now look at the opportunities for improving the Seismic Performance of an
Electric Utility system.
going to start with an actual event.
An earthquake strikes within an area that an electric utility has
clock is moving very fast at the beginning of this process, and that speed
requires information about what was damaged, usually within a few seconds to
a few minutes.
response takes a little longer.
The first hour is called the golden hour, when emergency response may
or may not be very strong. But,
starting at the end of that first hour, emergency response needs to be up and
running until service is restored.
begin to start when enough resources have been gathered at the site of
damaged facilities. This
generally takes about 4-6 hours to get started. Repairs, as indicated here involves
debris removal and demolition as well as fixing the power system, generally
with materials that are already on hand.
is the process of rebuilding portions of the power system that could not be
repaired. This process often
starts within the first 24 hours and can go on for weeks or even months after
service is restored.
point, the emergency response efforts have repaired or reconstructed enough
of a power system to restore service to all the customers that have lost
power. For many this is the end
of an event, but not true for earthquake engineers.
planning starts up after the emergency response phase has completed. This effort takes months, and in some
cases years to complete. The
opportunities for earthquake engineering that exist during this phase come
from asking questions like what can be restored to gain the same redundancy
and robustness in the system prior to the earthquake, and what needs to be
upgraded to avoid damages of the type that just occurred.
becomes an annual event and is the first indication that an electric utility
is beginning to return back to normal after an earthquake. Mitigation generally starts within a
year after an earthquake and can continue on until the next major earthquake
disrupts the utility.
that was extremely important right after the event, continues to be important
is shaping individual actions and corporate policy long after an earthquake
occurs. As the lights all begin
to come back on, many feel that it is now time to turn attentions to other
problems facing the electric utility.
But, in fact, communications about the issues that earthquake
engineers are involved with become extremely important, right after the
lights are turned back on.
Expectations about earthquake performance become important in
measuring an electric utility’s performance. Law suits are settled through the
process of communication in court.
Efforts to increase or decrease regulations of electric utilities
require many hours of communication over long periods of time. Politically active special interest
groups require communications to foster understanding with the electric
planning is an area that has received very more attention by earthquake
engineers in the recent past.
Many opportunities to enhance electric utility performance during and
after an earthquake are just beginning to be discovered. Distributed area control systems, game
theory algorithms to model emergency response and improved micro-economic
impact modeling are just a few of the new opportunities that exist in system
talk in a little more detail about some of the opportunities that exist in
this circle of time that follows an earthquake.