effective planning and risk-reduction investments.